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 November 15th 2016
Birdies on the Golf Course
There are islands of green amongst the roads that criss-cross North Adelaide. They make up a tree lined golf course, one of two just north of the CBD. Today, some of the large eucalypts that surround the ninth and tenth fairways are still in flower and groups of lorikeets, miners and a few rosellas are feeding amongst the foliage.
I have just finished a superb, late lunch at the Red House Shop & Cafe; a beautifully renovated train station that stands just opposite the course on War Memorial Drive. From the, cafe it is only a few metres to the public golf course which is an ideal place to start a wildlife wander through the leafy old suburb of North Adelaide. However, walkers beware of golfers and their little white projectiles. Early morning and late afternoon on weekdays are the best time to walk around the course and avoid interfering with players.
Well fed and watered I stroll along the edge of the eighth hole and stop to chat with a couple of players chipping onto the green. Once they have completed their approaches I make my way into a patch of scrub alongside the fairway. There are numerous insects in this area including some huge inch ants as well as several butterfly and moth species.
From the eighth I walk back parallel to Memorial drive then up the fifth alongside Mills Terrace which zigzags along the edge of the course separating it from the up-market suburb of North Adelaide. Lovely heritage homes and nature strips lined with mature jacarandas and bottle brushes are a feature of this road. Today there are wattle birds and new Holland honeyeaters feeding in the brilliant red blossoms.
I cut back down the hill towards my starting point making sure that I walk through a denser section of bushes and trees that separate several of the fairways. There is a fallen log strategically positioned amongst a stand of old eucalypts and I sit there and employ my 'wait and see what happens' strategy. I am well rewarded as a delicate little ragged wall skink skitters along the far side of my makeshift seat. I watch the reptile for a few moments as it searches for ants or other small prey before disappearing into a small crevice.
On reflection, my afternoon walk has been very successful. I have had a nice meal, enjoyed some of Adelaide's best streetscapes while encountering a good selection of wildlife; all within the confines of the city's northern parklands.