Flat Rock Creeek to Middle Harbour, Sydney
2007 New South Wales trip report #25
While we were staying with our son in Sydney he decided to take an afternoon off from work (he works at home) and take us on a walk from Artarmon along Flat Rock Creek to Middle Harbour. This harbour is a small part of the greater Sydney Harbour.
The walking track took us through nearby suburbs and we enjoyed looking over people’s back fences into their gardens. The track also took us under several major roads and a freeway. Most of the first part was a sealed or concrete walking path shared with cyclists. This first part didn’t yield many interesting birds but it was a very enjoyable walk anyway.
The track then changes to a narrow dirt track and plunges quickly 50 or 60 metres down into Flat Rock Creek. When we reached the creek bed the path then follows the creek along to the harbour. I was not surprised to see Laughing Kookaburras along this part, and observed on flying in a hollow. This could indicate nesting but the hollow was too far away over the creek to investigate further. Pied Currawongs were seen and heard frequently as were Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Superb Fairy-wrens flitted in and out of the bushes along the path, but never stopping long enough for a photo.
At one stage I saw several Red-whiskered Bulbuls but couldn’t get a clear shot of one. I did manage to get a nice shot on the return walk. This was a new bird for the trip list and a nice one to see despite it being an introduced species. I’ve only ever seen it about three times in total.
I was also delighted to see two Chestnut Teal, a male and a female, swimming in the creek which at that point seemed rather polluted. Nearby several Red-browed Finches caught our attention and White-browed Scrubwrens called from nearby bushes. Noisy Miners were everywhere and we heard several Striated Pardalotes, a Grey Butcherbird, several Australian Magpies and the occasional Australian Raven flew overhead.
I haven’t seen too many pigeons and doves in this part of Sydney, but on our walk I saw Crested Pigeons, Rock Doves and Spotted Turtledoves. Thankfully not too many Indian Mynas were seen in this part of the city. I saw no House Sparrows; they seem to be absent from around here. At the harbour we saw Welcome Swallows and Silver Gulls.
On the return walk I only added Common Koel to the list. As this was another “lifer” for the trip I was pleased. This species has just arrived from its spring migration south. The whole walk took just a few minutes short of four hours, the return part being largely uphill with some very steep parts. We were pleased that we achieved this as both of us are not as fit as we should be. Our son thought it was just a pleasant stroll, but then he walks the area nearly every day.