Spring Hill – Falcon Falls Outing 14th August 2016

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This wet winter has limited our options for venues for excursions this year. For our August outing it was decided to play safe and go to Falcon Falls knowing the road in from the east is a fairly good one and not so far off the seal. Unlike previous trips to this area meeting place was at the end of Erigolia Road, Binya. Fortunately this did not confuse members and 10 of us met there on a fine but cool morning.

After a bit of car pooling we proceeded to the Spring Hill Picnic Area and the bird photographers were soon into work. It was not long before a mysterious unidentified call enticed us towards the creek that runs down from Falcon Falls. The callers turned out to be a pair of Glossy Black Cockatoos.  What a start for the day.  Without checking records I think this is the first time we have reported sighting Glossies in this area.

Buoyed up with this sighting we regained the main walk to the falls. Most times this starts with a quick march up through the young Cypress Pine thickets. Not this time. Every few yards there seemed to be something to look at. It must have been the slowest time ever to do that short walk.

Falcon Falls was named from the presence of Peregrine Falcons frequenting the area, a fact we were able to verify again with the sighting of one flying not far from the falls.

Despite heavy rain earlier in the season, there was not a lot of water coming over the falls – Spring Creek does not have much of a catchment to produce a steady flow.  What had come down though was part of the cliff face. Large fresh faced boulders were on either side of the informal route up the falls.  Some trees had obviously been caught in the way of the boulders and were snapped off at their trunks. 

Another feature of the falls is the presence of two types of ferns of limited occurrence in the Cocoparras.  I am pleased to say this season has allowed them to flourish.    I hope they continue to do so.

The track to the falls is a simple there and back route, so we were back at the picnic ground in time for an early lunch.  Afterwards we set off across the road towards Mt Caley, winding our way up a shallow valley.  Although still very much in winter there was a fair sprinkling of flowers out, notably quite a number of Blue Caladenias, Caladenia caerula.

The objective of this walk was a cave high up the side of Mt Caley, but due to the lack of time – there was too much to see and examine to do anything more than a slow pace – we only viewed the cave from below.  It would have been a steep climb to reach it.  So we retraced our steps, well sort of, back to our cars to wind up a very enjoyable day.

Eric Whiting