June 24 - 30, 2012: Issue 64                                

Top: 2012 Mayoral Walk. Above: White-faced Blue Heron. 

 Pittwater’s Backyards and Frontyards                

Last Sunday, 17th of June, the annual Mayoral Walk, which was attended this year by our current mayor, Cr. Harvey Rose, took participants on a lovely walk alongside the Careel creek and Careel Bay salt marshlands. Apart from being a brilliant sunny day, those attending were introduced to some of the flora and fauna that inhabits this lovely wetland and provided with informative handouts and binoculars to enable them to appreciate some of the waterbirds without encroaching on their territories. Such activities bring home the experience of having a backyard that is bush and trees filled with wonderful birds and a frontyard that is estuarine or oceanic. 

Pittwater Council and the dedicated staff at the Coastal Environment Centre provide a number of Free Walks during the year in our local coastal and estuarine reserves which are always educational, great fun and a chance to meet some of those who so hard to regenerate these areas. Also attending Sunday’s walk were Christine Martin (Careel Bay Pittwater Protection Group) and Marita Macrae (Pittwater Natural Heritage Association), and CEC staff Karen and Sonja, four people who between them have a large font of knowledge on local birds and the bush.

Careel Bay is of high conservation value and is an exceptionally biologically rich and diverse estuarine habitat. The estuary includes swamp oak, woodland, remnant patches of salt marsh, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and extensive tidal mudflats. 

After welcoming and thanking those who were joining them on this walk, Mayor of Pittwater. Cr. Harvey Rose, handed the proceedings over to those who were showing all around. The focus of this walk was to share knowledge on the local area, to speak to those who had longer memories and gather historical recoirds, particularly as this area was once a tip, and look at the bushcare that’s been done alongside the creek and at the north end of Careel bay in restoration works, see the salt marsh and mangroves and end up in the mudflats. This general tour of the area included a bit of bird spotting with Council staff providing binoculars to all who wanted them.

In introducing the guests to what would be covered in the walk a current Water quality study at Careel Bay of the creek and the migratory birds that visit Careel Bay, and asking all residents to go online and have some input was stressed. Resident’s history and knowledge of the area, so Council can do a better job in managing in the area; creek water quality and migratory birds, is highly valued. One of the handouts; Narrabeen lagoon catchment wildlife survey; a wild life reporting form which can be adapted to all areas in Pittwater, and on which residents can note where you are and any significant sightseeing you’d like Council to be aware of, helps CEC staff know and record where fauna is. 

On the Pittwater Council website there is a page dedicated to Wildlife Watch. This is a community based project which is part of Project SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction). You do not have to be an expert to become a Wildlife Watch participant. Everyone can contribute to the Pittwater Council’s Wildlife Watch Database. From the Wildlife Watch page:

By observing the wildlife in your area of Pittwater, or even just in your own backyard, not only will you be helping to build an informative picture of our local fauna, but you will contribute in the development of appropriate management strategies which will help to protect and conserve our native animals.

At the same time you will be enriched by discovering information about our native fauna, how you can help protect them and just what fascinating creatures still coexist with us in Pittwater!


Coastal Environment Centre

Online Fauna Reporting Form

Wildlife Watch Observation Sheet

Guidelines for using the Wildlife Watch Observation Sheet Codes

National Parks & Wildlife Service flora & fauna sightings recording sheet

From; www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/environment/get_involved/wildlife_watch

 All Images by Michael Mannington, Volunteer Photography, June 2012. All Rights Reserved.