March Wednesday Walk to Bluetts Block

Wed 18 March 2020 08:30am

Martin Butterfield, Jean Casburn

Bluetts Block Uriarra Road WW 18 March 2020 – 8.30am

Bluetts is a densely forested reserve with extensive heath in much of the understory.  A fire trail leads up a steep hill from the white gate and there are some pleasing views across Denman Prospect development towards Black Mountain.    Bird and flower species vary throughout the year, and the forest rings with birdcalls in spring.   Chestnut-rumped Heathwren have been seen to breed here.

The walk will also traverse some grassland off track. Sturdy boots or shoes are suggested because stones on the slope of the fire trail can be slippery.

How to get to Bluetts: Go to Stromlo Forest Park roundabout and turn on to Uriarra Road.  Travel about 2.5km to the place where a bicycle path enters the roadside on the left hand side of the road. This would be a useful place to turn your car and travel back towards Stromlo Forest Park to park outside a gateway clearly labelled Denman Prospect Gate 3.  Be careful if turning across the road at this point as traffic flows swiftly.

Post event report

24 members and guests gathered, at social distances, on Urriara Rd on a fine and mild morning.

Thank you to Jean Casburn for leading this walk through a very interesting patch of bush.  Those with long memories will recall it being threatened with conversion to a motocross track but saved by lobbying from COG and other groups concerned with conserving what remained of the Bush Capital.  The list of species seen on this walk justifies the conservation effort.

The highlights were Speckled Warbler (2) and Red-capped Robin (2).  In both cases these were heard within the first kilometre of the walk and then sighted very well in the last kilometre.  We also saw at least 9 Scarlet Robins: either the fire has pushed them out of Namadgi or reports of their demise are a little premature.  2 Eastern Yellow Robins completed the expected trio.

The most common bird was Grey Fantail with 19 birds marked off.  This was a very conservative estimate as they were everywhere.  Possibly ‘X’ would have been the more accurate report measure as they were present in highly mobile little groups.  Also surprisingly common were Golden Whistlers with at least 7 birds seen.

A Grey Currawong provided a lifer for some visitors.

We saw a few honeyeater species.  With regard to the usual species of interest at this time of year – Yellow-faced Honeyeater – we saw one flock of 5 birds flying with purpose.  Surprisingly they were heading West, rather than East!


All up 41 species were recorded.


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