My beautiful wife and I try to get some date time each fortnight. This fortnight Mel had the brilliant idea to drop the kids off with their Grandies and go for a walk in Kings Park next to Perth CBD. Kings Park is Perth’s botanical gardens, combined with lovely parks, play areas and two thirds of it bush in a 400 hectare reserve very close to the CBD.
It was feeling like spring weather and we headed to the park planning to walk through the botanical gardens which should be full of flowers this time of year. I also wanted to walk down “Law walk” as I had heard on facebook that someone had seen 12 Quenda (Isoodon fusciventer) during the daytime on a walk recently. It’s surmised that an unauthorised release of Quenda occurred in the park as their genetics indicate they come from the Bibra lake region and the staff both love and detest them – they are digging away, do what bandicoots do, but can’t read the signs to keep out of the immaculately tended botanic gardens full of rare plants!
It was really busy and we found it tough to get a park but immediately felt at peace once we started walking through the gardens.
Once we headed down to Law walk I saw what I think were possibly bandicoot diggings but didn’t see an actual Quenda.
As we headed down the path a little further we saw a bounce of a bird that was unmistakably a Fairy-wren. It settled on the fence and we could see the blue of an eclipse non-dominant male.
We then caught a glimpse of a brilliantly coloured bird with a couple of other drab cross the path in front of us.
It was the dominant male and I had a suspicion it was a Variegated fairy-wren (there are many species in the wider Perth region). I checked with the brains trust (WA Birds fb group) and they confirmed it was this species but also advised it had been recently split from the widely distributed Variegated fairy-wren and now was known as the Purple-backed fairy-wren! (Malurus assimilis). It is also possible to determine which species the female belongs to with this imaginative titled Birdlife Australia article ‘50 shades of brown!‘ see a photo of a female below.
We followed the flock and I saw one other new species for me – a Varied sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera). Not a great shot but was able to tell the species from underneath.
A lovely walk with great company (wife without kids!) on a beautiful Spring day – the warmer weather is coming!