It’s spring in Western Australia, and at the weekend, MJ and I did a three kilometre easy walk through the AMBERGATE bush reserve just south of Busselton, about a half hour’s drive from my home in Western Australia.

Ambergate Reserve is a 75 hectare reserve located south of Busselton, and at this time of the year the bush is packed with an extensive range of beautiful wildflowers.

The Ambergate area was named by the early British settlers, probably after a town in Derbyshire, England. They lived in tents on the reserve in the 1920s before receiving Government allocations of nearby land to clear for farming.

The rich red wood of the Western Australian jarrah tree – used in house building and furniture

Today, you can follow a very clear loop track which comes out about 300 metres from the entry car park. The Ambergate sign says the track is 4 kilometres, but my fitbit says 3. Perhaps wandering off track was counted?

This fallen dead tree forms an arch over the track
Beware of slipping on gum nuts along the track
Don’t tread on the tiny wildflowers along the track

The reserve contains several threatened flora and fauna species and threatened ecological vegetation communities. A nice way to pass a few hours with my Sony 7iii and a macro lense. You might also spot some unexpected sights, like this burnt out tree stump capped with a beanie. Some soul wandering through in winter perhaps thought the old tree needed a warmer?

I’m no botanist, so I can’t identify the flowers I saw – except that they are all spring time wildflowers and include some wild orchids.

There’s a lot of wildlife in this small reserve, though on this walk I only spotted birds. But, within the bush are kangaroos, wallabies, quenda(bandicoots), possums, echidna, foxes, mice, geckoes, legless lizards, skinks, and front-fanged snakes such as tiger snakes and black-backed snakes.

The reserve boosts a massive list of birds that you can spot here including tree martins, rainbow bee-eaters, woodswallows, rufous whistlers, striated pardalotes,  western gerygones, parrots, cockatoos and honeyeaters, splendid fairy-wrens, yellow-rumped thorn bills and  Silvereyes, wattlebirds, kites, goshawks, eagles, falcons honeyeaters, robins and fantails. Not forgetting that picnic spoiler, the laughing kookaburra! The ace of whipping food out of your hand!

Unfortunately, the only lens I had with me was my macro, and that’s not much good for little birds that are quick to fly away if you try to get close. Plus, I’m wary of those snakes in undergrowth as the weather warms up, so I don’t stray far from the bush track. However, the macro did capture a few photos of a scarlet robin. I’m amazed they turned out as he was some distance from me.

MJ bird watching

Sometimes little trips from home are just as interesting as far away travel!

Talking about far away travel – I’m currently in the final planning stage for my first international adventure since 2019 – pre covid. Regular readers of my blog can probably guess where! I’m finding a lot has changed in preparing for and embarking on international travel since Covid. I’ll have that story later this week.

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