Rippon Lea Estate Gardens are a tranquil oasis in the heart of suburbia and an unexpected sanctuary for birds in the city
Stepping through the estate gates is akin to stepping back several decades to a time when the bush was not so far away. The ethereal tinkling of an Australian Grey Fantail has been forgotten by many long-time city dwellers and is no longer learned by local kids, but amazingly, it still floats through the trees every day at Rippon Lea.
Over the course of an hour’s stroll, you will become familiarized with this and many other special sights and sounds; with up to twenty bird species routinely recorded.
Your guide, Gio Fitzpatrick, will help you to find and identify the full variety of birds while telling their stories and relating them to a broader environmental context.
Gio Fitzpatrick is a multi-award-winning naturalist whose passion for birds has led him as far as Antarctica. However, it’s the wildlife that is valiantly hanging on in our urban ecosystems that interests him the most. What unexpected things might be sharing our city? How do these new ecosystems work? And ultimately, how can we do a better job of living with nature?… These are the kind of questions that drive him and Rippon Lea Estate has, for several years, been one of his favourite study sites.
Gio is currently working on a project to rewild the former Elsternwick Golf Course – click here to read more about this project.
Tours operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30am before the hustle and bustle of the estate disturbs the bird spotting opportunities.
Please note that the pathways can be wet and muddy, please bring suitable shoes and wear warm clothing.