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  • The Diversion Basin

    Aquatic and plant life

    The Diversion Basin contains fresh water from inland waterways and sea water from the Patawalonga Lake. The volumes of fresh water and salt water constantly change in this area. Plants play an important role in this environment, providing shelter and food for birds and fish. Reeds can also help break down pollutants in the water. Many coastal plants can tolerate both salt and freshwater conditions, while the marine fish flushed into the Pat from the ocean prefer the brackish waters. Dolphins often travel the entire length of the Patawalonga Lake to the North Gates to fish, but they are not known to enter Diversion Basin.

    Birds of the Patawalonga

    The Diversion Basin and adjacent areas are important remnants of once extensive wetlands known as The Reedbeds. Prior to European settlement, over 200 species of birds lived in these wetlands. Clearance of woodlands and draining of swamps for agriculture, and later suburbia, make these remnant wetlands and open spaces very precious. While many birds have disappeared from the region, we can still enjoy the ducks, waders, cormorants, terns, grebes and other waterbirds that call this area home. The most notable birds are the Australian Pelican, frequently seen perched on the boom near Tapleys Hill Road, the stately White faced Heron and the magnificent white Eastern Great Egret. The egret and heron are often seen stalking fish at the water’s edge.

The Diversion Basin

Aquatic and plant life

The Diversion Basin contains fresh water from inland waterways and sea water from the Patawalonga Lake. The volumes of fresh water and salt water constantly change in this area. Plants play an important role in this environment, providing shelter and food for birds and fish. Reeds can also help break down pollutants in the water. Many coastal plants can tolerate both salt and freshwater conditions, while the marine fish flushed into the Pat from the ocean prefer the brackish waters. Dolphins often travel the entire length of the Patawalonga Lake to the North Gates to fish, but they are not known to enter Diversion Basin.

Birds of the Patawalonga

The Diversion Basin and adjacent areas are important remnants of once extensive wetlands known as The Reedbeds. Prior to European settlement, over 200 species of birds lived in these wetlands. Clearance of woodlands and draining of swamps for agriculture, and later suburbia, make these remnant wetlands and open spaces very precious. While many birds have disappeared from the region, we can still enjoy the ducks, waders, cormorants, terns, grebes and other waterbirds that call this area home. The most notable birds are the Australian Pelican, frequently seen perched on the boom near Tapleys Hill Road, the stately White faced Heron and the magnificent white Eastern Great Egret. The egret and heron are often seen stalking fish at the water’s edge.

Brooklyn Ave

picnic shelter

BMX Park

picnic shelter

Nearest picnic shelter

Please call the Marine Mammal Emergency number (0427 556 676) if you see:

    - ​people feeding or harassing dolphins 

Educational resources

Fact sheet: Bird information

Activity: Bird Bingo

Activity: Stormwater Savers

Useful links

Birds SA checklist

DEW Patawalonga Lake System

Trail stations

at the South Gates

1

Station 1

at the South Gates

along the South-East bank

2

Station 2

along the South-East bank

opposite the Patawilya Reserve

3

Station 3

opposite the Patawilya Reserve

at the Patawalonga boat ramp

4

Station 4

at the Patawalonga boat ramp

at the West Beach entry

6

Station 6

at the West Beach entry

at the Stanley St beach

7

Station 7

at the Stanley St beach

Keep in mind when watching dolphins

Birds of the Patawalonga

Australian PelicanListen for the distinctive sound of a pelican landing on the water with its legs extended. Pelicans can be seen feeding in the lake, sometime foraging in groups and plunging their beaks into the water to scoop up fish. White-faced HeronYou may see the this heron flushing out prey by stirring the water with its foot or raking the water’s surface. Hoary-headed GrebesLook out for grebes popping up to the surface after diving deep to catch small crabs. Nankeen Night HeronsForaging from dusk to dawn, these herons may dive feet first to catch their prey or vibrate their bills in the water to attract prey. Little Pied CormorantCormorants will chase their prey underwater by propelling themselves forward with their feet.

Station 5

at the Diversion Basin

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