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.
Jupiter Creek Diggings
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.