Saturday, 12 August 2017

Snowy River Estuary Walk

Snowy River Estuary Walk

The Snowy River Estuary is formed where the Snowy River flows into the Tasman Sea. The lake system that has formed here harbors many types of birds. The beaches and sand-flats are a favourite spot for migrating waders, terns and oystercatchers, while honeyeaters, Eastern Whipbird, Bassian Thrush and thornbills inhabit the gullies around the lakes.

Pelicans in flight

The bird-life around Marlo is well described in the Emu in 1919. "On the points and headlands of these great sands great numbers of water loving birds assemble. Hooded and Red Capped Dotterals and Pied Oyster-catchers patrol them; every submerged bank has its quota of Black Duck and Teal; cormorants and Darter ply ceaselessly to and fro, and Gulls and Terns circle overhead. Curlews cry plaintively along the muddy margins of the river, and the barking of the Little Penguin is hear further out, and at dusk long lines of Black Swan "honk" their way to their feeding-grounds."  [ Dr. Brooke Nicholls , F. Nicholls , W. B. Alexander & Tom Tregellas  (1919) "Down Marlo Way. " Emu-Australian Ornithology, 18:4, 265-272.  http://www.publish.csiro.au/mu/MU918265 ].

Today, some of this wonderful bird-life can be seen from the Snowy River Estuary Walk. This walk starts at Marlo, and ends at Mots Beach Car Park, though you can keep walking until you come to French Narrows. The Walk is 5.1km, and takes around 1 hour 40 minuets one way. (Parks Victoria)

Map of the walk
Imm Pacific Gull

Along the walk, there is a lookout that gives excellent views over the lake and beach. From here you can see many birds feeding and resting on the sands below. 

The lookout

View from the lookout
A good place to start the walk is Sampson Lookout. There you can park your car, and then either head down the steps to the water, or walk along the cliff top on the Snowy River Estuary Walk. This walk soon crosses the Marlo-Conran Rd. You then walk though a stand of Mahogany, Banksia and Wattle. This is a popular location for White Throated Treecreeper, Eastern Spinebill and thornbills. The walking track then crossed over the Marlo-Conran Rd again, and runs along the cliff top again.

The track ends at Motts Beach carpark, but there are steps going down to the lake, and a boardwalk/walking track that continues to French Narrows. This walk is definitely worth doing, as here you can see Egrets, Azure Kingfisher, cormorants and spoonbills.



There are a number of informative signs along the way. 



Pelicans

Great Egrets

Great Egret
Little Egret