And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Purple Swamphen

One of the well known wetland birds in Perth is the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio). Just go to any reasonable wetland with reeds, and chances are you will hear the throaty bellow or see this big rail wandering around in the reeds or grass. Herdsman Lake is a great spot to see these guys, as they often come out onto the lawns surrounding parts of the lake.

This is a video of some of Herdsman's swamphens feeding on one of their favourite foods, thick fleshy reed stems. Listen for the 'click' as the huge strong bill snips off the reed like a pair of scissors, before removing the layers to get to the nice tasty inner core.

For more information on these great birds see :  and

The time has come for some more overseas birding holidays, so this week I'm off to Fraser's Hill in peninsular Malaysia and Miri in Borneo for some more wonderful Asian birding, and hopefully more bird videos. Catch you soon.