The Pines Reserve
At the edge of the Triabunna Township, on Okehampton Road, the Pines Reserve has some hidden delights. Despite being an area of bushland where pine trees have once been planted and now infest and dominate part of the landscape, it is a haven for birdlife. In the town planning of the past this area was reserved as recreational and then passed over to become a forestry plantation. Somewhere through the years this project was abandoned and the Reserve remains in public hands under Crown Lands management.
On a recent excursion, we ventured into its very heart where many small native birds could be heard and seen amongst the bushes. Areas of the vegetation are still well endowed with remnants of local flora providing a good food resource for brown thornbills, grey fantails and even fairy wrens. Other species would no doubt come and go according to the seasons.
However, as could be predicted, it is the perfect location for the yellow tailed black cockatoo. Their wheezing calls can be heard all around you as they feast on the pine cone seeds. They are also easy to spot as they are often low down in the branches and the magnificence of these big cockatoos can be appreciated.
The population of these birds around Triabunna seems to be high having spotted a flock of fifteen birds flying over recently. The presence of old pine trees in the Reserve and other locations in and around the township is a boon for these populations. In spite of the spreading characteristics of the pines if left unchecked, as far as I know, the cockatoos are unlikely to be the sole culprits in their spread elsewhere. They seem to chew the pine seeds to destruction in their ultra strong beaks (damage to a pine cone by these birds is pretty good evidence of their power).
The atmosphere in the reserve is very peaceful and all enclosing as you wander in deeper. It is a rare sort of bush reserve but has been the target of rubbish dumpers over many years. The Friends of Triabunna Reserves have been very active in trying to keep this reserve in good shape and maintain its integrity. This reserve is well worth the short journey up the hill from downtown Triabunna.
Photos by Rob Kelly, January 2022