It was a clear and sunny day when 15 members set out to Bill and Elaine Murray’s beautiful property at Back Creek, located 25 minutes out of town.
On May 19, Gloucester Environment Group (GEG) arrived spotting the highest hill on the property from the house. It looked wooded and far away.
At the beginning of the walk we split into two groups. Three members decided to take the gentler, shorter walk and 12 of us decided to brave it to the top.
Even before we arrived some of us noticed a magnificent Pheasant Coucal sitting on the wire, and several Lewin’s rails crossed the little used dirt road right in front of our car.
Bill reported seeing these birds and described them in some detail but were never identified until our visit.
The native cedar trees were losing their leaves. In the past they were the first trees to be targeted by the loggers. It was explained these trees remained on this property because they were not straight but gnarled.
We were now passing a dam with Australasian grebes, Pacific black ducks, wood ducks and moorhens.
The trees around the dam had Crested Pigeons, Crimson Rosellas, Pied Butcher birds, Magpies, Eastern Rosellas, Superb Blue Wrens, Willy Wagtails, we heard the sound of Whipbirds, Spotted Pardalotes and Red Browed Finches.
Now past the dam the slope got steeper and we arrived at the spot where Elaine, her two grandsons, aged six and eight, and I had arrived weeks earlier and could not go on to the top because of the impenetrable undergrowth.
Bill however had since my initial visit hacked a path through it and we now could continue to the top and what a magnificent view it was.
Somebody had consulted the GPS and told us we were at a height of 465 metres. During our morning tea break here at the top a Varied Triller appeared.
A substantial fire was burning in the distance.
After a rest the walk continued along the fence and we were now mostly going downhill.
On the ridge at close distance a Wedge-tailed Eagle drifted by, had a look at us and disappeared.
After a four-hour walk we returned to the house.
Bill had made some seriously yummy cookies and Elaine presented the walkers with a freshly baked decadent chocolate cake.
The next GEG walk will be on June 16 .
Walk the challenging Corker Trail to Careys Peak.
Meeting time is 7.15am for 7.30am departure from Billabong Park.
If interested, contact Alyson Lyon on email alisonlyoninoz@hotmail com or phone 0409 718 795.