I had been on parental leave and this was my last weekday before heading back to work – there was a play date on at home so I was going to head out for some exploring.
In some of my research I had seen Piney Lakes had lots of Oblong Turtles and it was a place I had driven past many times wondering what it was like in there. In my reading up they also spoke about Quenda that can be found there.
I drove in from Leach Hwy – noting you can’t park inside on weekends.
As soon as I got out of the car I heard the unmistakable call of a rainbow bee-eater – they are a summer visitor and fly down from the North & PNG to breed in sandy tunnels – so lots of places in Perth play host to them.
There is an education centre which I suspect is the main function of the place. I headed past there seeing lots of honeyeaters and wattlebirds.
I walked through sculpture garden to the walk around the wetland. Just as I entered the gate I saw a quenda dash away but wasn’t able to grab a photo.
As I walked on the track the vegetation is quite close and you can hear lots of birds. I came across this awesome juvenile bobtail lizard getting some sun on this warm day.
Just beyond I found a bigger bobtail with one eye – must have been a violent encounter in the past perhaps with a cat, dog or maybe fox?.
I hadn’t seen or heard any more quenda for a while but then saw one dash into the bushes – they are pretty timid here. Flitting about on a nest box was this striated pardalote.
I also saw a skink dash away – I didn’t manage a shot – I was missing lots today. Looking at the reptile book at home I think it was an odd-striped Ctenotus and they are pretty hard to identify without a really good shot or catching them.
I walked all the way round the vegetated lake and then went onto the boardwalk where I quickly spotted a quenda – this time I was quieter and it was feeding during the day but under vegetation most of the time.
I spotted a couple more – if you were patient and quiet you could really watch their feeding behaviour.
I then spotted a bird which was zipping up and down tree trunks and I thought it might be a varied sittela but on examination it was a rarely seen but common white-browed scrubwren.
I had a nice view of a family of splendid fairywrens – also known as blue wrens where the dominant male is an iridescent blue – it didn’t pose nicely for me! I also saw a nice Western Wattlebird.
I was so pleased seeing quenda feeding in late afternoon – this has to become one of my spots to see them.
On leaving I saw another Western Wattlebird feeding on Banksia.
This is a really nice spot – I am sure there are more reptiles to be seen and also amphibians – but the quenda during the day was the standout.