Melbourne's many golf courses do the soul of the city a wonderful service in attracting native birds. When Capital set about establishing a wildlife reserve, so it could show guests native fauna in a natural setting, the enormity of the project quickly became apparent. Just to obtain the necessary permits to keep emus and wallabies, an electric fence had to be built around the entire 280-acre property to keep predators out.
The addition of 500,000 flowers, shrubs and trees, including 60 heathland species, and 35 acres of lakes created a thriving wildlife haven with native birds nesting and breeding at ground level. Frogs, always the sign of a healthy ecosystem, are back and 85 species of birds have been identified and recorded.
In addition, peacocks peer in through the Clubhouse windows and strut the grounds while permanent wetlands residents include Cape Barren, Egyptian, Canadian and magpie geese and an exotic mix of wild and domesticated ducks. Among visitors to create excitement
are rare blue billed ducks, kites, egrets, falcons, harriers and kestrels, along with the always welcome kookaburras, cockatoos, rosellas
The efforts to keep the course predator-free have been rewarded by the return of a pair of black winged stilts to breed and the adoption of the course by 32 wild swans who delight players as they fly across the fairways from lake to lake.