Black Mountain Nature Reserve

Sun 21 January 2024 08:00am

Julie Hotchin

We will walk for 3-4 km in part of the northern section of the reserve, along management trails and some narrower bush trails, taking 2-3 hours. Most of the walk is flat, with one short section going up an incline (but not steep). We can expect to see a variety of woodlands birds and summer visitors, including the possibility of a Dollarbird. If we’re lucky we may see Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, which has previously been seen in this area.

Wear sturdy shoes, and bring a hat, sunscreen and water.

Meet at 8.00am at the entrance to Black Mountain Nature Reserve on Belconnen Way (if driving west towards Belconnen, the car park is on the left, past the intersection where Dryandra St merges with Belconnen Way. A large sign indicates the entrance and car park. If the car park is full, there is space to park carefully along Belconnen Way.)

Register by email to up to the day before the trip. Please provide your name and contact number, and the name and mobile number of an emergency contact.

Post event report

On a glorious sunny, warm morning, 20 people joined me to explore the north-west section of Black Mountain Nature Reserve. The warm morning meant that it was relatively quiet; several species were heard but too elusive to offer good views.

Several Striated Thornbills were heard in the bushes at the starting point on Belconnen Way. The distinct four note call of a Sacred Kingfisher could be heard as we walked on the Powerline Trail and, after following a bush track to connect to the Link Trail, we saw four Australian Wood Ducks perched in eucalypts and some of the group heard a Common Bronzewing. Further along the Link Trail there were good views of Leaden Flycatchers with young: a male feeding one young and a female with a juvenile. Two more were heard further along the trail.

Continuing on the Link Trail, a single Little Pied Cormorant flew overhead, in the direction of the dam near the Aranda Snowgums, and we had good views of White-throated Treecreeper, Black-faced Cuckooshrike and Noisy Friarbirds. A Brown-headed Honeyeater was heard calling, as were Spotted and Striated Pardalotes. Empty [or unused?] raven nests on the electricity pylons and two unused, probably magpie, nests were also seen. Winding through the bush on the return leg, there was a great view of a Grey Butcherbird on a limb tackling a large insect as well as Buff-rumped and Brown Thornbills. A few members of the group also saw a juvenile Olive-backed Oriole. Parrot species seen or heard were Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Crimson Rosellas, one of which climbed in and out of a hollow before flying off with another. A pair of Australian King Parrots were also seen flying through the bush and were heard several times during the walk. A total of 28 species was recorded for the morning.

Around half of the group were new COG members or people who’d seen or heard the walk promoted on social media and/or ABC radio, and who came along to learn more. Many thanks to Lia Battison for recording the eBird list, and to Lia, Sandra Henderson, Margaret Robertson and Julian Robinson for their assistance in keeping track of the group and answering their questions.

Julie Hotchin


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