Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Yesterday I visited Lillydale Lake.  Lilydale is located 35 kilometres north-east of Melbourne.  (Yes the town is spelt differently from the lake!)  The lake is huge - some 28 hectares and it is set in a park of over 100 hectares.  The Olinda Creek runs into the lake, and is filtered by wetlands, which of course was where I was headed.  I was there at quite the wrong time of day (I arrived at 1 p.m.).  It was hot.  But I still managed 31 species and some very good birds.
Lillydale Lake
As I drove in, I noticed a nice muddy drain, and made a note to have a good look at it before I left.  Noisy Miners greeted me in the car park and White Ibis on the lawns gave every indication that picnickers were ignoring the signs asking people not to feed the birds.  Welcome Swallows performed aerobatics overhead, then landed in a dead tree.  On closer inspection, I saw that there was a good number of Fairy Martins mixed in with them.  There were several Australasian Darters:  some playing scarecrows, some swimming in the lake and croaking loudly.  There's a boardwalk through the wetlands, and I walked along it slowly.  I'm sure the temperature was higher than the forecast 27.  There's a jogging track around the lake, which is very popular, but few people bother with the wetlands.  That suits me fine! 

I could hear Spotted Pardalotes, but they were high in the canopy of the gum trees and took some finding.  But find them I did, and they were certainly worth it.

I walked to the weir and saw a very odd duck.  It was like a Hardhead without a white eye and with a green speculum.  I decided it must be a hybrid between a Hardhead and a Pacific Black Duck.  Black Ducks are notoriously randy - they'll mate with anyone!

On the muddy verge, I disturbed a Latham's Snipe.  It flew right in front of me, giving me a great view.  Fairy-wrens and scrubwrens played in the undergrowth and kookaburras laughed at me.  Young Purple Swamphens, fully grown and apparently quite capable of feeding themselves, begged their parents for an easy feed with an irritating and very noisy persistency.

Very pleased with my beautiful pardalotes and snipe, I thought it was time to go.  I remembered to check out the muddy drain on my way back to the car.  There I saw a Black-fronted Dotterel and an Australian Spotted Crake, both out in the open, happily foraging in the mud.  A fine note to end on.

No comments:

Post a Comment