Percival Hill

Sat 20 October 2018 08:00am

John Harris

Meet at 8.00am on the dam wall of Gungahlin Pond. About a kilometre from the junction of Gundaroo Drive and the Barton Highway, turn into Candlebark Close. Drive to the end of Candlebark and park there, or in one of the little side streets like Platypus or Lyrebird. The dam wall will be obvious from anywhere there and we will meet in the middle.

Percival Hill never disappoints. There are several different habitats which are usually very active in spring. Percival Hill rises from reedy Ginninderra Creek. While much of the eastern slope of Percival Hill is new growth, planted about 20 years ago by Landcare but getting quite mature now, there is a significant old growth stand on its west. Expect well over 30 species on the list.

Post event report

The dramatic highlight of the walk on Percival Hill took place in the remnant old growth forest on the western side of the hill. Larger nesting holes there were occupied by parrots and cockatoos but the smaller holes were occupied by Striated Pardalotes. A pair of Sacred Kingfishers were hunting in the trees. We saw them taking small lizards, etc. They then turned their attention to the pardalotes. They were able to attack the nesting sites, drive the nesting birds away and raid the nests. We watched this drama unfold for about half an hour, both mesmerised and saddened at the same time. We know it was ‘nature being red in tooth and claw’ but it was sad to observe.  Nevertheless, we all knew it to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a unique bird-watching event which could never be planned but which rewarded those of us who dedicated our Saturday morning to the hope of finding something interesting. We certainly did.

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