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 November 30th 2019
There is a family of Pacific Black Ducks waddling along beside the boardwalk. Every so often the adult female stops and gathers up her offspring then continues on her way to the nearby lake. The male is also nearby and he makes sure he is between any potential danger and his vulnerable family.
Woorabinda Lake lies in the centre of a bushland reserve with the same name. Situated off Woorabinda Road, a short two-minute drive from the centre of Stirling, the little lake and accompanying walking trails are a haven for both wildlife and native plants.
Where the boardwalk transitions into a substantial walking trail I can see a pair of Kookaburras hunting for prey in the dense bushland. They perch on branches, scan the lower story of the scrub then drop to the ground and grab their prey in their powerful beaks. One catches quite a substantial skink and the other appears to have a large centipede. They fly off with their prizes suggesting that they might be nesting nearby and feeding their young.
Despite the day being a little on the cool side the Kookaburras' endeavours suggest that there are a few reptiles around. With this in mind, I sit quietly on a fallen log and scan the leaf litter. After a few minutes, I catch sight of a little Common Garden Skink feeding on ants a mere two metres from where I am sitting.
About a third of the way around the lake, walking anticlockwise from the entrance, there is a bird hide that pushes out into the reeds. It sits alongside the bank and provides a good overview of both water, scrub and reed beds. I can hear wrens twittering in the bushes but it is a little Silvereye feeding on some seeding grasses that comes close enough to photograph.
Although the undergrowth is quite thick alongside the track I am lucky enough to spot a small patch of native orchids. Unfortunately referred to as Donkey Orchids the diminutive plants are quite beautiful; even more so today as an early shower has left raindrops clinging to the large pair of upper petals that give them their unfortunate name.
I am only halfway round the little lake with so much more to see. To be honest I think this wonderful destination is worth another recount in the near future. Now I will return to the nearby town of Stirling and have a wonderful lunch at Ruby's Organic Cafe; just one of the fine eateries that Stirling has to offer.