Green Point - Warners Bay High Project
Many Hands is a joint undertaking of Warners Bay High School and the Lake Macquarie City Council initiated in 2013 by WBHS teacher, Mr Phillip Thompson. This project showcases students abilities whilst assisting the community to learn more about the wonderful features of the Lake Macquarie foreshore and its environs.
Green Point is a beautiful and scenic area popular with both locals and tourists. It provides an abundance of wildlife and activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you enjoy nature walks, bird watching or fishing, Green Point is a must see location of Lake Macquarie.
Green Point has a variety of different ecosystems within its boundaries.
Open forests are usually dominated by evergreen eucalyptuses. Green Points open forests can also be divided into four smaller categories, each with different dominant tree species.
1. Spotted Gum, Grey Ironbark and Small Fruited Grey Gum. 2. Red Bloodwood and Smooth Barked Apple. 3. Forest Red Gum and Small Fruited Grey Gum. 4. Casuarina Swamp Oak and Paperbark.
A littoral rainforest is usually found close to the sea where it is exposed to salt-laden winds and spray, and sandy soil. This small littoral rainforest exists because of the runoff from the slopes above and because it receives the moist onshore winds. It is also protected from the hot northerly winds.
Birdlife of Green Point Foreshore Reserve
Green Point Foreshore Reserve is home to a wide variety of birdlife. The best time to see birds is usually early in the morning or at dusk, because many birds forage for food at these times. In spring and summer birds are more vocal as they work to attract mates and establish territories. They prefer to do this in the morning when their calls travel further. Remember; if you want to see the wildlife and appreciate the reserve you must be respectful and quiet.
Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)
The Superb Fairywren (also called the Superb Blue Wren) is a small bird of bright colours. The males are colourful and mainly blue-black while the females are a light brown. Their average height is 14cm and their call is mainly a musical trill. The superb fairywren prefers dense scrub and wooded areas. It also likes wetter environments and patches of leaf litter where bugs are plentiful although it appears to have adapted well to urban areas.The diet of the Superb Fairywren consists mainly of insects but they also eat seeds, flowers and fruit and they forage almost constantly throughout the day. Their life span is around 5 years. By the time they are 40 days old they are capable of living independently; however, most usually stay with their family for a year. The breeding season is between spring and late summer. Although mating pairs bond for life it is not unusual for them to court other birds. Males have been known to pick yellow petals that contrast with their plumage to impress females. The females build the nests about a metre above the ground in dense foliage. The males collect the materials but only a female will ever build or repair a nest. The nest is a rounded dome with an entrance on the side closest to the ground. It is mainly comprised of grass and spider webs. In any one season the female lays 3-4 dull, white eggs with reddish-brown splotches. Superb Fairywrens tend to live in groups with a dominant breeding pair. Younger birds mainly help to defend the small territory, raise and feed young. Research suggests that Superb Fairywrens have learned other bird alarm calls and take flight when they recognise a warning.
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)
This little native bird is around 15 cm tall and is commonly seen perching on the side of a tree trunk or other low location. They commonly eat insects, spiders and other arthropods, and catch them by pouncing on them from a low perch. Eastern Yellow Robins prefer wet forests and woodland or coastal thickets but can be found anywhere from dry woodlands to rainforests. They usually nest 5 metres above the ground but can nest over 20 metres high. Their nest is cup shaped and is built in a fork of the tree. It is made out of bark, leaves, twigs and cobwebs and is usually lined and well camouflaged. Eastern Yellow Robins raise up to three chicks in a breeding season but fledglings can be seen with their parents for several months after they have left the nest. They are sometimes seen in small groups but usually hunt alone. Eastern Yellow Robins are very curious but are not common in urban areas.
Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)
The Powerful Owl is the largest bird in the hawk group. The males are generally larger than the females but the average height of each owl is 60 cm. They live for an average of 30 years. The preferred habitat of the Powerful owl is in mountainous regions, coastal forests, gullies, forest margins, woodlands, (including sparse hilly woodlands), scrubs, plantations and urban/rural parks and gardens. The Powerful Owl gets its name from its claws which are heavy and powerful and help the owl to catch its prey. This skilled hunters prey consists of a range of mammals, marsupials and birds. Territories are maintained all year round. The breeding season extends from May to September and the owls mate for life. The males will prepare the nest out of decaying debris and leaf litter in hollows, between 8 and 30 metres above the ground. The female normally lays one or two dull, white, oval shaped eggs. The male brings the female and the young food at the beginning of the breeding season; however, later in the season the female hunts as well. The young fledge at around 6-7 months but often stay within the territory of their parents for over a year. Sadly, studies show that Powerful Owls only nest in trees that are over 150 years old and as these old trees disappear so do the owls. The Powerful Owl is listed as vulnerable in The Threatened Species Conservation Act of NSW.
