Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 18, 2009

Jewels to Belmont 090618

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:35 am

Jewels Swamp 18th June, 2009.

This morning I went along the old railway line that used to run from Jewels to Belmont. I parked where Kallaroo Avenue crossed over the old railway line at Jewels. It is just down the hill a bit from the intersection of Wommara Avenue and Kallaroo on the road to Redhead at Belmont North. See the spot marked “P” on the map. You can park at the other end of the track at the eastern end of George Street in Belmont. The old railway line used to run between Newcastle and Belmont Station on Railway Parade. It has long since been shut down and part of it now forms the Fernleigh Track which goes from Adamstown to Whitebridge.

jewels map
Map of Jewels to Belmont Train Track

I followed the railway line from Jewels and saw some Superb Fairy-wrens at the start. Further along, there were lots of White-cheeked Honeyeaters. I crossed over the railway line to a sandy track that runs parallel to the train line. The scrub there is mainly Tea Tree Bushes on the sandy soil. Quite a few Little Wattlebirds were squabbling around in the Banksia trees that were scattered amongst the scrub. I also saw an Eastern Spinebill along here and heard quite a few Eastern Whipbirds calling out, but could not see them. I crossed back to the train line which is bordered on both sides by eucalypt trees.

I saw more White-cheeked Honeyeaters, they seem to be the dominant bird species along the track. I also saw some Silvereyes, Grey Fantail and Yellow Thornbill. Half way between Jewels and George street, I turned off along the track to Belmont Oval. On the track I saw a Brush Bronzewing(Phaps elegans) near a puddle of water, and took a photo, but it was too far away and blurry. When I moved closer, it flew off. Further along towards the oval were a few Little Wattlebirds. I could not get across to the oval because there was a raging torrent stopping me at a creek.

Jewels Eucalypt flower
This is the flowers from a eucalypt tree that the honeyeaters feed on.

I turned back towards Jewels when I got to the train line again. I could have gone right towards George Street, but I had been that far about a month ago, and had seen Scarlet Honeyeaters, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and White-throated Treecreepers. I turned left back towards Jewels along the sandy track to the west of the train line. You could also take the dirt road which is on the eastern side of the train line. There is quite a bit of different habitat along this narrow corridor. Nearer towards Jewels I saw a White-browed Scrubwren.

I did not get any decent photos today. It was more of an exploratory mission. Plus it rained for a while and it was overcast and miserable. Not much light around. The next trip around here is to explore the Belmont North swamps which are to the west of the train line. I was going to do it this afternoon, but the rain has been on and off all day. Auf wiederschone…

Jewels Swamp Bird Species List, 18/6/09

Eastern Spinebill
Little Wattlebird
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Eastern Whipbird
Superb Fairy-wren
Grey Fantail
Yellow Thornbill
Brush Bronzewing
White-browed Scrubwren

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