I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published May 14th 2018
Mangroves and Birds
The bushwalking club I belong to has started having some weekday walks. I've been going on a few of these recently. I like them because they are usually very relaxed and easy and I get to meet up with some of the same people on each walk.
Some people are retired and others manage to get a weekday off from their regular workweek. These walks are often to areas around Brisbane I haven't been to before too, which makes them very interesting and different.
When I saw the pool on the waterfront, I realised I had never been there before, even though I have lived in Brisbane since 2001. Living on the Northside of the city, I only go to the Southside when I need to. The Wynnum Wading Pool was built during the Depression years in the 1930s. It provided work for some of the unemployed people.
The tide was out when I arrived and the pool was pretty shallow. It fills with seawater at high tide and looks like it would be good to swim there then. There are steps down into the pool. I was a bit early which gave me time to walk out on the jetty and look around the playground and Aboriginal sculptures.
The rotary club of Wynnum and Manly commissioned the Quandamooka Jetty Art to mark 50 years of service to this community from 1953 to 2003. Indigenous inhabitants know Moreton Bay and its many Islands as Quandamooka. Winnam is a local Aboriginal word for the pandanus tree, which was used extensively for food by the Aboriginal people who have lived in the area for at least 20,000 years.
When the others arrived, we walked north and headed for the Mangrove Board Walk. This 530m boardwalk takes you deep into the heart of a grey mangrove Avicennia marina forest. Rich river silt fed from the Brisbane River provides ideal growing conditions for both the grey mangrove and a small number of red mangroves Rhizophora stylose. Mangroves are vital to the lifecycle of plants and animals by providing habitat for spawning and juvenile fish, prawns and crabs. Bacteria break down fallen mangrove leaves and seeds and convert them into nutrients that are released into the water for other organisms to use.
We stopped a lot along the way to read the information boards and watch the crabs and birds. We also passed some trees covered with sleeping bats on the way. The birds were not concerned at all about us. Even though we were very close to them, they just kept scavenging around in the mangroves for food. In one area there were four different species of birds feeding together in the mangroves. We saw a Royal Spoonbill, Ibis, heron and an egret. We also saw lots of ducks and small bush birds.
We only walked about six kilometres as we went slowly and had lots of stops along the way to enjoy the environment.
It must be nice to live in the Bayside area close to the water. I used to live in a small beachside suburb north of Townsville and loved living near the sea and going to sleep to the sound of the waves.
It was good to do this walk when the tide was out, especially when we got to the Mangrove boardwalk as we saw lots of birds feeding in the mangroves and some crabs. The tide did come in while we were walking and the area was still very beautiful.
We kept walking until we reached the bird hide overlooking a migratory and shorebird roosting site. Every summer, thousands of migratory wading birds make their way to Moreton Bay from as far away as Siberia and Mongolia. We missed the migrating birds because it was autumn, but we did see a lot of other beautiful Queensland birds on this walk.
We had intended to walk further towards Manly on the Wynnum-Manly foreshore after returning to the wading pool, but we decided to have coffee and fish and chips instead at a nearby cafe before heading home.
Manly is three kilometres from Wynnum. The path between the two areas is wide and meanders beside the water. I am sure it is very popular with runners, walkers and cyclists. I will have to return to do that walk another time.
I grew up on the hill just above the boardwalk. Had a great view of the bay, and often went for swims in the wading pool, and also cycling or walking along the foreshore. If you go past Manly and the boat harbour on to Lota, there is a great park where even now I regularly meet with friends from my school days.