It was a lovely sunny day after the rain last week so I decided to visit Walka Recreation and Wildlife Reserve at Oakhampton.
Recent visits had proven disappointing due to the very dry conditions and deceasing water levels, making birds and other wildlife very scarce.
I was hopeful the freshening effect of rain would make a difference.
It had, there was wildlife everywhere.
Walka is one of the only recreational parks in the Maitland LGA that has anything resembling a "bush" setting and where vegetation has regenerated over the last 20 years or so.
The grounds were originally cleared and in 1887, a facility was built at the site to pump water from the Hunter River and store it for use in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter Valley.
It is now a heritage listed site of significance in the Hunter Valley and the reservoir and surrounding vegetation make it a unique environment for birds and other wildlife.
On this visit I concentrated on the areas on the hill where there are large grassed areas and some older more mature trees.
A pair of Australian ravens were immediately noticeable carrying food to a nest high in a tree.
Ravens are known to breed at Walka so I look forward to the young ones again this year.
The same tree was also hosting a pair of galahs who were busily renovating a hollow limb.
On the grass picnic area were many rabbits, perhaps a pest but very watchable nonetheless.
Australian magpies, (I counted 15 of them), and Magpie-larks were hard at work extracting worms and other bugs from the damp soil and the magpies in particular, warbling as they did so.
A small flock of Satin Bowerbirds were flitting between the trees in the secretive way bowerbirds do, noticeable only by flashes of olive brown feathers.
The darker male birds were not visible in the time I was there.
Suburb Fairy-wrens, a favourite of mine, were in abundance, along with White-browed Scrub-wrens, all enjoying the post rain influx of insects and the early spring weather.
There were honeyeaters in the blossom and Red-rumped Parrots and beautifully coloured, very vocal Eastern Rosellas in the grass and a pair of Australian King Parrots.
The best treat of all was a pair of vulnerable Grey-crowned Babblers, nest building.
Walka is a beautiful place and one that is always full of surprises.