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)
The name, Galah, comes from the word gilaa, a word found in the Yuwaalaraay language of the indigenous people of central northern NSW. Also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo and roseate cockatoo, it is one of the most widespread breeds of cockatoo and can be found in most parts of mainland Australia. The Galah is very common in urban and metropolitan areas and has adapted very well to this environment. In some areas these birds are considered pests because when they feed they fly in noisy, large flocks. Their voice is a high-pitched screech, 'chi-chi'. The Galah feeds on many types of seeds and cultivated crops and are often seen on lawns eating grass seeds. These birds are known to fly long distances looking for feeding grounds. Galahs form permanent bonds with their mates; however, they will take a new partner if their old one dies. They nest in hollow trees or something similar lined with leaves. Both the male and female incubate the eggs and care for the young. Typically there are between two and five chicks in a clutch and the young leave the nest about 49 days later after they hatch. Fifty percent of the young will die in their first 6 months of life. A sociable bird, sometimes Galahs will breed with other birds from the cockatoo family.
Lewins Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)
The Lewins Honeyeater is a dark, greenish-grey bird. Its chest feathers sometimes have a slightly moulted appearance. The yellow ear patches are unique and help with to distinguish them from other breeds of honeyeaters. These birds are normally seen alone but when feeding they may form a group of around ten birds. Lewins Honeyeaters feed mainly on fruits and berries and will occasionally eat insects and nectar. Some of the insects are caught in flight but most of the honeyeaters food is found in the upper branches and the bark of trees. Lewins Honeyeaters are renowned for their appetite for bananas and they are commonly called banana-birds. The preferred habitats of the honeyeater are wet eucalypt forests, rainforests, heaths and open woodlands. Honeyeaters range all along the eastern seaboard but they tend to be territorial and will only sometimes migrate to lower areas during the winter months. The Lewins Honeyeater makes a loud machine gun rattling noise which can be heard for long distances. As territories are defended all year round, this call is primarily to warn other honeyeaters to stay away. The breeding season begins in September and continues into January. The honeyeaters nest is shaped like a large cup. It is comprised of vegetation and other materials, is bound together with spiders webs and lined with soft materials. Two to three oval eggs are incubated for 14 days, and the young leave the nest after another 14 days. This bird commemorates the Australian artist, John Lewin.
White Faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
As the name implies, the White-faced Heron has a white face and a light grey-blue plumage. Juveniles often lack the characteristic white face. They feed on fish, insects, small reptiles and amphibians and are found all over Australia. The White-faced Heron’s habitat ranges from wetlands, lakes, beaches, tidal mudflats and coastal reefs to dams, ponds, rivers, pastures and any wet field or garden. It is very versatile and can be found in either fresh or salt water. They are known to be locally nomadic and sometimes migratory. The main call of the White-faced Heron is a harsh croak or gobble. The herons can be seen in small groups when feeding but can become territorial during the breeding season. The heron’s nest is an untidy assortment of sticks in a tree. Their breeding season is from October to December but they can breed in response to rainfall. There are usually 3-4 chicks in a brood, but there can be up to 7. The chicks fledge at around 40 days but usually hang around a bit longer before leaving. When the white-faced heron flies it tucks its neck in and its legs will extend beyond its tail.
As ecosystem within the Green Point Foreshore Reserve is so rare, small and fragile it is prone to many threats and dangers. Green Point used to boast a koala colony but this no longer exists. The Lake Macquarie community has many groups and programs that work to help keep the endemic species that live in this environment alive and flourishing.
One of the programs that is run locally is Treading Lightly which is and initiative of the Lake Macquarie City Council. Treading Lightly provides information on how to care properly for the natural environment to those who make use of outdoor recreational areas. One of the behaviours that Treading Lightly promotes is sticking to defined paths and walkways. Walking off the track or making your own track has the potential to harm the plant life and can lead to erosion. This, in turn, can open the way for weeds to colonise. Weeds can also be spread in this way. Tracks are there for a reason, so please use them.
