Happy Valley Reservoir (19th Mar, 2022)

Context: Opened to the public in December 2022, as part of Glenthorne National Park, the reservoir offers 4 wide gravel walking trails, cycling, kayaking, fishing and facilities. This park is all about suburban recreation.

iNaturalist Projects:

Happy Valley Reservoir Reserve, South Australia

Glenthorne National Park – Ityamaiitpinna Yarta, South Australia

SW007 Happy Valley Reservoir North Bush For Life /SA Water site

SW008 Happy Valley South Bush For Life / SA Water Site


A park I’ve been meaning to visit since it opened, but have been reluctant given the expansive carpark is frequently full. For this introductory walk we followed the western part of the South Loop, from the Southern carpark, across the dam wall to the Western Carpark, and back again.



The mature Eucalypts near the carpark provide some shade and quality nesting sites for the Birds. Both Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos appeared to be staking out some hollows. The breeze coming across the reservoir, north to south, took the edge off the hot weather. In this sections of the park there’s limited understory, but quite a population of Native Apricot (Pittosporum angustifolium). Wherever the Eucalypts had accessible branches close to the ground, we found numerous Honeybrown Beetles (Ecnolagria sp.). A couple of Pacific Black Ducks in the reservoir showed orange legs indicating they were hybridised with feral Mallards. There are many such hybrids downstream from the reservoir as far as the Fountain Valley Drive pond.



Near the dam wall there were a few Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) feeding on the green vegetation closer to the edge of the water. Another on the sloping outer face of the dam wall. The breeze dropped away along the exposed dam wall and the heat radiated back from the gravel track, making it rather unpleasant. Although the dam wall was all stone down to the water’s edge, a few Birds were making use of this area. A Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) and a half-dozen Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).

Returning along the treed section of the path there were several Long-billed Corellas (Cacatua tenuirostris) and under the trees a Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) trying to disappear.

As an introductory walk through the park, the dam wall seemed like the feature to see, but if you’re looking for nature perhaps heading to the more treed Eastern side of the reservoir might be more worth while.

Head to iNatutralist to see the full list of observations


Species PageIconBinomialCommon NameObservations
42881Macropus fuliginosusWestern Grey Kangaroo3
8575Gymnorhina tibicenAustralian Magpie2
485512Ecnolagria2
3335Phaps chalcopteraCommon Bronzewing1
3740Threskiornis moluccaAustralian White Ibis1
4872Vanellus milesMasked Lapwing1
4936Egretta novaehollandiaeWhite-faced Heron1
8583Grallina cyanoleucaMagpie-lark1
12622Anthochaera carunculataRed Wattlebird1
54756Teloschistaceae1
58822Dittrichia graveolensStinkwort1
64103Agave americanaAmerican century plant1
76764Echium plantagineumpurple viper’s-bugloss1
116834Cacatua galeritaSulphur-crested Cockatoo1
116839Cacatua tenuirostrisLong-billed Corella1
144507Chroicocephalus novaehollandiaeSilver Gull1
144560Eolophus roseicapillaGalah1
149448Heteronympha meropeCommon Brown1
349255Pittosporum angustifoliumNative apricot1
370351Microcarbo melanoleucosLittle Pied Cormorant1
404420Osteospermum moniliferumBietou1
410743Anas superciliosa × platyrhynchosPacific Black Duck × Mallard hybrid1