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The Pelicans of Yarra Glen

Home > Melbourne > Outdoor
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 March 21st 2019
Come, observe and enjoy
A pelican in a pond in main street. A rare event recently observed in Yarra Glen.

Pelican on pond.
The vision seen while passing.

Further inspection revealed a series of small lakes or large ponds extending from Bell Street (main road) to the Yarra Glen Racecourse.

Duck and pond
Suburbia is close and ducks finding a shady spot.

These lakes, or ponds, had houses on one side and a supermarket on the other.

A pelican enjoying themself.

The pelican was not alone. Two ponds away a pod of three others were swimming around minding their own business, but moving away as I approached.

Pod of pelicans
Three pelicans a paddling

Ducks were the prominent residents, often just sitting upon the grassy verges of the ponds, heading for the safety of water as I approached, quietly of course. They must know I can't swim.

A duck out of water.

Very numerous around the Yarra Valley are Ibis, not always near water. These wetlands were home to a few.

Ibis in reeds
An Ibis in amongst reeds.

Ibis in flight
An Ibis just after take-off, with udercarriage almost retracted.

Another species seen were a few little egrets. These pure white birds look very stately, standing tall, despite their name, amongst the reeds. It was a joy to behold to see one take off in near proximity.

An Egret standing stately.

Egret in flight
An egret in flight - a magnificent sight.

No wetlands would be complete without a swamphen or two, or three. These birds are more likely to be seen on land rather than in the water and usually ignore the casual visitor to their environment.

Swamp Hen
A lone Swamp Hen.

There are compacted gravel paths around all the ponds, but are quite rough in places. Off-path grassed areas have large cracks in them as a result of the prolonged drought and should be avoided.

This is an ideal area to introduce kids to birdlife, with so many different species in the one location. They will enjoy the experience and a 'spot the bird' game will enhance that experience.

There are no facilities around the ponds, but McKenzie Reserve on the opposite side of Bell Street has toilets, playgrounds and many shaded picnic tables.

A half hour of enjoyment observing nature.
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