I visited Lake Joondalup on my first trip to Australia and couldn’t get over the number of parrots there were (these turned out to be corellas). I vowed to go back again if ever we moved here – and now I do, regularly. The lake is home to resident and migratory water birds, and the surrounding parks and woodland are home to many other birds and wildlife.
One of my favourite things to see there is the aptly named long-necked turtle. It’s not easy to see one and it helps if it’s very sunny so you can see through the water clearly. I’ve seen them from Neil Hawkins Park (on the West bank, near to the centre of Joondalup). There’s a walkway onto the lake where you can look for them, and you can usually see plenty of the less shy waterfowl too. The park has a play area and plenty of barbeques, so it’s usually full of families. The resident long-billed corellas live there and are very friendly. They can normally be found on the lawns in the day, along with the pigeons. Gallahs nest there and I also sometimes see ringnecks and rainbow lorikeets. Due to the amount of wildlife in the reserve, there are plenty of birds of prey there. Swamp harriers often cicle over the water and eagles occasionally visit.
Further South, by Edgewater, is Picnic Cove. Another play area, more barbeques, more water birds. And also (although I’ve never seen them), tiger snakes. During the summer the water level drops. By autumn, the water almost disappears at Picnic Cove.
Once the winter rains come and it starts to fill again, plenty of birds arrive to breed.
There’s a 16km circuit of the lake that you can walk, run or cycle that takes you by the lake and through the woods. In the summer you’ll see spiders with enormous webs in the trees.
What might you see there: Shoveler, duck, black swan, Australian Shelduck, musk duck, long-billed corella, gallah, rainbow lorikeet, ringneck parakeet, pink eared duck, white faced heron, white necked heron, spoonbill, egret, kookaburra, black shouldered kite, Australian kestrel, swamp harrier, wedge-tailed eagle, white bellied sea-eagle, pelican, buff banded rail, black-tailed native-hen, chestnut teal, ibis, red-kneed dotterel, whiskered tern, hoary-headed grebe, Australasian grebe