The most beautiful birds to spot on your next walk around Lake Connewarre
22.10.2021

The most beautiful birds to spot on your next walk around Lake Connewarre

Lake Connewarre by Carole O'Neill
Words by Amy Li

Geelong might be best known for its artsy culture, cafes and coffee, but this sprawling region also offers a variety of birds to spot when out and about.

Taking time out at Lake Connewarre? Whether you’re coastal walking, kayaking or quail hunting, there’s something anyone with a pinch of patience can do — birdwatching.

You might be thinking ‘how boring’? Au contraire.

Extending across the lower reaches of the Barwon River on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, the Lake Connewarre State Wildlife Reserve is a garden of Eden for 150 bird species. Ranging from common to critically endangered, these diverse creatures are rewarding and awe-inspiring to see, so keep your eyes peeled for seven birds you don’t want to miss at Lake Connewarre.

Orange-bellied Parrot 

This little guy is rated as critically endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species, so you’ve struck gold if you spot this one. Keep a sharp eye out for its prominent two-toned blue frontal band and distinctive orange belly. 

 

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Brolga 

For the less visually acute of us, Brolgas are more commonly sighted at Lake Connewarre, despite frequent habitat shifting. It was formally declared as Queensland’s state emblem in 1986. The bright orange-red band on its head is just shouting for attention. 

White-necked Heron 

The White-necked Heron is nomadic, becoming a more common spring visitor to Lake Connewarre since 2011. You can distinguish it by the black spots on its foreneck and the plum-coloured nuptial plumes present during breeding season. 

 

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Banded Stilt 

Banded Stilt are also nomadic. They congregate in large numbers on salt lakes and derive their name from the red-brown breast band on breeding adults. Listen out for the barking call made by adult Stilts! 

Australian Spotted Crake 

This bird is endemic to Australia and is occasionally seen in swamps around Lake Connewarre. It’s recognisable by its blue-gray body speckled with white and its yellow feet and beak. If you get close enough, you can see its piercing red eyes. 

 

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Black-fronted Dotterel 

In contrast to the Orange-bellied Parrot, the population trend of the Black-fronted Dotterel is on the climb. They retain the same plumage all year round and have eye-catching red beaks, making them hard to miss. 

 

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Red-kneed Dotterel 

Native to mainland Australia, Red-kneed Dotterel are sometimes irruptive, meaning they undergo long-distance migration. They are found on the lake between October and January. Look out for the distinctive red leg and tarsal joint for which this bird gets its name. 

 

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Now these birds are on your radar, be sure to watch out for them. Grab your binoculars and stay on the alert so you don’t miss these seven splendid species.