Monday, July 8, 2013

Treecreepers deep in The 100 Acres

I have visited this reserve in the Melbourne suburb of Park Orchards on a few occasions now. On each visit I have enjoyed getting lost in the myriad of marked and unmarked trails! Imaginatively called "The 100 Acres" the reserve is sometimes described as containing "preserved bushland". The educational signage points out that the area had been developed for farming and orchards in the 1800s. Bob Padula provides a little of the reserve's history in his bushwalking blog here.

On this day White-throated treecreeper caught my eye (well actually my ear in the first instance, the incessant piping making its presence very obvious). I followed it to this tree where it spent a good two minutes picking some sort of nutrition from this .... is it a fungus? The bird appeared to be extracting insects from this thing apparently growing from a flaw in the tree some 3 metres above the ground.

White-throated treecreeper (26 June 2013)
Whatever this growth was, it's underside had endured quite a bit of earlier pecking!
Whenever I get a chance to photograph treecreepers I do love enlarging the view of those amazing claws. Not great pictures here but do have a look!

White-throated treecrepeer Cormobates leucophaea with a snack

Superb fairy-wren eclipse male (female below)

Grey shrike-thrush
Golden whistler (female)

I reckon this map only represents half of the trails that you come across. Conversely a few that are marked here are actually quite overgrown. This does all result in a feeling of exploration and isolation in suburbia! 

There is quite a nice collection of birds to be seen here. Being near my home, The 100 Acres provides my closest reliable vantage point for some of these species! The Eremaea species list also provides a good description of the habitat(s):
"Significant bushland remnant, contains five communities of native plants which include stringy bark/box peppermint open forest on the ridges and southern slopes; red box open forest on exposed northern slopes in the eastern section; candlebark open forest on lower north-west slopes and on north-east and south-east slopes; manna gum/swamp gum in gullies and aquatic communities scattered on stream lines. Located in the suburb of Park Orchards in the north-east of Melbourne. Melway Map 35 F9. 24-hour public access. Criss-crossed with walking tracks."
Other links:
  • There's been a bit of a local newspaper debate (read "whinge") about the prohibition of off-lead dogs in the reserve.
  • Manningham Council's 2010 Draft Management Plan for The 100 Acres includes references to weed control, planting of native vegetation, dog walking restrictions etc. On page 103 there is a bird list.
Bird on!


  1. Great place and beautiful collection of birds Pete. My blue wrens, just east of Adelaide, are already in mating plumage, so are the rosellas.

  2. What a strange looking fungus in that tree - and it dwarfs the treecreeper! Nice photos here that show the value of these little urban reserves.

  3. Great photos - the Treecreeper's claws are amazing - no wonder it can climb up like that. I went and read the newspaper article about the park and the dogs on leash laws - Oh Dear!! When will we all learn that domestic pets and wildlife just don't mix!