Woodlands Historic Park

Hey, this is where I spend most of the time.

So the page will have to wait till I get back with some new photos.

But you could google it, just to keep yourself amused.

Try here

Somerton Road Carpark

This is where most of us start off visiting.  Its advantages are easy, off road parking, plenty of picnic tables, and bbqs and a number of well made and maintained walking tracks that go along Moonee Ponds Creek, and up to Woodlands Hill lookout and to the homestead.  It can also be a great place for birds.  In 10 minutes on one occasion we bagged 27 species, without leaving the carpark itself.  The creek tracks have plenty of little birds, wrens, pardolottes, wagtails, and fantails, as well as honey-eaters, parrots and weebills.  The wagtails use the area extensively in breeding and it is not unusal to find 4 -6 nesting activities without getting of the roadway.

Moonee Ponds Creek Nature Walk.

This is constructed to take you away from the carpark on one side of the creek, and bring you back on the other side of the creek.  Again it can be very active. Lots of small shrubs, prickly wattles and the like provide homes or small birds.  Kookaburras nest in the trees, and occassionaly a Brown Goshawk can be spotted slipping quietly between branches.  Brown Falcons overhead will often be seen.

Western Paddock.

My name for the area that is west of the homestead and north of the horse paddocks at Living Legends. It is a large open area with a few redgums and bordered with redgums in the creekline.  Brown Falcons have it as a territory, Nankeen Kestrels have nested there in years past, and cuckoos Horsfields, Shining Bronze Pallid  and Fantail, are there in the early spring/summer. An occasional visitor are numbers of Rufous Songlark, with its incessant “Whitcha Whit Whicta” call.

Homestead Precinct.

Around the Woodlands Historic Homestead are opportunities for a range of birds from Magpies, parrots, crested pigeons and small birds.  There is a vegetable garden half way up the hill defended by familes of Superb Fairy Wrens.

Liviing Legends Paddocks.

Here is where the racehorse retirees are kept.  Because of the ease of food, ravens, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, and seed birds are in constant attendance. It also is a good mouse hunting area for Kestrels, Hobbys and Goshawks.

On the creekline Woodducks, and Herons are regularly seen. Pardolottes own all the nesting trees. White-winged Choughs have recently been nesting along the creekline.

Old Church and Paddocks.

This is the south-western most part of the park, and runs along Oaklands road.  The access to the main parking at the Homestead and access to Living Legends is also here.

Similar to the West Paddock, and with the small area ,where the church used to stand until it was moved, which has an interesting mix of exotic and local plants. Can often be a roosting area for Ravens.

The paddocks that run down to the Moonee Ponds Creek are nesting areas for Songlarks and Skylarks. The Kestrels take a suprising number of these birds to feed their young. My count in 2011 season was over 300 birds.

Parolottes inhabit all the dead trees, and the cuckoos are in action in summer.

Moonee Ponds creek to the Billabongs.

A broad flat area of floodplain along the creek. Plenty of old River Redgums, and in good years of rain, the Billbongs come alive with frogs and the big waders are plentiful. Also raptors such as Whistling Kites hunt from the trees, along the main Sunbury Road and into the Airport precinct.

Woodlands Hill

Highest Point in the western part of the park. Lovely views over the surrounding paddocks and airport. Can be useful for spotting raptors, and a number of bush birds reside in the trees along with a vast mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

The Sugar Gums

Cumberland

Lower Back Paddock

Middle Back Paddock

The former Banded Bandicoot enclosure

Backpaddock Mapshelter area

The Pipeline Ridge

Gellibrand Hill

Toward the Police Paddocks.

West of the cemetery

I label this area “Two Bottles”, but the joke is probably too old to repeat here. Has some excellent prickly wattle strands and a good stand of Black Wattle.  The rest is mature Grey Box, with some very young trees coming on.  Can be a good morning or afternoon feeding area for the winter flocks.  Was once patrolled by a pair of Red-capped Robins, and their real and pretend nests are still visible. However they seem to have either moved on, or are no longer defending. The tree lines run down to the Old Dam. So there is some overlap on species in here. My best call was some Grey Currawongs

 

Paradise Road

A short-cut gravel road from Somerton Road to sealed road of Mickelham Road. There are several access points to the park, 1 goes into the Northern Sugar Gums, and one goes through the Central Sugar Gums and out toward Woodlands Hill.  The area part way along before the sugar gums can be a great spot along the creek runoff areas

Big Paddocks.

This is on the East side of Paradise Road. Large open areas, used by horse riders, it has a few patches of light scrub, and occasionally the Choughs will work through the area. Also seen by locals as the ideal place to dump large truck and trailer loads  of refuse.  A pity.  However to the credit of Hume council and Parks Vic, it is regularly patrolled and the eyesores are removed.

The Dam near Old Northern Hospital Site.

This is just about South West from the Paradise Carpark. There are lots of tracks that all run in that direction through the open forest.  The longer way is to walk down the main Access Track to the power line cutting, and follow it down, it ends at the dam.

Haven for a few water birds, and does provide honeyeaters, Eastern Shrike-tits, a pair of Little Eagles (2012) and a collection of robins and Black-faced Shrikethrush. Also used by a variety of birds for nesting locations, including numbers of Grey Shrike-thrush, and their delightful call.  I think as of 2012 there is also a pair of resident Rufous Whistlers.

The Watertower Hill

Access track to Sugar Gums

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