While I was in Melbourne the other day, I spent some time in Braeside Park. These introductory notes from the Parks Victoria website are a good summary of the place...
Braeside Park is a large, natural area in a suburban sandbelt. Nestled amongst golf courses, urban development and busy roads, it has the quality of an oasis. The park offers easy walking and cycling trails that meander through three very distinct environments - wetlands, heathland and red gum woodland. The 312 hectares offer a peaceful interlude with picturesque views.
Like most other places around this corner of the world at present, the place was dry. In some of the wetland ponds, the water was replaced with dried and cracked mud.
There were plenty of rabbits chewing down the grasslands and leaving their calling cards around the tracks.
Disappointingly, these were not the only 'ferals' I came across. The following pic was taken from the wetland bird hide...
Enough of the bad news.
I got to see a couple of bird species we don't see often in Gippsland. The Red-rumped Parrot is meant to be fairly widespread in the south-east corner of the country, but I don't recall seeing one around here.
When you look at the distribution map for the Crested Pigeon, they're nearly everywhere else except around here, so this is probably a pretty common sight to most of you readers. Reported sightings in this area are getting a little more frequent, so no doubt I'll be more accustomed to seeing this bird as time goes by.
Like the water, the water birds were a little scarce. I did manage to spot a small group of Pelicans as they swam and flew away from those foxes.
Just as an aside -
Almost at the end of my walk, I came across 4 elderly gentlemen standing right beside a DO NOT FEED THE DUCKS sign, feeding bread to some ducks.
Me: "Excuse me, can't you read the sign?"
One Smart Elderly Gent: "Yeah, we can read it, would you like some help to read it too?"
Me, taken aback: "Doesn't seem you can read it. Either that or you're all ignorant, which is it?"
(I'd summed the situation up in my mind at this stage - I reckoned I could outrun any of them.)
Elderly Gent(s): "Hrmph...", and they just carried on throwing bread to the ducks!
I slunk off, there wasn't much else to do.
Oh, and another thing -
I met heaps of walkers around the tracks, and one actually spoke to me, (apart from the duck feeders). Everyone else avoided my eyes or were listening to Ipods etc, or talking on their mobile phones!
Still, I ticked a Red-rumped Parrot.