Laratinga Wetlands Mt Barker
Today I visited the Laratinga Wetlands at Mt Barker for the first time. These wetlands are on the eastern edge of the town which is about half way between Murray Bridge and Adelaide in South Australia. I had driven past these wetlands several times in recent months but today was the first time I had the opportunity to stop and have a good look.
These wetlands were built by the local Green Corps and opened in 1999. They are next to the town’s sewage ponds. The treated water is circulated through the wetlands before being used for irrigation by nearby farmers. The tree planting around the wetlands has resulted in a beautiful environment. A picnic area complete with public toilets encourage people to use the area. Three environmental walks have been established around the perimeter or through the wetlands, including several board walks. These walks vary in distance from 0.75km to 2.2km. Walking time takes from 15 minutes to 45 minutes – for non-birders, that is. I did the 15 minute walk and it took me 50 minutes! Far too many birds to watch!
The birding here is really wonderful with a good range of water birds to be seen in close up. The following is a list of the waterbirds I saw this afternoon:
- White Ibis
- White-faced Heron
- Eurasian Coot
- Dusky Moorhen
- Hoary-headed Grebe
- Australasian Grebe
- Pacific Black Duck
- Grey Teal
- Australasian Shoveller
Other species recorded were:
- Little Raven
- Little Corella
- Red-rumped Parrot
- Adelaide Rosella
- Australian Magpie-lark
- Australian Magpie
- Common Starling
- Common Blackbird
- Welcome Swallow
- New Holland Honeyeater
- White-plumed Honeyeater
- Noisy Miner
- Superb Blue Wren
- Little Grassbird
- Striated Pardalote
Post updated in September 2015 and photos added.
Hi, just a note to say that a team of Green corps were the first to work on this wetlands, rather than the local council. I was on the team in 1999, and we have a sign up on one of the bird hides.
Thanks for that information Sarah. I was not aware of that fact. I must have missed reading that sign. It is a wonderful place and is becoming quite a mecca for birders like myself. One is always guaranteed of some interesting sightings.
I see the Black shouldered kite hovering every evening on the grass plains behind the wetlands in summer
I love seeing the Black-shouldered Kites hovering around here too. They seem such beautiful, compact and sleek birds.
I visit the wetlands quite frequently, and was rather annoyed that vandals have sprayed their tags on anything they can find. They have also taken panels that had information on the Green Corps box.
Not happy Jan
I share your annoyance.
I cannot understand the mentality of such people. What motivates some to vandalise places that give numerous people much pleasure? Beats me.
I wonder how they’d feel if we sprayed all over the outside AND inside of their houses with messages saying “DO NOT VANDALISE?”
I am planning to visit these wetlands soon after seeing a story about them on TV. Love visiting these sites. Very good for the mind and the walk is good for the body. Looking forward to see some of the birds listed.
Hi there Lorraine,
Thanks for visiting my site. The wetlands are fast becoming one of the top birding sites in South Australia. This is because of the good variety of waterbirds seen there. Of course, there are many other types of birds to be seen as well.
Its biggest attraction is that it is so well set out, easy to walk the tracks and all with easy access from Adelaide. Enjoy.
Hi Trevor. I live near the Wetlands and enjoy the multitude of bird life there. I visited yesterday (6th June) and was appalled by the fact that a large family group were running noisy remote controlled speed motor boats on the front lake around 2pm to 3.30pm.This of course would of upset and stressed the nesting habits of some rare and lovely birds. This by a lot of total boneheads who have no regard for anyone or anything except themselves.I rang Mount Barker Police Station and someone was going to attend but never saw an officer before leaving.I rang the Council this morning but have yet to hear back.Maybe you would like to call them also so that perhaps something can be done. Regards. Chris.
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