Percival Hill and Ginninderra Creek

Sat 19 July 2014 09:00am

John Harris and Julie Clark

Meet at 9.00 am for a guided walk on Percival Hill and surrounds. People coming from the south should enter Gundaroo Drive from the Barton Highway. In about 500m you come to the Crace roundabout.  Go through the roundabout and IMMEDIATELY  mount the kerb to the left before you reach the information sign. Go down the dirt track and stop near the little concrete bunker just ahead of you.  (Coming from the north on Gundaroo Drive, go round Crace roundabout and do the same thing.) If you prefer to park in Crace, it’s only a short walk back across Gundaroo Drive.

We will walk around the forested areas of the hill and descend to Gungahlin Pond, cross the dam wall and return to the cars along Ginninderra Creek. If time and inclination permit, we could make a short detour to Gungahlin Pond if there are interesting water birds. There’s a good new coffee shop in Crace.

John Harris

Post event report

Ten COG members and friends met at 9.00 by Ginninderra Creek on the eastern side of Percival Hill for a walk led by John Harris. The morning was clear and still, with light frost, but a cold wind sprang up later. While still assembling we were treated to a display of unusual antics by a flock of c. 35 Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos, which flew down to the creek and cavorted in the long grass, while others bathed vigorously in the water where it crossed a short concrete causeway. A White-faced Heron gave good views of itself at close range, and a Collared Sparrowhawk flew low overhead. John then led us up the wooded slope and along pathways northward in the direction of Gungahlin Pond. A scattering of passerines was seen en route, and a sizeable mixed feeding flock detained us for some time. It included 4 Double-barred Finches, Scarlet Robins, Weebills, Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, a Willie Wagtail, a Grey Fantail, an immature Golden Whistler and a White-eared Honeyeater. Nearby a party of 5 foraging White-winged Choughs came under sustained aerial attack from 3 or 4 Australian Magpies. The choughs were notable because John had not recorded this species on any previous visits to the site. Other birds seen or heard were Striated Thornbills, Masked Lapwing, Spotted Pardalotes, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and a Grey Shrike-thrush. Distant views of common waterfowl on Gungahlin Pond boosted the species count. Two Collared Sparrowhawks gave a flying display. They were judged not to be a pair as they appeared to be about the same size. A solitary high-flying Australian Pelican was a surprise, and a distant Nankeen Kestrel rounded off the morning. In all, 32 species were recorded. Our thanks are due to John for giving us the benefit of his knowledge of the area, its history and its bird life.


Kevin Windle

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