On the 20th of Feb (I know, I'm a bit behind) I made my way down to Laratinga Wetlands at Mt Barker, it was a bit of a trip, and perhaps not the best timing for it, arriving a day after decent rains, but it was still worth the trip. I think because it's been a wetter summer, that there was perhaps less species than what I would have seen if there had been less water elsewhere, but that could all just be in my head too.
Mt Barker city council has a nice website for the wetlands if you're interested. The site is located here. The most interesting aspect of the site, if only from a birding perspective is the link to a birdpedia article by Bob Snell regarding the occurance of bird species at the wetlands between 2000 and 2006. You can find that article here.
Needless to say, after looking at the frequently occuring species, I had my hopes set pretty high for some lifers. I was most dissapointed by the ducks, I was hoping to see Hardhead, Australasian shoveler and then the Hoary-headed grebe (not a duck, I know :P) yet didn't see any of them. As I said earlier, something I put down to having a wetter summer than usual. Still, I was pretty pleased to have such good views of plenty of Australasian grebes, a bird which although I've seen before, I've never seen in such close proximaity. Their colours, though subtle are
The most noticeable bird when I arrived was a small flock of some large mallard-esque ducks which seemed intent on swimming around the edge of one of the ponds, following a lady walking on the path. I stopped and had a chat to her when the ducks finally climbed out of the water and walked up to her. Turns out she feeds them on a regular basis and they recognise her. I'm not sure what the hyrbid was, but they were certainly an imposing group of birds as they waddled heavily by me. This female paused long enough for a photo.
There weren't too many other photo ops to be had, as it grew later, a large flock of welcome swallows was hawking over and in the water for food and would perch on the reeds in the middle of one of the ponds to rest. I saw black-faced cuckoo shrike, common bronzewing, grey-shrike thrush, striated pardalote, white ibis,