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Marino Conservation Park

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Barry Silkstone (subscribe)
I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet. Visit my blog naturallysouthaustralia.com
Published December 4th 2021
Coastal views and more
Eastern-striped Skink, Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse
Eastern-striped Skink

There is a rustle in the undergrowth. I freeze, slowly lift the camera and scan the rocky area strewn with leaf litter beneath a Mallee Box tree. I am expecting to catch a glimpse of a tiny skink. To my surprise, I spot a 30 cm long striped skink using its immobility as a defence mechanism; a great help for a photographer. I capture half a dozen images before it disappears into the scrub. Later I will use iNaturalist Australia to classify the little reptile.

Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse, view, vista, coastline
A view to the south


I am walking around the Boundary Track of the Marino Conservation Park which sits above the Cove Road and provides some wonderful views the city and metro beaches to the north and Hallet Cove and Noarlunga to the south.

White-browed Scrubwren, Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse
White-browed Scrubwren


honeyeater, Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse
White-plumed Honeyeater in flight


The trail slopes gently upwards and I can see the Marino Lighthouse dominating the tree line above me. I meet another walker and he tells me that he often sees hares and foxes in the fields adjacent to the park. So far, I have only noticed lizards, Red Wattlebirds and Magpies as well as numerous small birds flitting through the trees and feeding in the scrub. I find a well-shaded spot to sit and wait in the hope of identifying some of the smaller birds. Persistence pays off and I photograph a White-browed Scrubwren foraging on the ground and a White-plumed Honeyeater in flight.

native apricot, Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse
Native apricot fruits


One of the real benefits associated with walking this trail are the many information panels identifying native flora. Not being the world's most skilled botanist, I often photograph interesting plants which I have to identify later. On this walk, the job is done for me which adds richness to an already pleasant outdoor experience.

Lighthouse
Lighthouse amongst scrub


From the lighthouse at the top of the hill, the walk down the southern side of the park is quite gentle with rural land bordering the scrub. I spot a variety of birds in the region including Spotted Doves, Grey Currawongs, Red Wattlebirds and even a pair of Black-headed Cuckoo Shrikes. This section of the border trail also provides some glorious views across the park to the sea.

 butterflies, Marino Conservation Park, South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, nature, SA Walks, Lighthouse
Yellow-banded Dart Butterfly


I have been walking and watching for about an hour and I have circled right around the park. Near the entrance point, a Nankeen Kestrel hovers high above me in search of prey. The bird is well out of camera range and I turn my focus to smaller flying creatures. I have seen quite a few different species of butterflies on my walk but most are small and very flighty. Finally, a little dart butterfly settles on a blossom (one that I don't recognise) and I am able to squeeze off a few shots before it departs.

Birds, reptiles, insects and superb views: not a bad way to spend the morning.


Additional information
This is a relatively easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with parking and well-marked trails. It is dog friendly and there is a children's playground nearby.

For more of my work please visit
https://naturallysouthaustralia.com/
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Why? Fabulous views and lots of birds
When: All year round
Where: Marino
Cost: None
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