After parking the car at the end of Semaphore South beach I take the asphalt pathway past Fort Glanville towards Point Malcolm. There is scrub on both sides of the path and I can see numerous birds sheltering in the tangle of branches and understory. This morning the most common species are: Singing honeyeaters, Starlings and Spotted Doves.
A couple of hundred metres along the path there is a wonderful view of the Semaphore Groin or breakwater through the scrub and sandhills. I strain the optics on my Nikon P900 and can just make out the bulky shape of a Long-nosed Fur Seal resting on the end of rocks. (In a previous review
I wrote about the wildlife of this breakwater)
Coastal scrub, Breakwater and Long-nosed Fur Seal
Closer to the end of this first section of my walk towards Tennyson Beach the sandhills rise slightly and I am surprised to see a Rose Breasted Cockatoo (Galah) rummaging for food in the sandy terrain. Nearby a mudlark is also fossicking amongst the groundcovers. Two species I did not expect to encounter in this coastal scrub.
Lone Galah in sandhill scrub
I am walking and driving along a section of the Adelaide coastline between Semaphore South beach and the beginning of the Tennyson Dunes trail. It is a mixture of sandhills, coastal scrub and urban development providing several different habitats that a walker can investigate.
To continue my journey I backtrack to the car park by the beach where I started then drive along Military Road to the Point Malcolm turnoff. The pavement on the seaward side gives me an unobstructed view of the coastal scrub and I note a few Singing Honeyeaters in the bushes. There are also Willie Wagtails hawking for insects and Spotted Doves foraging amongst the grasses and succulents.
The final section of my outing starts in the car park behind the Tranquilla Apartments on Mirani Ct. I walk south along a grassed expanse between the coastal homes and fenced-off dunes where I encounter a wide variety of wildlife as well as being able to easily access the beach at several points. All the usual coastal animals I have previously mentioned reside here, along with two more unusual species. Near some plantings of Lavender and Coastal Rosemary, I notice Blue Banded Bees
rapidly zipping between the blossoms and some tiny skinks scuttling through the undergrowth.
However, it is my final wildlife encounter that makes this one of the most enjoyable walks I have undertaken in the last few months. Almost perfectly camouflaged against a fencepost, a juvenile Bearded Dragon
surveys its surroundings while waiting for insects to pounce on it. Then, only a hundred metres away I notice a larger dragon precariously balanced in the middle of a Coastal Cushion Bush.
Noonies, Semaphore South
Today's walk ends at the beginning of the Semaphore Dunes Nature Walk which I will cover in a later article for Weekend Notes. After photographing the dragons, I retrace my steps to the car park and drive back along Military Road and the Esplanade to Noonies
, a beachside café at the far end of South Semaphore beach. Lunch and a cool drink provide the perfect ending to this rewarding day exploring our urban coastline.
This is an easy walk/drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, barbecues, parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog friendly.