Heirisson Island, Perth

Heirisson Island view of Perth City

Heirisson Island view of Perth City

Heirisson Island is an absolute gem in Perth and seems remarkably under-appreciated.  It’s right on the doorstep of the main part of the city, in the middle of the Swan River, at the end of Riverside Drive.  There’s a busy road (The Causeway),  which connects the North and South of the city, and it crosses the island.  If you head south on The Causeway, you can pull into a car park on the island.  Once there, it feels a million miles from city centre life.

Pelican

Pelican

 

I called in this week for an hour for a walk in the middle of an otherwise busy day and there was plenty to see.  This pelican was having a mid-day rest and didn’t seem interested in my presence.

 

 

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

 

The island has its own population of kangaroos. You have to go through a gate on the western side of the island, where there’s a fence to stop them wandering onto the road.  In the daytime in summer, they’re usually sleeping in the shade, but this week was cooler so they were out grazing.

 

Island on the island

Island on the island

This shows an island within a lake on the island in the river – strange.  Note how there’s nobody else in the picture at all!  Despite being in a city.  Why?

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Because it’s so close to the sea, the tide still effects this part of the river.  This means that the water is brackish and there are natural tubes for the river water to flow in and out of the lakes on the island.  So that explains how jellyfish have come to populate the water on the island.

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron

This time there were lots of herons around.  I saw at  least 7 in the wetland area.  Much more shy than the pelican or the darter, but they still let me get close enough to get some photos.

There are usually darters somewhere to be seen on the island, and often they will be stretching their wings out to dry like the one below.

Australasian Darter

Australasian Darter

There are development plans around for the island. One plan is to make a sculpture park.  However, I quite like it as it is – quiet, peaceful and natural.

Penguin Island

 

Pelican Drying

Pelican Drying

 

Several recent posts have been about birds that I saw on Penguin Island, but there’s plenty more wildlife to see there.  It’s a great day out too.  It’s just a 10 minute boat ride from the mainland or, if you like kayaking, you can kayak from the shore on a trip or in your own kayak.  The boats don’t run during the winter because the island is closed during the penguins‘ breeding season.

penguin island

This is the view from the top of the island looking back to the mainland.  Plenty of people come over for a day on the beach with a picnic.  It’s a good snorkelling spot too.  Lots of visitors also go on the boat trip over to Seal Island or go dolphin watching.

Pelican Chicks

Pelican Chicks

The 2 pelican breeding sites are amazing to see.  The chicks look even more clumsy than the parents, with wings and legs seeming to stick out at all angles.  Each site looks very disorganised with chicks just lying scattered.  They don’t appear to have nests.  Maybe with a lack of predators and the warm temperatures they don’t need a nest.

 

Buff-Banded Rail

Buff-Banded Rail

 

Another common sight are the buff-banded rails.  There are several on the island, but the ones near the visitor centre don’t have the level of shyness that you’d expect.  They don’t come out at the height of picnic time, but when it’s a bit quieter they often come onto the lawn.

 

 

King's Skink

King’s Skink

 

 

It’s well known for its King’s Skinks. If you try to have a picnic by the visitors centre they’ll come right up and hope for scraps.

 

 

 

Oyster Catchers

Oyster Catchers

 

 

 

These oyster catchers were having a good stretch while I watched.

 

 

Seagull Chick

Seagull Chick

 

Naturally there are plenty of gulls on the island.  This little chick was feeling very shy.  Patience paid off and it eventually came out of the bushes to join its mum.

 

 

 

Stack

Stack

 

 

 

There are lots of wierd rock formations over the island.  A tern took advantage of this stack to make its nest.

 

 

 

 

I won’t subject you to any photos of me snorkelling, but there are snorkelling sites around and if you are lucky you might just be joined by one of the dolphins.

Rocks

Rocks