Blue Trail Village Scenes No 3

Urban Bird Habitat in Lithgow

Since its early coal mining days, towards the close of the 19th century, Lithgow has developed as a scattered pattern of village environments, often with former industrial or mining sites in between. Many species of birds find these sites a tolerable habitat, especially as their recent environmental management has made them more bird-friendly.

Swamp Hen at Lake Pillans – photo by Christine Davies

Water features in the Blue Mountains and Lithgow Local Government Areas support a variety of ducks, coots, grebes, swamp hens, moor hens, cormorants, darters and other water birds. The presence of reeds and other natural habitat surrounding the water features adds to the diversity of species.

Blast furnace ruins and wood ducks in Lake Pillans Reserve
(photo by Christine Davies)

Lake Pillans was created to store water for the Lithgow Blast Furnace which opened in 1913. Attempts to establish the lake as a bird-watching area have proceeded concurrently with the rehabilitation of the blast furnace ruins as a historic site. Flame Robins have been noticed congregating in the blast furnace ruins and surrounds in winter while various water birds are usually visible in the lake reserve.

Over the summer of 2019-20, airborne embers created spot fires near the lake and rain storms washed away some of the walking paths and causeways. Nevertheless, the reserve is still accessible to visitors and the birdlife remains present.

© Don Morrison

Flame Robin
photo by Tim Collins – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,