A perfect autumn day encouraged many Field Nats out to Garth and Mary Hockly’s property near Ravensbourne. The Hocklys purchased their 105-acre block in 1988 but did not move on to the land until 1996. The property was overrun with Lantana, but had a beautiful creek and there were stands of tall eucalypt. Now, 20 years on, an avenue of deciduous trees in autumn colour, sweeping lawns, flowering shrubs and a beautiful rainforest are testament to the Hocklys’ vision, enthusiasm, and hours of hard work.
Garth guided members on a leisurely walk through a section of the rainforest, naming the hundreds of trees and understorey plants that he and Mary have planted. Morning tea on their verandah was followed by a walk in a eucalypt and rainforest regeneration area. Within a glade in this area the Hocklys have created a bird-watching space with a bird bath and bird feeding table. This lovely space was our lunch venue, surrounded by bird song and the occasional bird that was brave enough to come down to feed despite the large audience. Most members returned home after lunch, but a few went on to Gus Beutel’s Lookout. A big ‘thank you’ to Garth and Mary for their generosity in allowing us access to the beautiful place they call home.
Bird List for Garth & Mary Hockly’s Property (Complied by Tricia Allen from Members’ sightings)
Pacific Black Duck, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Tree-creeper, Spotted Pardalote, White-browed Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Weebill, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Brown Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin, Eastern Whipbird, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Fantail, Willy Wagtail, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Green Catbird, Red-browed Finch.
Members saw platelets (small bare circular depressions) of Black-breasted Button Quail, which pleased the Hockly’s as they hadn’t sighted the birds for about five years.
Report by Deb Ford