Latest Sightings

- posted by Rosey Pounsett


There is still plenty of water in the lake which is great for the visiting diving ducks, but not so great for the visiting snipe! The abundant water and food available at the lake over the last couple of months has enabled a pair of Royal Spoonbills to hatch and raise 2 chicks, with another pair nesting now. We are hoping that they will also be successful at raising a family.

These are the 2 young spoonbills from the December hatching.

The breeding season has also been long and successful for the Purple Swamphens, many of them having successive breeding events. The young of the swamphen are cute little bundles of black fluff with enormous feet! I can't understand how such small chicks can co-ordinate and use such huge feet. Only occasionally do they stumble over them. They are easy to spot as they wander around the edge of the water following their parents.


A sight that is not very often seen is a Musk Duck out of the water. We have been lucky in the last few weeks to have seen not only a musk duck resting out of the water, but a Blue-billed Duck as well. These ducks are known as diving ducks and spend almost all of their time in the water. We have had Musk and Blue-billed Ducks nest successful each year for the past several years. They are secretive, and the first we know about them breeding is when the young are swimming along behind mum.


We have growing numbers of Freckled Duck at the lake at the moment. Their presence indicates that their usual wetlands further north are drying out. They are easily distinguished from other ducks by their high crowned head and spotted dark grey appearance. 

There is always something interesting at the lake - both in the water and on the surrounding areas, where numerous bush birds, butterflies, plants and other curious insects can be seen

Around the back of the lake a small hakea bush has become home to hundreds of small scorpion-tailed spiders. They were noticed last year at about the same time and on the same bush. The females are the ones with the distinctive tails, the male being very small and lacking the tail altogether.

They proved to be very difficult to photograph (especially to these rank amateur photographers!) as each time we visited the wind would gust and the spiders would be blown about in their webs so that it was very hard to focus on them. 

So, if you have a bit of time and are wondering how to spend it, do yourself a favour and go for walk around the lake to see what interesting and curious things you can spot. Feel free to share your discoveries with us all.

 

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