Earlier this year on a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills I was delighted to see the nest of an Eurasian Coot in full view of the boardwalk through the wetlands area. From what I can recall, this is the first time I have ever seen a coot’s nest. It is quite an impressive structure.
I love travelling so I can go birding in a new area. Last week I visited Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. This park is run by the National Parks and Wildlife of South Australia. It is a small part of the Cleland Conservation Park.
It has been quite a while since my last visit. In another life I had taken many groups of primary school children to this wonderful park. On quite a few of these occasions the visit was a part of a school camp at the nearby Woodhouse Scout Camp.
The beauty of this wildlife park is that one gets a very close up look at many of the birds and animals native to Australia. These include a range of different species, including kangaroo, wallaby, wombat, echidna, bandicoots, potoroos and bettongs. In one spot you can have your photo taken with a koala. A feature of my recent visit was the absolutely gorgeous four dingo pups. They were about four weeks old.
The main attraction of Cleland for me is the birdlife. The area is well wooded and so there are many native birds resident in and around the park. There are two walk through aviaries which enable one to get up close to many bird species. This is just great for photography. There is also a large wetlands area for all the water birds.
Over coming weeks I will feature some of the photos I took of the birds there. If you are impatient you might want to visit my
photo gallery (sorry this gallery has been removed). I took over 200 photos that day, so you will have plenty to look at!
This article was updated in August 2015.
On our visit last week to the Wittunga Botanic Gardens in the Adelaide Hills, I observed quite an interesting range of birds in the gardens and near the lake. There were plenty of Pacific Black Ducks and Wood Ducks, all clamoring for a piece of the action if any people came along – whether or not they looked like have a picnic. Ducks are ever hopeful of some food handouts.
I saw Eurasian Coots and Dusky Moorhens on the water and two Little Pied Cormorants perching on dead branches sticking out over the water of the lake. Two – perhaps a pair – of Masked Lapwings patrolled sections of the lawned areas used by picnickers. Welcome Swallows swooped low over the water and nearby bushy area. The trees were abuzz with Rainbow Lorikeets in a feeding frenzy. I also saw several Musk Lorikeets, a smaller parrot than the Rainbows but just as noisy. As for the larger parrot species I noticed several Galahs feeding on the lawns while a single Corella, I presume it was a Little Corella, flew overhead at one stage. I didn’t get a close enough look to be certain.
One species I was delighted to be able to see and photograph was the Eastern Rosella. In South Australia this species is mainly confined to the South East region of the state and to parts of the suburbs of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. The above photo shows up its brilliant colours. This is one occasion when I didn’t have to chase the bird in question, as it seemed happy to pose for me on the edge of the path.
Two days after taking the above photo, I was surprised to see a single Eastern Rosella at the Murraylands Homes for the Aged in Murray Bridge. I was there visiting my mother-in-law. This is the first time I have recorded this species anywhere near here. My closest other sightings are at least 60km to the west. By its behaviour it could well have been an escapee from someone’s aviary.