Jupiter Creek Diggings (1st May, 2022)

Context: Native woodland covering historic gold minefield with numerous mine shafts throughout. Landscape sloping down toward a feeder creek for the Echunga Creek system. Includes a section of the Heysen Trail. Messmate Stringybark, Cup Gum and Pink Gum woodland over Beaked Hakea, Heath Tea-tree, Large-leaf Bush Pea, Honeypots and Fire Daisy. Keep an eye out for uncommon Birds down by the creek including Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Crested Shrike-Tits, White-naped Honeyeaters, and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.

iNaturalist Projects

Jupiter Creek Diggings, South Australia

Birding Hot Spot – Long Gully section of Heysen Trail

See the full list of 100 observations covering 57 species on iNaturalist

Third stop on day three of the City Nature Challenge was the Jupiter Creek Diggings. Starting at the main carpark I followed the track to the South, then down toward the creek, along a section of the Heysen Trail, and back up the hill.

This area has been heavily turned over by historic mining operations, but there’s still quite a dense woodland here. Cup Gum (Eucalyptus cosmophylla) and Brown-top Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) are common, with an understory that includes Large-leaf Bush Pea (Pultenaea daphnoides), Common Flat-Pea (Platylobium obtusangulum) and Fire Daisies (Ixodia achillaeoides).

The Pale-flecked Garden Sunskinks (Lampropholis guichenoti) are common here but always dart off into the leaf litter as soon as I spot them. I managed to record only a couple. I was hoping to find a few of the less common Bird species here which sometimes can be found along the creek line. This time out, I only found the common Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) and a White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus).

Both Beaked Hakea (Hakea rostrata) and Erect Hakea (Hakea carinata) occur through this area, easily differentiated from one another by looking at the seed pods. I also recorded Wrinkled Hakeas (Hakea rugosa) elsewhere during the CNC. Always record the seed pods if you want a species level ID when uploading to iNaturalist.

This area offers a lot more on a warm Spring day, with Waxlip Orchids, flowering Bitter Peas and Pimeleas, and a greater array of local Bird species. The tall Eucalypts down by the creek offer a lot of nesting sites for Purple-crowned and Rainbow Lorikeets.