I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published June 25th 2018
Park, putts and parrots
The little lake is still, apart from a few ripples amongst the reed beds where several black ducks are hiding in the shadows. However, the air is full of birdsong. The strident Kek-kek-kek of a masked lapwing signals its displeasure at being disturbed as it struts defiantly on the far side of the water. I rest the camera on a tree branch and photograph the bird before it reaches the shelter of some low bushes.
I am exploring Regency Park, just off Days Road in Adelaide's inner western suburbs. The complex includes a golf course, small lake, grassy parklands, gas barbecues as well as a skate park and playground. They are all shaded by huge old gums and enhanced by later garden plantings. The clubhouse has meals and there are also gaming facilities.
Despite the nearby sounds of ducks, lapwings and coots, it is the raucous calls of parrots that dominate the parkland. They are making the best of winter flowering eucalypts growing along the edge of the adjacent public golf course. A small gate leads from the recreational area to the golf course and the avenue of trees is well away from all but the most misdirected of shots.
Two species of lorikeets are feeding high in the branches. They tend to forage within the canopy using the outer branches for protection against predators. A good strategy but it makes photographing them difficult. Eventually, some of the birds venture onto the outer clumps of gum blossom giving me a few seconds to make a shot.
Having spent a good hour watching the parrots I make my way along the course to the restaurant and gaming area for a bite to eat. But Regency has two more natural surprises for me. Near the opening tee, a small group of rosellas are feeding on the ground and a large golden orb spider is suspended in a web on a light pole close to the clubhouse. A spider active in the winter months is a strange sight. Perhaps the heat from the lighting system has allowed the invertebrate to survive the cold by providing warmth and attracting moths as a food source.