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Chirnside Park Wetlands

Home > Melbourne > Dog Friendly | Free | Fun for Children | Outdoor | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published May 13th 2023
Its an Aquatic Bird Bonanza
The wetlands consist of a series of joined small ponds with the largest, at the northern end, a mecca for water birds.

Wetland pond.
Wetland pond.

Ducks on pond
Some of the ducks.

A wide gravel path circumnavigates the wetland, giving around two kilometres of walking enjoyment.

Walkers around wetlands.
They came alone, in pairs or in a group.

Officially the area is named the Chirnside Park Drain, but wetlands sound nicer. It is one of many flood retarding basins around Melbourne suburbia.

Retarding basin sign.
It's true name.

The most numerous species of ducks seen were wood ducks.

Wood ducks on pond.
Wood ducks.

The wetlands are surrounded on three sides by farmland and residential acreages. The grasslands of these properties are attractive feeding grounds for flocks of birds. Wood ducks and corellas were two groups seen. I caught one Corella in flight and a pair of identical twins.

Wood ducks in paddock.
Wood ducks in paddock.

Corellas feeding.
A mass feed.
Corella in flight.
Corella in flight.

A pair of corellas.
Identical twins?

A few swamp hens were seen, all away from water, in the grassy paddocks.

Swamp hens.
Swamp hens.

The country feel is enhanced by two horses and several cattle. Cattle egrets were noticed feeding around the cattle.

Horses and cattle.
Horses, cattle and cattle egrets.

I have walked around these wetlands three times and have never seen anyone fishing. I did this time, a young lad trying his luck. He told me the only fish he had caught was a carp.

Fishing in pond.
A pleasant pastime.

The paths were shared by walkers with their dogs and some young cyclists. As with the fishing lad, it was nice to not see a mobile phone attached to them.

Cyclists and walker.
Young cyclists and walker with dog.

A cormorant was spied sitting on a metal grid. Cormorants, herons, and egrets are usually seen alone, just staying still, but on this occasion, I caught two cormorants in flight.

Cormorant sitting.
Cormorant sitting.

Cormorants in flight.
Cormorants in flight.

A few black ducks were seen, a couple of coots and a small water bird which I think was a grebe.

Coots and grebe.
Coots and grebe.

No walk would be complete without seeing some noisy miners. Some were in trees, others on fence posts and two in flight.

Noisy miners in trees.
Noisy miners in trees.

Noisy miners on post.
Noisy miners on post.

Noisy minors in flight.
Noisy minors in flight

Noisy miners are said to hassle other birds and I caught one keeping an eye on a nearby magpie. One of the grassy areas had attracted many magpies and I caught one just as it touched down after a short flight.

Magpie and noisy miner.
Keeping watch.

Successful landing.

Other birds seen were a mudlark and a plover.

Mud lark and plover.
Mud lark and plover.

Some of the dogs around the wetlands were off-leash and I spied one at a nearby house.

At home and for a walk.

This is an easy walk with a variety of birds to be seen and would be educational for young ones if they leave their mobile phone at home. The easiest access is from Anthony Drive. About 200 metres past the 'no through road' sign is a small off-road parking bay and an ideal spot to start this appealing walk.

Parking bay.
A good place to start.

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Why? It's worth finding to see the abundant bird life.
When: Daylight hours.
Where: Chirnside Drain. Melways map. 37. F.2.
Cost: free
Your Comment
There was certainly no shortage of birds on this walk Neil. What a bonanza!
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10579) 3 days ago
Hi Neil, Great to see all your beautiful photos of the birds and other animals in and near the wetlands. I never knew there were wetlands at Chirnside Park. What a lovely part of Victoria. Thank you for the experience. Marg L
by marge (score: 1|19) 18 days ago
by Neil Follett on 08/02/2019
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