Parklea Correctional Centre in Western Sydney has two wetlands, one very large and one smaller, which have probably been the product of extensive landscaping works on what was perhaps a rural dam and drainage line prior to purchase of the land for a correctional centre by the government two or more decades ago.
The landscaping and the quiet surroundings of the secured outer grounds of Parklea Correctional Centre provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of birds, particularly water birds.
The following aerial image shows the two wetlands to the west and south-west of the buildings:
The large wetland, by our estimate, occupies 5ha of area and includes quite a sizable island which is well supplied with trees. To the south and north of the wetland are expansive areas of naturally occurring and planted trees. There are shrubs dotting the area to the south but shrubs, particularly Kunzea ambigua, are in more dense supply in the northern area. Native grasses , herbs and groundcovers are in ample supply (along with weed species) but unless protected by shrubs they are subjected to regular slashing. Goodenia, Phyllanthus and Zornia species are well represented.
Management of Parklea Correctional Centre kindly permitted Mark Fuller and Edwin Vella of Cumberland Bird Observers Club as well as Peter Ridgeway and Wayne Olling to conduct a walkaround survey of birds on 12 April 2014.
The day was overcast and rain had fallen prior to the survey. The wetland was full of water and, being at the tail of the season for migratory wading birds, conditions were not best for finding those birds. They were absent.
However, such is the capacity of the wetland to attract a wide range of water birds in the warmer and drier months of the year we anticipate the site would be ‘alive’ with these birds when other wetlands might be struggling.
All things considered, we were not disappointed with the number of birds detected in the two hours of observation. In and around the wetland and in the wooded areas a total of fifty (50) bird species (some introduced) were detected and they can be found here:
|Black Swan||Cygnus atratus||1|
|Pacific Black Duck||Anas superciliosa|
|Chestnut Teal||Anas castanea||6|
|Australasian Grebe||Tachybaptus novaehollandiae||10|
|Australian White Ibis||Threskiornis moluccus|
|Royal Spoonbill||Platalea regia||1|
|Eastern Cattle Egret||Bubulcus coromandus||20|
|Eastern Great Egret||Ardea alba modesta||1|
|White-faced Heron||Egretta novaehollandiae||1|
|Little Pied Cormorant||Microcarbo melanoleucos||1|
|Little Black Cormorant||Phalacrocorax sulcirostris||3|
|Australasian Darter||Anhinga novaehollandiae||1|
|Brown Goshawk||Accipiter fasciatus||1|
|Australasian Swamphen||Porphyrio porphyrio|
|Dusky Moorhen||Gallinula tenebrosa|
|Eurasian Coot||Fulica atra||approx. 300|
|Masked Lapwing||Vanellus miles|
|Rock Dove||Columba livia|
|Spotted Dove||Spilopelia chinensis|
|Crested Pigeon||Ocyphaps lophotes|
|Long-billed Corella||Cacatua tenuirostris|
|Little Corella||Cacatua sanguinea|
|Rainbow Lorikeet||Trichoglossus moluccanus|
|Musk Lorikeet||Glossopsitta concinna|
|Eastern Rosella||Platycercus eximius|
|Red-rumped Parrot||Psephotus haematonotus|
|Superb Fairywren||Malurus cyaneus|
|Yellow-faced Honeyeater||Lichenostomus chrysops|
|White-plumed Honeyeater||Lichenostomus penicillatus|
|Noisy Miner||Manorina melanocephala|
|Red Wattlebird||Anthochaera carunculata|
|Eastern Spinebill||Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris|
|Yellow Thornbill||Acanthiza nana|
|Grey Butcherbird||Cracticus torquatus|
|Black-backed Magpie||Gymnorhina tibicen|
|Pied Currawong||Strepera graculina|
|Black-faced Cuckooshrike||Coracina novaehollandiae|
|Australian Golden Whistler||Pachycephala pectoralis|
|Rufous Whistler||Pachycephala rufiventris|
|Spangled Drongo||Dicrurus bracteatus||1|
|Willie Wagtail||Rhipidura leucophrys|
|Restless Flycatcher||Myiagra inquieta||1|
|Australian Raven||Corvus coronoides|
|Welcome Swallow||Hirundo neoxena|
|Common Myna||Acridotheres tristis|
|Common Starling||Sturnus vulgaris|
|Red-browed Finch||Neochmia temporalis|
|Double-barred Finch||Taeniopygia bichenovii|
We are indebted to management of Parklea Correctional Centre for the maintenance of a viable bird habitat in Western Sydney and for affording us the opportunity to observe its function.
For some pics of the wetland and some of the birds sighted subscribe via this website for the Cumberland Conservation Newsletter. Courtesy of Mark Fuller and Edwin Vella the pics appear in the May issue of the Newsletter.