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.
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Published July 31st 2019
There is a small flock of White Cheeked Rosellas feeding around the tee on the 16th hole of North Adelaide's South Course just opposite Carclew. They are often there searching for grasses and seeds. One bird lets me get quite close. Its colouring and fluffed feathers suggest that it might be a fledgeling.
I am walking along Strangways Terrace from Carclew to the bend in the road a few hundred metres past Calvary Hospital where Strangways becomes Mills Terrace. Golf courses are wonderful places to see wildlife in the winter months. The carefully tended grass and variety of plantings mean that there are flowers, tubers, fruits and seeds to attract a variety of wildlife. Pleasant little cafes in both the golf course and hospital are easily accessible for getting coffee and snack to break up the walk and there is plenty of free parking.
Pathways follow the golf fairways that run alongside Strangways Terrace and there are tall trees overhanging most of the route. Magpies, Miner Birds and other common species live in them and the birds are quite used to human traffic making them ideal photographic subjects. However, today I am looking for less common birds and I am rewarded when a pair of Crested Pigeons start preening each other near one of the garden beds.
But life on the golf course has its hazards. While the pigeons go about their courting rituals a neighbouring cat views them with predatory intent. Over the years I have not only observed cats preying on the wildlife but also the occasional fox meandering across the course in the early morning and evening.
I reach the end of Strangways Terrace and decide to walk back to my car along the urban side of the road. The more diverse selection of plants in gardens and along the nature strips attracts some different kinds of animals. Even though it is August; ants, ladybirds, hoverflies and bees are attracted to winter blooming flowers and I catch sight of New Holland Honeyeaters and Wattle Birds in the trees.
The houses along the Terrace are also quite interesting as this was one of the first areas settled in Adelaide. Some of the wonderful old buildings have plaques explaining their history. In contrast, there are more modern architectural creations making this a fascinating look at changes in design over the last century and a half.
This has been a winter walk and the wildlife though not prolific is more plentiful here than in most other city locations. I am encouraged to repeat the exercise in Spring when everything is in flower and the weather is a little kinder.
Additional notes This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with plenty of parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly.