Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge, Murphy's Creek Area 17/11/13

While driving home from the Helidon outing (see previous post) we took a drive around a few roads near Murphy's Creek where we often see birds.  These are a few landscape photos that caught my eye today.  

The Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge is absolutely stunning from the Road - it's massive!  There isn't any road access from Murphy's Creek Road to photograph it closely and many trees are in the way, so this photo was taken from some distance away.  This beautiful bridge was never obviously visible from the road prior to the January 2011 floods but afterwards, many trees were obviously washed away and this beautiful railway bridge was once again on show for passers by to see & admire in the distance. 

The Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge  is on the Toowoomba to Helidon line crossing the Lockyer creek and was completed in 1911.  The Bridge is heritage listed and was featured on an Australian Postage Stamp in 2004.  

The Lockyer Creek Bridge at Guinn Park was designed by William Pagan, is on of the largest of its type in Queensland and one of Australia's first reinforced concrete arch rail bridges. The bridge, built in 1911, features three spans, each supported by two arches and appeared on a stamp that was part of series featuring landmark bridges. Another bridge on the same line with the same name is closer to Gatton and was built in 1903. (Wikipedia)

I have found an article about the 1893 & 2011 Floods and a photo of this bridge in 1915 for those who are interested in a little history you can view it here.  

J & B. 
Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge at Guinn Park (Murphy's Creek) Queensland. 17/11/13

Intermediate Egret & Cattle Egret - Murphy's Creek Area 17/11/13

Freesia Flowers in the lawn at Murphy's Creek Cemetery, 17/11/13

Freesia Flowers at the Murphy's Creek Cemetery 17/11/13

Australiasian Figbird at Lockyer Creek, Helidon 17/11/13

After another short summer storm this afternoon we went for a drive to have a look around an area that we hadn't gone birding before, that was fairly close to home.  We decided on James Norman Hedges Park on the Lockyer Creek at Helidon, just off the Warrego Highway, South East Queensland.  This area was extensively damaged in the January 2011 floods and the creek itself is still a fair bit of a mess.  New picnic tables, a gass barbeque, drinking fountains, public toilets and bitumen car-parking have been installed however and the area is popular with travellers as it is a Free over-night stay area for Caravaner's. 

According to the plaque at the site, James Norman Hedges Park is named after a Main Road's Department employee who planted many of the existing park trees from 1942-1975.  Mr Hedges maintained the park and beautification works along the Warrego highway from Toowoomba to Goodna.

The park itself is rather small and most of the creek area isn't very accessible at the moment and there is a lot of road noise and plenty of rubbish throughout the creekbeds - (our son picked up around 30 aluminium cans for his recycling project) but there were plenty of small birds to be heard (and a few to be seen) in the foliage on the creek banks.

Lockyer Creek at James Norman Hedges Park, Helidon, Queensland 17/11/13

Plaque at the James Norman Hedges Park, Lockyer Creek, Helidon. 

Male Australiasian Figbird

Lewin's Honeyeater

Weier at Lockyer Creek, Helidon

Dusky Moorhen

Orange Threadtail Damselfly

Orange Threadtail Damselfly

Flying foxes at Lockyer Creek, Helidon 17/11/13.