Photographer has twitch for floating bird hide

Waterbirds on Lake Joondalup. Pictures: Gary Tate
Waterbirds on Lake Joondalup. Pictures: Gary Tate

KEEN photographer Gary Tate has called for better infrastructure for bird-watching around Lake Joondalup.

The Greenwood resident said installing a floating bird hide, similar to the Bibra Lake structure, would benefit residents and birding tourism.

“I believe that WA will benefit from increased tourism, national and international, if we were to improve our bird watching infrastructure, particularly around our local wetland areas,” he said.

Mr Tate suggested a good location for the hide could be on the Wanneroo side of the lake, near the Rotary Park opportunity play space.


Grebe with chicks. Picture: Gary Tate

He recently took photos of chicks “backpacking” on a grebe at the lake.

The lake and surrounding Yellagonga Regional Park are home to a variety of water and bush birds.

In another recent visit, Mr Tate photos of a scene he likened to Kakadu, with hundreds of birds on the water including black swans, white-faced heron, pied stilts, coots and ducks.

According to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Lake Joondalup is a class A nature reserve within Yellagonga Regional Park and management of the water body focused on conservation and protection of flora and fauna.

The Bibra Lake bird hide. Picture: Gary Tate

“The lake is an important breeding ground and summer refuge for birds and other wildlife, with a number of migratory species visiting the park,” a department spokesman said.

He said the department supported future consideration of some smaller-scale wildlife viewing points to be developed at selected areas around the lake, subject to funding, and recent work had focused on completing the path network.

“Completion of the Lake Joondalup circuit remains a priority,” the spokesman said.

“Other projects such as wildlife viewing points will be considered into the future.”

Mr Tate also recently took a photo of a male splendid fairy wren whose feathers were “changing into their beautiful blue mating plumage” at Neil Hawkins Park beside the lake.

Splendid fairy wren. Picture: Gary Tate