Birds of Warriewood - Where to Look
Sunday August 21, 2011
[From the trip Birds of Sydney's Northern Beaches]
Starting at the Garden St entrance (note that a few sightings of Black Bittern have been made along the creek passing under Garden St), you walk into a timbered section of the wetland. The immediate are next to the road is a good area for White-cheeked Honeyeaters and Rose Robins in winter, and Black-faced Monarchs and Sacred Kingfishers in summer. By walking along the track, you may spot Red-browed Finches, White-throated Treecreepers, Laughing Kookaburras, Brown Gerygones and if you’re very quiet, maybe a Buff-banded Rail (crakes are also around apparently, but I’ve never seen one here). Spotted Pardalote are occasionally in the trees, and Rainbow, Scaly and Little Lorikeets can be seen if the Swamp Mahoganys are flowering. Swift Parrots have also been recorded in the reserve during winter months.
As the boardwalk rises so it is a few metres above the ground, you will start seeing waterbirds. Purple Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, Pacific Black Duck, Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal and Mallard are all common. Variegated Fairy-wrens can be seen sometimes, and in summer there is always a chance for Australasian Reed-warbler, Tawny Grassbird and Latham’s Snipe. Great Egrets and Royal Spoonbills are possible (as are crakes and rails).
I have always found this raised boardwalk one of the best locations in Warriewood to spot raptors, as it gives you a wide, treeless view across much of the reserve. I have previously seen Brown Goshawk, Grey Goshawk and Swamp Harrier while on this walk.
At the end (when you enter the casuarina grove), continue walking around to the left of the playground and head along the road towards the shopping centre. Walking along the back of the shopping centre sometimes gives nice surprises (eg: Diamond Python lying in a puddle once), but is generally not a very good location for birds.
You will re-enter the reserve when you walk past the shopping centre, then there is another boardwalk on your left. Follow this, looking out for Reed-warblers. This is one of the less healthy parts of the reserve in my opinion, but is another good spot to see raptors.
At the very end of this track, back on the west side of the reserve, there are two large ponds which often turn up some birds that aren’t around in the other parts of the wetland. By scanning each pond, you may pick up Australasian Grebe, Royal Spoonbill, Great Egret, Black and Little Pied Cormorants. A pair of Little Bittern were present in the left pond for a month or so in 2006, but none have been seen since.
Continuing along the track (following it to the left), you walk along the side of the reserve. Along this track, I have seen Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Long-billed Corellas, Galahs, Silvereyes and Masked Lapwings. By staying with the reserve on your left, you will get back to Garden St where you started.