Australasian Darter

One of my mid-week outings took me to Heirisson Island, in the middle of the Swan River, in the middle of Perth. I was actually trying to see the resident kangaroos, but I found that it was much easier to see the birds there. In the river I could see a bird swimming with its body underwater and its long neck wriggling on the surface – I hadn’t seen that before. Then I saw this.

 Bird - Australasian Darter

Soaking Up The Rays

Bird - Australasian Darter

Snake Neck

It looked similar to a cormorant in some ways, especially when it opened its wings to dry, but it had a long pointy beak more like a heron. Its tail was longer than a cormorant’s too. When I looked it up it turned out to be an Australasian Darter. It’s also called a snake-bird because of the movement of its head and neck on the surface of the water when it swims. The darters who weren’t by or in the water were sitting in groups in trees, on an island in a lake on the island in the river.

Taking good pictures would have been much easier without the particularly loud tourists circling in a hire boat. The darters didn’t seem to mind my quiet approach but they definitely weren’t keen on the chugging engine. At least they gave me plenty of chances to watch the darters flying I suppose.

And yes, I did eventually find the kangaroos. They were hiding in a bog.

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