Treading Lightly also provides advice about rubbish and pollution. It advocates carrying a rubbish bag when walking through the bush and encourages pathway users to put their rubbish in the bins provided at the start or end of the track. Plastic never breaks down and can kill many animals. It can also get into our waterways and cause significant harm to our native wildlife and marine animals. You should always prepare before you go on walks to ensures that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. It is recommended that walkers check the weather forecast for the local area and make sure they have the correct equipment (like walking shoes) before embarking on a hike. It is also recommended that you carry drinking water and nutritious snack foods to ensure that you remain hydrated and maintain your energy levels. Please do not feed the wildlife as it creates long term dependence and greatly disadvantages the animals. Many of the foods we eat are unhealthy for the animals and large quantities may kill them or make them behave aggressively.
Introduced species, like domestic animals, have a huge effect on the environment. Pets such as dogs and cats are probably the biggest issue in fragile environments like the Green Point Foreshore. There are many feral and domesticated animals that frequent Green Point, and introduced floral species can also cause problem. Neighbourhood cats should be locked inside at night and wear a bell to alert the birds and small animals to their presence. Cats will attack and kill birds, including endangered species. This increases the competition for native hunters and makes it harder for the prey species to survive and thrive. Animal faeces are also a problem. They can spread weeds and introduced species, and can pollute waterways. They also cause problems for walkers. So please, pick up after your pets and consider planting native species in your garden. You will be helping our natural environment by doing so.
Catchments and small creeks can be found everywhere in Green Point and run from the houses located at the top of Green Point, through the Reserve to the Lake. Since most of the catchments are located near housing, they get polluted very easily when people do not do the right thing. This contamination usually results from the illegal dumping of waste. Pet faeces, domestic rubbish and garden clippings all contribute to this problem. Pesticides also have a detrimental effect on the environment. They get washed into the catchments and destroy native plants. Pesticides also enter the food web, killing predators as they accumulate in the body. Please do not dump waste near waterways. Dispose of it thoughtfully by making use of the extensive council-operated services.
Weeds can interfere with the natural environment by overwhelming the indigenous species and upsetting the natural balance of the ecosystem. Visitors are asked to ensure that they are not carrying any seeds on their person when entering the reserve. Burred seeds can become attached to clothes and shoes when you walk through vegetation and are easily dislodged if you walk off the path. The introduction of just one seed can have devastating effects. Pulling out one weed can stop thousands of others from taking over the native environment. Please help to preserve our unique wilderness.
Green Point Foreshore
The Green Point Foreshore offers a variety of outdoor enthusiast activities that are also family friendly.
Lake Macquarie has a shoreline measuring 174km. It has 11,000 hectares of surface water, is 24 km long, is 3.2 km at the widest point, and has an average depth of 9.7m. More than 280 species of fish live in the lake, making it one heck of a fishing hole!
Fishing Information For Green Point
The Green Point Foreshore is home to a multitude of fish, including Yellowfin Bream, Flathead, Snapper, Mulloway and Taylor. Below you will find a diagram outlining the bait or lure, catch size and catch limits for each species.
The Green Point Foreshore Walk
The Green Point Foreshore Walk is located in the Green Point Foreshore Reserve on Lake Macquarie. There are two main entry points; one at Dilkera Avenue, Valentine and the other off Green Point Drive, Belmont. Bennett Park, on the waters edge at the Valentine end, has a large grassed area with a childrens playground, picnic tables, free BBQ's, public toilets, and a boat ramp. At the Belmont end, there is a shared concrete cycle/footpath, sheltered picnic tables and seating overlooking the lake. Free BBQs, a drinking fountain, public toilets, and a jetty are also features of this site. The walk is a combination of concrete footpath and gravel tracks, with short sections of timber boardwalk. It is mainly flat, but there are some stairs. It takes approximately 30-40 minutes to walk from one end to the other.
The walk takes in the remnants of an amazing littoral rainforest and native flora, such as Spotted Gum, Grey Gum, White Mahogany, and Forest Red Gum Eucalypt trees which provides habitat for native fauna such as Ring-tail Possums, Squirrel Gliders, Powerful Owls, and Sea Eagles. Historical markers along the walk provide information on geology formations, natural vegetation and fauna, and early industries such as fishing, boat building, timber cutting, coal mining, and a gravel quarry. There are a number of other established walking trails throughout the Green Point Foreshore Reserve. Dogs, 4WD’s, motorbikes, and camping are prohibited in the Green Point Foreshore Reserve.
This work by Lake Macquarie City Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License