This handsome, vividly coloured bird was very active and evident round my campsite at Ganguddy/Dunns Swamp in the Wollemi National Park.
I knew it was a Purple Swamphen, with that very distinctive red front shield and beak.
It kept strutting about on those extremely long feet and making short screeches. It seemed agitated.
At first I thought this log was the cause, looking so like a reptile, and then I spotted the real one.
And yet the goanna did seem to be on the run from the bird’s harrying screeches.
‘Safe to come out’, the purple protector must have signalled, as soon the rest of the family emerged.
Later I saw the mother and chicks down by the water and the reeds they must love. Dad was off ahead… checking for goannas, no doubt.
Dunns Swamp is actually a dammed river, and has vast stretches of reeds, where those Swamphens likely nest.
Walking by the water, I can see by the incredible number of picnic tables and fireplaces that this is a popular place. Kayaking tours were offered. It would be unbearable for me in holiday times, but campsites were tucked amongst trees and there were few campers in such damp weather.
I only managed brief walks between showers, so was delighted to see quite a few colonies of this mauve Fringed Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus) in the boggy riverside walk. I hate giving it the full Common name, as ‘Common’ implies less than the fragile beauty it is.