COG explores the Woodstock NR Superhighway

11 members of COG braved the weather forecast (and indeed the early look of the weather)
 for what turned out to be a top exploration of Woodstock Nature Reserve in the Murrumbidgee River Corridor.  A pedant could even say it was a top to bottom exploration as we ended up at the River ....
... which had a very good flow.
Our path is shown by the red blobs ....
...  and was down a very high quality dirt road over a huge gully crossing.
(Note that members were still looking cold!)  There was much speculation as to why so much money had been spent on the track, especially as it ends up in the middle of nowhere.  A CNP staffer has explained that the area is a strategic site for fire control and there is a lot of water quality work done downstream.  Thus they need reliable access: a very fair answer. 

To begin with we were seeing or hearing quite a few of the common bush birds with excellent views of a Golden Whistler being appreciated. At the bottom of the first hill produced a male Scarlet Robin,
 at least two   Eastern Yellow Robins
and a male Flame Robin which was camera shy.

Moving on we watched with great delight a White-bellied Sea-eagle
soar along the opposite escarpment from Urriara Crossing downstream past the old Ginninderra Falls.  Shortly thereafter the first of three Wedge-tailed Eagles (all present at once a little later) appeared.
Then the noise level increased as 3 Peregrine Falcons appeared around the cliffs below the lookout.  One bird in particular performed a very high speed stoop diagonally across the sky.

Other more interesting birds were a roosting pair of Tawny Frogmouths (in the same area where a member of the group had seen them a year ago);
at least 20 Little Black Cormorants fishing in the river; a Black-shouldered Kite, 3 Gang-gangs, 2 New Holland Honeyeaters  and 2 Double-barred finches.  We totalled 38 species, and a full list will appear on the COG website in due course.

A few other interesting (to me at least) things appeared here and there.

Although it has been a rather dry period around Canberra there was a good crop of moss on this rock.
I was unsure if this was a former dragonfly or if the weight of raindrops was just preventing it from flying.
It isn't often we see the underside of Shepherds Lookout.
At the turning point (where the road ended) there was a good stand of Allocasuarina.  It was sobering to note that in the floods of a year ago the area was under about 2m of water, as shown by the detritus.

I glanced across the river and saw a lot of black shapes high in a dead tree.  Unfortunately I announced this to the group before my binoculars revealed the cattle on the hill behind the tree.
There were some nice flowers along the way.  First some Westringia (possibly W. eremicola) ...
... and then some Correa reflexa.
As we faced the last hills on the way back we wondered how far there was to go.  A member commented that the small white dot was her car.
I wish we hadn't asked!  As we left we again noticed the threatening sign about penalties for having a dog ($500) camping ($5000 - interesting as under the Conservation Act that should only be $3000).  So if you are camping with your dog and it catches fire you're up for $10,500!


Popular posts from this blog

Insects from pine trees

A tour of the West (part 1)

Maslins beach rules