Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published July 20th 2015
A Bounty of Birds in a Serene Setting
Kaurna Park Wetlands, a bush oasis in suburban Adelaide is nestled in the heart of Burton. 116 species of birds have been sighted and 21 species are known to breed at Kaurna Park Wetlands. This 48 hectare site is a birdwatcher's paradise and a great place to introduce children to a wide variety of birds in their natural habitat. Birds SA have published a birding list for the park which can be found here.
Good sightings can be made from either the 2.85 km clay and gravel perimeter path, or from the ambling tracks and boardwalks within. It is likely you will be greeted on entering the park with the sharp and brash call of Red Wattlebirds, which are abundant. Look above into the eucalypt canopy for their tell-tale yellow belly, and red wattles (fleshy pouches) on the side of the neck. These birds are honeyeaters and when the red flowering gums are in bloom, you will certainly find them there amongst the branches.
Just a few of the birds in the Kaurna Park Wetlands
The smaller and more elusive New Holland Honeyeater will probably be heard before it is seen, it's chattering 'chik, chik, chik' coming from the bushes or trees. I have seen these birds throughout the park, but most often in the low bushes along the perimeter path opposite Waterloo Corner Road. The New Holland Honeyeater is a black and white striped bird with a long, slightly curved beak and patches of yellow on its wings and tail. There is a lookout platform on this side of the park, a great vantage point for watching the honeyeaters in the surrounding trees and bushes.
On open water and on the flat wet plains, White Faced Herons are frequent visitors and can be seen stepping slowly through the shallows. These blue-grey birds are the most commonly seen herons in Australia, and we are indeed fortunate to be able to enjoy their elegant beauty. The very small, forked-tail birds flitting above the water are Welcome Swallows. If they come close enough, you might notice their rust-coloured throat and face.
Keep an eye toward the edges of the taller clumps of reeds, as this is where the Purple Swamp Hens might be seen. Their purple-blue underbelly often appears iridescent in the sunshine. White-Plumed Honeyeaters may be clinging to the stalks of reeds. A distinctive feature of these yellow-green birds is their white collar. When the waters are not too shallow, Pacific Black Ducks can be found in these open areas, but follow the trails and boardwalks and you will most certainly come upon the ducks on the inner ponds and creeks.
Look for the Australian White Ibis, where the water abuts the eucalypt forest. This black-headed, white water bird seems to like picking about between the trees, and is a splendid sight when in flight or perched on a high branch. The Ibis like company and are usually spotted in groups.