I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published December 25th 2018
One of the best locations for photography in the Lilydale area is the Lillydale Lake. Over the years I have walked around it dozens of times, always with camera in hand. My waistline may not indicate such vigorous exercise, but I guess the frequent photographic stops reduces the exercise benefits.
The Swamp hen is the most numerous species after ducks to inhabit Lillydale Lake. They are more oftrn seen feeding on the grassy shore than in the water and almost ignore passing traffic.
Many species of water-birds are attracted to the area and because of their constant contact with humans are almost tame to the extent of being able to approach them to full-frame distance, using a zoom lens. Treat them the same as children and animals – get down to their level, unless they are swimming.
Many ducks call Lillydale Lake home. During a walk around the lake you will see ducks on land and in the water, front lit, backlit and side lit, all of which allows you to photograph the same subject, with different results. Ducks are the most numerous species of birds at the lake and you will find them on the lake or on the shore where there is sandy area for them to transfer from water to sand.
There are a few spots with a small outcrop of rocks bordering the lake's edge. These are favourite resting places for cormorants and darters drying their spread out wings. Frequent visits give you the advantage of observing which rocks are favoured by these birds and a short wait nearby is often photographically rewarded, or just as a rewarding close-up view of nature at its best.
A darter with lunch in its mouth drying its outstretched wings. Darter's feathers are not waterproof so frequent drying is needed.
Not interested in photographing the birds? Then just enjoy a good walk and the very close up view of nature. The lake circuit is 2.5 kms and is almost completely level with only a short section uphill. Reverse your direction and the uphill bit becomes downhill.
A newly built extensive children's playground will keep the little ones amused and picnic and bar-b-que facilities are plentiful on the grassy areas.
Next time you overindulge with dinner, take a rewarding stroll around Lillydale Lake the next day. At a moderate pace, the lake can be circumnavigated in half an hour, unless you stop to photograph the wildlife.