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Friday, June 14, 2019

Bushy Park Wetlands

My visit of June 30, 2019.

Bushy Park Wetlands is a 30 ha conservation park nestled at the north eastern edge of Glen Waverley, 25 km east of the Melbourne CBD.

The Park is bounded at the north by a remnant orchard accessed from the eastern end of Highbury Road. The southern boundary, near the pony club at Drummies Bridge Reserve, is accessed from High Street Road. The Park's eastern boundary is Dandenong Creek and its western boundary is formed by residential properties in King Arthur Drive and Knights Drive.

A section of the Dandenong Creek Trail provides vantage points overlooking the scenic wetlands.

Originally, the land was timbered with Yarra Gum (Eucalyptus yarraensis) and about 65 other species of native trees, shrubs and grasses. The Woiworung Aboriginal tribe roamed through the area in search of food for thousands of years before European settlement. In 1839, Thomas Napier obtained a lease to run cattle, but just a year later he transferred the lease to Alexander Scott, whose wife Madeline named her home on the east of Dandenong Creek "Bushy Park". A succession of owners cleared the timber. Acacia bark was used in the production of tannin to tan hides. The land was used to run cattle, as a market garden, for cut flowers and as an orchard.

By 1981, the land was acquired by the former Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works for use as a park and wetland.

Today Parks Victoria designates most of the area as a conservation zone, although some of the area is agisted for equestrian needs.

An amazing 90 bird species have been recorded in the area, ranging from water birds to bushland and farmland birds. You are likely to see pelicans and ducks on the northern and southern lakes. Spoonbills and herons may be observed searching for food at the water's edge.

Use the bird hide and interpretive signage to help see and identify as many birds as you can (also accessible for wheelchairs).

On the grasslands, insects, perhaps stirred up by the cattle, attract Willy Wagtails, Magpies and Cattle Egrets. White Cockatoos, Galahs and White Ibis are often seen perched on tree branches. Overhead can be spotted the Black-shouldered Kite featured on the brand image for Bushy Park and other birds of prey like Brown Falcons and Australian Kestrels.

The wetland area is inundated throughout the winter and has two areas of permanent water which are surrounded by native rushes, sedges and exotic grasses. The remaining wetland area, creek reserve and small blocks of original valley sclerophyll forest form an important link in the vegetation corridor of Dandenong Valley Parklands.


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