The Byron Wetlands are part of the so called Byron Bay integrated water management reserve. While it could be more coarsely referred to as the Byron Bay sewerage works, in truth, when you are there it is easy see why they are an award winning example good resource management as they have created a wonderful natural habitat for local fauna and flora – birds in particular. Apart from an unobtrusive industrial processing centre in one corner, the place is more like a park with a number of lakes and swamps interspersed with walking tracks. Access is by prior arrangement with the council, but it is free and restricted access ensures that the birds do not suffer the continual harassment from dogs and children that they would otherwise endure in an open reserve.
I spotted 5 new species of bird at this site maybe 6 – not bad for two hours of bird-watching with 377 species already on the list.
In this area we spotted Baillon’s crake (top left), and a swamp harrier – both new birds for the trip. Also black swans and Australasian grebes. We saw some spotless crake here too – unfortunately the views were all too fleeting to get a photograph.