A Bite at Grange

19 Sep

Dear Reader:

A lone silver gull is flying parallel to the shore just above the Norfolk pines that grow along the Grange beach front. Suddenly it veers off course, dipping towards one of the trees and letting out a loud, raucous shriek. This unusual behaviour encourages me to stop and take a closer look through the telephoto lens. And there, perched serenely on the topmost branch is a beautiful nankeen kestrel surveying its stretch of prime coastal real estate.

Nankeen kestrel looking for prey

Nankeen kestrel looking for prey (click all images to enlarge)

 

Nankeen kestrels are small falcons that are widely distributed across the country. They usually live in rural or outback regions where they hover over fields and open bushland preying on small mammals, reptiles and occasionally taking birds in the air; which explains the gull’s nervous disposition. Seeing one in an urban area is a really quite unusual. For the next half an hour I follow the raptor as it patrols the shoreline and dunes moving from tree tops to fence posts to survey its territory.

The Marines, beachside heritage homes

The Marines, beachside heritage homes

 

Grange Beach is just 15 minutes from the centre of Adelaide. An old wooden jetty, classic golden sands and heritage buildings make it an ideal place to go for a walk and grab a bite to eat summer or winter! A walking &cycling trail passes through the area winding between the seafront properties and coastal revegetation zones providing a unique blend natural and urban habitats that encourages a wide variety of wildlife.

Spotted dove

Spotted dove

Singing honeyeater in coastal scrub

Singing honeyeater in coastal scrub

The unfortunately named pigface

The unfortunately named pigface

 

After watching the kestrels I follow the track south. The delicate shrubs and grasses that stabilise the dunes are home to many different bird species from common house sparrows to spotted doves and singing honeyeaters. Although it is a coolish day and the insect life is in short supply a few bees and butterflies are congregating around some early blooming pigface, a common succulent in the dunes.

Grange jetty at low tide showing worm casing encrustaceans

Grange jetty at low tide showing worm casing encrustaceans

 

For a little variety I walk back along the beach. The tide is out exposing concrete-like encrustations of tube worms cemented to the jetty piles. A track leads from the beach to the old kiosk which is now a fashionable restaurant. My day ends with a glass of white, salt and pepper squid with sautéed scallops in the shell accompanied by a generous serve of crusty bread.

Grange Kiosk

Grange Kiosk

 

Until our next adventure

Baz          

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