The last thing I expected in the middle of suburban Perth was the beautiful conservation area that is Lake Claremont. The reserve covers 70ha and hosts a variety of flora and fauna, including over 87 species of birds. Prior to 1831, the wetland area provided food for the Mooro people. With pressure from European settlement and rising waters, the last of the Aborigines moved away in the 1940s. It is now a recognised site of Aboriginal heritage.
Although spring had not yet sprung, the birdlife was busy with family raising duties. The Eurasian coot, though attractive, is not particularly colourful. The bright, fluffy chicks are absolutely gorgeous.
Both parents share the rearing responsibilities, including teaching them how to dive for food.
The Aborigines weren’t the only victims of the rising waters. The once majestic paperbarks that dominated the central area couldn’t survive the permanent submergence.
The remnants provide nesting grounds for the waterbirds
and add another dimension to the landscape.
The black swan is the official bird emblem of Western Australia, this majestic mother comfortable on her nest mound.
Another swan family were out with their youngsters while the Australian shelducks seemed to walk on water.
Pink-eared ducks were resting nearby, they feed by filtering water and soft mud with their specially shaped bills.
Purple swamphens build nesting mounds among the reeds at the lakes edge,
the chicks have feeding lessons in the shallows.
The swamphens are mostly vegetarian but will also eat eggs and very young birds.
The Australian white ibis is one of two ibis species at the lake. They forage for aquatic animals and are known to eat snakes.
As we continued our circuit of the lake,
we found some paperbarks still thriving on the shore.
This lone Pacific black duck was taking some time out.
Another family of purple swamphens were enjoying breakfast
as we returned to our starting point.
What a wonderful way to start the day, thank you Jude.