Bumped into Dave and the boys down the creek the other day. I wanted to get a nice flashy pic of his ute barrelling up through the beck and sending water spraying out from the wheel arches but it takes time to realise the moment, get the phone out, enter password, open camera … oh. The moment’s gone. And then Dave pulls up and tries to charge ten bucks for the privilege! Bah!


They’re not the only ones doing “improvements”. The other week, as I rounded the creek and got the full disaster of the Styx in my sights – a mile and more of pure straightness, just as Nature never intended – I saw a couple of hi-viz jackets bobbing around in the far distance. Turns out it was a subcontractor replacing a couple of panels in the banking.


Quite how the powers that be pick the ones to keep and the ones to replace escapes me. Dave reckons it’s based on cracking at the lower edge, but those panels up by Hamilton North School all look pretty solid to me, while the ones down by the railway bridge have just about disintegrated.

But, hey, here’s a duck.


I think it was a juvenile with a foot injury. It couldn’t make it to the water in time and, even though Jambo chases birds with that relentless doggie optimism, even he was nonplussed by this chap. Oooh kay. I’ve got one. Now what?

And now that I’ve got us onto birds I can talk about the brown goshawk that’s appeared around the gasworks. (I rather like that: the gasworks goshawk.) It seems that the gasworks can support a range of raptors at any one time; the other day I saw a kestrel, a black-shouldered kite and the brown goshawk all perched or patrolling within a fairly short distance of one another. But no bigger raptors for a while now: no peregrines or swamp harriers. As the man said, “Why is it so?”


The recent rain flushed away all the rubbish, so it’s no longer my problem. (Hey surfers of Newcastle: a gift from Hamilton North headed your way!) There are a couple of new trollies but the bottles have yet to start building up by the TAFE litter boom. Curiously, a chair and a purple ball appeared. This ball was like a marker for a few days, slavishly following the tide up as far as Chatham Road then whizzing back down to Islington.


Then … gone. Maybe a walker picked it up and took it home.

The picture of the gas holders in the previous post generated a lot of feedback. This archive pic is much older, and the lens that’s been used makes it quite hard to orientate, but I think it’s been taken towards the rail bridge looking towards the back of the admin building. What do you knowledgeable folk think?
gasworks panorama