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Warriewood Wetlands Wildlife Preservation Area

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by Sue Hinchey (subscribe)
A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published November 17th 2016
Wander these Wetlands for Beautiful Birdlife
This afternoon I'm surrounded by busy-ness; mothers feeding little ones, arguments are happening, and fights break out over who owns what. Sounds like your average home or social environment? Well, not quite. I'm sitting on a bench in Warriewood Wetlands - the largest remaining sand plain wetlands in the northern Sydney region.

Warriewood Wetlands
Entrance Sign of Warriewood Wetlands


Being spring, there's a cacophony of noise and it appears there's a baby-boom. Not the human sort, though. The mother-birds of my neighbourhood wetlands are being stretched to the limit to keep up the feeding schedule. And all you mothers out there know what that feels like.

Dusky Moor Hen
Dusky Moor Hen and Chick


ducklings
Ducklings keep hidden whilst waiting for mum to return


Native Noisy Minor
Noisy Minor feeding Chicks


There are over 100 species of birdlife that visit or make Warriewood Wetlands their home. I can hear the chorkle of wattlebirds, wrens flit past me, and a willy-wagtail swoops around reminding me this is his patch. A tall, gangly white spoonbill sashays through the reeds in front of me, sloshing his funny-shaped bill from side to side, searching for small fish. In 1996, after years of neglect had resulted in the natural water-course becoming overtaken by weeds and pollution, the area was purchased by the local council and set aside as a wildlife preservation wetlands. The result is a 26-hectare sanctuary for both the birds and us humans. Attractive boardwalks and walking tracks were built, weed eradication programs were installed, and the result is a wonderful green habitat for all sorts of flora and fauna.

raised boardwalks
Raised boardwalks protect sensitive habitat and wildlife


Natural seating and plenty of viewing areas pretty much guarantee you'll spot some action amongst all those ferns and natural ponds.

Teal
Mum rests awhile


natural watercourse
The natural watercourse has been allowed to flourish


One end of the loop trail begins on Garden Street and the other end finishes near Katoa Reserve, just further along Garden Street. If you walk straight through this section, it only takes about 15 minutes. But take your time, sit a while, and feel the gentle pace of the place. There are facilities nearby in Katoa Reserve, which includes a barbeque, a shaded children's playground and picnic tables. And barely a 5 minute walk from the picnic area is Warriewood Shopping Centre, which has amenities and food outlets.

Katoa Reserve Picnic Area
Katoa Reserve Picnic Area


As the late afternoon sun lowers in the sky, the screeching of lorikeets, cackling of kookaburras, and the high-pitched shrill of the whipbirds starts to fade. I head home with a smile on my face, feeling so lucky to have such a beautiful green space so close to home.

Pacific Black Duck
Pacific Black Duck
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Why? Bird watching wetlands
Where: Garden Street, Warriewood, NSW
Cost: Free
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