09
Oct
13

Turtles Plus

‘Twas a public holiday on Monday and I hightailed it to Sydney Park. I haven’t been there much lately and I wanted to see how things were going, there. It was the middle of the day, so not the best light for photography, but anyhow I took my camera. And I’m glad that I did.

I hadn’t been down the little gully for some time, either; and because I’ve had wonderful bird and reptile experiences there in the past, I hoped to again. But any noticeable animal life seemed absent.

There was, however, a plant with enormous leaves which had grown very large in the time I’d not visited. It looked like some alien spawn amidst the conifers.

Big Leaves 1

Big Leaves 2

That is my hand there for comparison.

After walking around the plant for a while, I headed down to the wetlands.

Which weren’t looking all that wet, actually. It hasn’t rained much for a while and the catchments above the two ponds are being upgraded, so they are empty. The ponds have much less water than they’ve had for a while.

This has attracted unusual visitors, though. For one, a Black-winged Stilt which loves to poke around in sand and mud to look for food.

Black Winged Stilt

A Black-fronted Dotterel which feeds similarly. I have seen these before when the water was low; they are such timid creatures I could never get close enough to photograph them. Even this one was a mere dot, really, but my current camera has a longer zoom. In fact, all these birds would’ve escaped my camera without it.

Black-fronted Dotterall

And these two, which I believe to be Latham’s Snipes. It took a little bit of searching on Google images to find these. It was also hard to make them out as they blended in so well with their background.

Latham's Snipes 1

Latham's Snipes 2

But by far the best thing was the discovery that Eastern Long-necked Turtles lived in these ponds. They feed off of the small fish that also live there. I had never seen them before, but with the drop in water levels they were more exposed.

Eastern Long-necked Turtles

Eastern Long-necked Turtle 2

Eastern Long-necked Turtle 1

Two of them wanted to cross the small hill between the ponds to better water.

Eastern Long-necked Turtle 4

The first one I just guarded from dogs as it went its way. The second one (above) was more timid and I carried it across before letting it go. They headed for the viewing platform, particularly to the delight of a small girl and her baby brother.

Something of this may be seen on a video that I put together of the day.

I knew that the ponds would be drier than they have been, and I expected to see little of anything. So the day turned out rather well for me. The turtles especially were a joy, though after carrying one across…you know they’re rather smelly.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Turtles Plus”


  1. 1 Kym
    20 October 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Great pics and footage of the turtles 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,524 other followers

Flickr Photos

Twitter Updates


%d bloggers like this: