ANZAC Day at Shore Bird Reserve

On Anzac Day, we went for a drive down to Taren Point (south of Sydney), which is about 15 minutes from where we live, looking for a new place to go for a walk. It was cool and windy in the morning, but we found a lovely sheltered foreshore area to explore. Taren Point is where Georges River comes out in to Botany Bay. It’s connected to the opposite side of the river by the Captain Cook’s Bridge. I suppose you could describe the suburb has semi-industrialised – it’s a very busy area.

Just a couple of blocks away from the bustle is the Taren Point Shorebird Reserve. The Reserve was upgraded by Sutherland Shire Council and turned from a grassy flat with a bit of sand to a protected peaceful area for some of the endangered shore birds in the area and any people who happened to wander through.

You can get more info on the upgrade including some before and after shots from council’s website. Below are the photos I took on Wednesday.

 

Taren Point Shorebird Reserve

 

This grassy area is between the footpath and the beach, and looks ideal for birds on the hunt for some prime nesting space. The clumps of grass are well established and look durable – birds, wandering crustaceans, high tide, weather. Just what any bird would want!

 

 

 

The beach is narrow and the water shallow. I don’t know if I would bother going for a swim here but if you live close by and it was a hot hot day…. There’s a semi private boat ramp at the distant end so from here you could take your boat either up the Georges River or out into the bay for a few hours of fishing or crabbing.

 

 

 

The posts sticking out of the mud here are actually the foundations for a viewing platform the local council are installing. You can see how clumpy the grass is here too, much more preferable for nesting in than the flat unprotected lawn that was here previously.

 

 

 

Council call this a passive reserve for walking and bike-riding. Signs state that you can walk or ride to Sans Souci from here, which is on the other side of the river so I presume that the path links to the bridge. Perhaps we’ll walk the bridge next time we’re feeling energetic.

 

 

A short walk away from the Shorebird Reserve (away from the bridge) are the remains of an Oyster Farm. The shoreline here is at least a foot deep in oyster shells so I suppose it could be considered a modern-day midden.

I found out the other day that middens can be identified by the fact that only short grass grows over them so they quite often look like mowed patches perfect for picnicking on.

 

I was looking into the sun on this shot – a bit too much light for my phone to handle. The only structure left of this old oyster farm is a few cement slabs, a rusty gate, an assortment of poles in the water, and, hidden in the mangroves, a pile of rusted oyster trays.

 

 

This spot is a little further along again and is part of the St George & Sutherland Shire Anglers Club land. The mangroves along here were full of birds, but they were mostly crows who have obviously found a nice safe place to hang out. They looked a little put out when I wandered underneath them.

The sand in among the mangrove trees was actually white while out in the open area it is more like mud and is full of broken oyster shells, rocks, and mangrove roots.

 

Just behind this tiny mangrove beach is the start of the foreshore industrial area. It’s all fenced off but not at all pretty so we weren’t tempted to try and walk further anyway. There is a disused paddock of bitumen just here as well, which we suspect may one day be turned into either a modern industrial complex (very common in the area) or a retirement village.

It was a lovely way to stretch the legs after watching the Anzac March on telly (I’m too lazy to go to a dawn service or head into the city and watch the march in person). We headed home again after this and watched the Gallipolli Dawn Service.

A day of thought and reflection of what was and what we have to be thankful for.

For non-Australians, ANZAC day is held every April 25th and is a day of commemoration for the armed forces and support services.

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