Anyone who is close to me knows that I’ve been obsessed with Serendip Sanctuary lately. It’s named as one of the best 100 birdwatching sites in Australia and allows you to get extremely close to many of Australia’s native animals. Oh, did I say that it doesn’t cost anything?
The main issue preventing me from getting there was the logistics. It would require a bus, a train to Lara AND a taxi. Fortunately, I had the mental mojo on Friday to handle such logistics. I convinced Glenn to come, packed the cameras and away we went!
Glenn. THERE’S AN EMU!
The taxi driver wasn’t quite sure where serendip was. Fortunately I had the address, but he only dropped us off half way to the car park. We walked the rest of the way up surrounded by birdsong.
There was an emu walking around outside the entrance. Glenn was able to get pretty close to practice his photography.
I don’t know if it classifies as a wild one but my gosh, it’s so brilliant to be able to get so close.
We walked past a tinsy winsy stream. There were a lot of people looking at something that was darting under the bridge. A MUSK DUCK!
I would have been willing to travel several hours just to catch a glimpse of one of these birds. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with ducks, especially weird looking ones. Seth (who joined us later) loved it. It made him laugh, it was so weird looking.
We had barely gone past the visitors centre. But oh – whats that? Just a whistling kite.
We went to Jirrahlinga (at Barwon heads) for my birthday a couple of years ago. Glenn fell in love with the call of a whistling kite. I’ve been wanting to see one in the wild ever since. The markings are distinctive and make it a lot easier to identify.
Later on, we saw three birds of prey together. Two of them sort of fought in the air with their talons. It was so amazing to see.
The wildlife walk
This walk is awesome. It starts near the info centre and takes you through various areas where you can get close up to animals. You can walk through decent sized enclosures with animals such as emus, swamp wallabies and cape barren geese. There are signs in a couple of places that help explain things like animal poop and ant lifecycles. It’s very educational.
Technically, I have seen swamp wallabies in the wild. We were at Ocean Grove Nature Reserve and could never quite get a clear photo of them. We enjoyed being able to get up close to them. Most of them were in groups in the shaded areas.
Seth may have been excited to see swamp wallaby poo. I may have several photos of animal scats.
Now, originally it was meant to be just Glenn and I there. I had phoned mum up asking if Seth wanted to come but we couldn’t figure out the logistics. Later, my sister decided that she would take Seth and join us there. It was a bit of a surprise, seeing as we’d probably have to cover the same ground.
It was then that we realized we’d had the camera on the wrong setting the entire time. All of our photos had that blue tinge. The unexpected arrival turned out to be a blessing as we got another chance to get photos.
We also got a chance to see the tiger quolls. Seth and I LOVE tiger quolls. Part of it is because of Chris Humfrey. The other is due to a museum.
Museum Victoria have this really cool app that is a field guide to Victorian fauna. It has photos of the animals, distribution maps and audios of the animal calls. It’s really popular here. Mum and Seth used it to identify animals they saw in the Apollo Bay rockpools. We regularly play animal calls and just talk about our favourite animals.
So. We were playing animal sounds and I heard what sounded like someone grunting while going to the toilet. It was hilarious. Seth kept on playing it because he knew it would give me the giggles. Quolls became an obsession.
We didn’t get to see the quolls the first time. We did the second time, when my good luck charm/nephew was there. I don’t know whether they were the kittens that recently made the news. Still: QUOLLS!
The geese were roaming freely throughout various enclosures and in the paddocks outside of Serendip.
There was also a number of walk-in aviaries which allowed you to get close to bush stone curlews and tawny frogmouths. Great photo opportunities!
Another highlight was seeing the brolgas up close.
There were a number of bird hides along the wildlife walk. There are two separate walks that take you to other wetland environments but this was the most accessible. I loved watching the emus drinking.
I also got my first photo of a yellow billed spoonbill. I’m sure I had seen them previously at limeburners lagoon but I had lost the photos. I only noticed the bird when going through my photos afterwards.
I love ducklings.
Black tailed native hen. Another lifer.
Dotteral. Now seeing them all the time. Buttheads.
I want to go back
It was a great way to spend a couple of hours. Glenn got so many photos and Seth already wants to go back. I want to go back by myself and spend a couple of hours at the wetland areas looking for new ducks. I also want to see the little and purple-crowned lorikeets which are found in the area.
I highly recommended it.
It can be a bit of a pain to get to if you don’t have a car. The taxi fare from Lara Station was less then $12.
. Echidna Walkabout have a tour that visits here and the you yangs in the same day. I believe that a tour is the best option for overseas visitors as you will learn a lot more.