Context: An artificial wetland on the North edge of Aldinga Scrub CP, created as part of Onkaparinga Council’s Water Proofing the South project. Three main ponds connected by gravel walking paths and bridges. Historically hosting a male Musk Duck seen displaying from time to time.
First stop on day two of the City Nature Challenge was the Hart Road Wetlands. Always a good spot to find a wide range of Bird and a couple of Frog species. There also used to be a resident Musk Duck here.
If you’re looking for a spot where you can guarantee you’ll see a Kangaroo, it’s here. In the mornings they can be found feeding on the large open area in front of the carpark. On this morning, a couple of Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) were feeding right at the carpark.
A small group of Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata) were a lucky sighting. These are not uncommon, but certainty aren’t guaranteed at this wetland. The usual Australasian Swamphens (Porphyrio melanotus) and Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra) were about.
The European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are quite common here, often resting on one of the several dead tree trunks.
On the far side of the Southern-most pond is a large Eucalypt used as a roost for quite a few species, including White-faced Herons (Egretta novaehollandiae), Little Pied Cormorants (Microcarbo melanoleucos) and Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), although the latter were absent on this morning.
Like so many suburban wetlands across SA, this wetland has its fair share of Domestic Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos var. domesticus) and Pacific Black Duck × Mallard Hybrids (Anas superciliosa × platyrhynchos). These hybrids have become quite a problem across metropolitan SA. Today I spotted only the one Domestic Mallard and a pair of hybrids showing the orange legs trait.
I was hoping to record the resident Musk Duck, but it has been absent on my last few visits. This species doesn’t move around much, being reluctant to fly. It’s looking like it has abandoned this territory for somewhere more fruitful. Below is an older photo I took of it performing its water-flicking display.