Bird life numbers at Lake Gwelup highest in 20 years

Lake Gwelup is bustling with bird life.
Lake Gwelup is bustling with bird life.

THE number of swans and ducks at Lake Gwelup Reserve is at its highest in 20 years.

Visitors to the Karrinyup lake are being met by large numbers of water birds, particularly swans.

Friends of Lake Gwelup member David Pike, who runs nature walks around the lake, said there were more water birds than seen in nearly 20 years.

 

Mr Pike believed one of the main reasons was the water level, which had been rising over the past three years.

“Prior to that, the lake had dried out in summer for around 12 years, due to the amount of water being extracted from the ‘confined’ aquifer by Water Corporation’s Gwelup bore field,” he said.

“The surface water and ‘confined’ aquifer are connected, so drawing from one affects the other.

“When the second desalination plant came on line, I believe the Gwelup bore field was able to be turned down, allowing Lake Gwelup to start re-filling.”

He said most of the smaller wetlands around Perth had dried up because of the lack of late summer rain so water birds were migrating to larger wetlands.

“Black Swans in particular need quite a large expanse of open water for taking off and landing and June to September is their nesting time,” he said.

“So for the first time in a long while, there is enough water, at the right time of the year, to allow them to congregate there for nesting.

“They also prefer enough area to be able to keep their nests well separated from each other.

“There are also large numbers of pink-eared ducks around the board walk, which is unusual to see.”