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Swan Lake, Phillip Island

Updated on January 22, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen has lived in, taught in and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

Swan Lake: Hidden Away in a Corner of Phillip Island.

The track to the lake
The track to the lake | Source

Getting There

We were staying on Phillip Island in the State of Victoria, Australia, during the Christmas holidays, last summer. My friends knew the island well and one day suggested that we visit Swan Lake. I had been on Phillip Island before, but had never visited Swan Lake.

I was so pleased as I love birds and apparently this nature reserve was well known for its water birds. The name conjured up visions of beautiful ballerinas and the familiar music. This was to be no less beautiful in its own way. It did not take long to drive there, but the lake is situated in swamp land and we had to park and then walk to reach the lake.


Swamp wallaby
Swamp wallaby | Source

Varying Terrain

The track was well sign-posted and I soon realized that it took us through varying terrain. There was bushland with scrub, but the track was fairly wide and flat. In fact, the beginning part would have been quite suitable for wheel-chairs. I was watching out for my first view of the lake and swans, but was surprised to find that the first creature we saw was not bird life at all. There were some swamp wallabies. Most went hopping off, but one obligingly stayed long enough for me to take a photo. At least, if all the birds had taken off, we had seen something.

Nearby there were some holes that signified a rabbit warren, but they are certainly not the animals we were hoping to see. They're cute enough in captivity, but in the wild they can devastate our delicately balanced native countryside.


Part of Swan Lake
Part of Swan Lake | Source

Swan Lake

We met a number of visitors coming back along the track and were assured that it was not much further - and we were cheered by the further comment that there really were black swans and other water birds to be seen. Our walk would not be in vain.

At last we reached a vantage point where we could see the lake, sparking and blue in the summer sun and soon the track led down a slight hill. We ended by walking into a good-sized hide. It had been built on a little peninsula that ran out into the lake, so we could see the water on either side of us.


Black Swans and other water birds
Black Swans and other water birds | Source

Birds to the Left of Us

To our left there was a swampy area and to our delight it was teeming with birds. They certainly had not all vanished.

Among the grasses black swans swam

Or snoozed in the sun, or flew,

Some even nested

Or on one leg rested.

So many birds. I knew

Some, but others could not name,

What a shame!

Chestnut Ducks
Chestnut Ducks | Source

Birds to the Right of Us

There were birds straight ahead, including white herons, and there were birds to the right of us, as well. They had certainly not all vanished at the news of our arrival.

Scattered along a golden strand

Chestnut teal and others

Had gathered to preen and stand,

Or bicker gently with brothers.

More water birds joined

The beautifully feathered band,

But those who purloined

A morsel or two

Were chased along the sand:

Sought refuge in water blue.


Water fowl on the prowl
Water fowl on the prowl | Source

The Purple Swamphen

The ubiquitous water fowl,

Always on the prowl,

Worms are its treat

As it strides on long feet

Clucking and seeking

White tail flicking.

Purple-blue sheen so sleek

A flash of red head near its beak.


Cape Barren Geese
Cape Barren Geese | Source

Cape Barren Goose

Far across the marsh

Grey geese we espied,

With honk so harsh

But no wee goslings at side.

It's good to see them around

Not so many to be found.

With ceres lime-green,

Red legs to be seen,

Black bill and black feet:

Island dwellers so neat.



We walked to another hide and there we found just what we needed. A whole wall was beautifully painted with images of the many water birds that visit Swan Lake from time to time. We were so pleased to be able to identify those we had not known and discuss those we had not seen on this visit. Swan Lake certainly lives up to its name and is well worth a visit for any bird lovers.

Part of a painting in a hide
Part of a painting in a hide | Source

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      LadyFiddler: I'm glad you enjoyed them. Hope you have a great week, too.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 5 years ago from On planet Earth

      Very nice i love your pictures :)

      Have a wonderful week

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      photosbecomearts: Thank you. It was a great place to visit. Sorry I'm not writing hubs much at the moment, I'm trying to finish a book, the last bits and what I call the 'housekeeping' can be very time-consuming. Glad you enjoyed Swan Lake and came to share it with me.

    • photosbecomearts profile image

      photosbecomearts 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida, USA

      Your one good poet, not just a writer. I am captivated BlossomSB. I enjoyed the poems and the story behind this.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia

      Lovely Hub BlossomSB. I've been to Phillip Island but wasn't aware of Swan Lake so thank you for sharing those wonderful photos. The bird life looks amazing. Loved your poetry too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Snowdrops: Thank you for your vote - and for your lovely comments.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Wow Awesome..the swan Lake... Voted uP.

      Loved reading your writings and your photos were great!

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      aboutaustralia: Yes, I love those little ducks and the ducklings are just like little bits of fluff floating on the water. Thank you for your comments.

    • aboutaustralia profile image

      aboutaustralia 5 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      Love the photo of the chestnut ducks, the colour contrast is amazing! Interesting hub, thanks for sharing, really enjoyed it. Sharon

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Faith Reaper: I'm so glad that you enjoyed the 'trip'! God bless you.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thelma Alberts: Yes, it was lovely to visit and I had a great time there. Thank you for your lovely comments.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Sheilanewton: Thank you. Birds are great subjects for photos - if you can get close enough. I'm glad you're a bird lover, too. Maybe some day you'll make it.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      KatrineDalMonte: Yes, it was lovely and great for taking photos.

      Thank you for your comments.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Blossom, this is absolutely stunning in word and imagery. Thanks for another wonderful trip to new places. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      What a beautiful place to see! It looks like you had a wonderful day at Swan Lake. The photos are great as well as your poems. Thanks for sharing.

    • sheilanewton profile image

      sheilanewton 5 years ago from North Shields, UK

      What an amazing hub! Wow! Your story is fascinating - your poems are sublime - and your photographs are beautiful. I'm a bird lover and a travel fanatic... and now I so want to go to Swan Lake. Maybe some day...ah!

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Looks like a wonderful place to see, and the pictures are beautiful, well done for a great hub :-)

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      jhamann: I'm glad you came on the journey with me. I love watching birds and, I guess, most creatures in their natural environments.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      RTalloni: How lovely! Thank you for your comments and for visiting.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

      Reading this hub was an experience all it's own, with your wonderful description, photographs, poems, etc. Thank you. Jamie

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for sharing your journey to this beautiful Swan Lake at Phillip Island with us via your photos and poetry in this hub. Informative, interesting and winsome!

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      stars429: It was a real privilege to be there, enjoying this particular facet of God's creation. I'm glad you enjoyed it. God bless you, too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Movie Master: Lovely and peaceful. Well, mostly, although sometimes the birds have a bit of a controversy, but they make up and settle back again quickly.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Gloshei: It was a real photographers' paradise and, you're right, I often think of it and enjoy it all over again.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      AudreyHowitt: Thank you. I enjoyed writing it as I could enjoy it all over again.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      iamaudraleigh: They're pretty and really compact little creatures.

      Loved watching them.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      writer20: Joyce, I'm so glad that you came by and enjoyed this hub.

      Thank you for your vote.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      flashmakeit: The water hens (even the males are called hens, wonder what that does to their psyche??) are fascinating to watch as they keep flicking that tail and talking to themselves as they go exploring.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      teaches12345: We had a truly wonderful time, hope you can see them one day, too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      always exploring: I remembered that you had said you loved watching birds, so it's great that you came and saw this hub.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Vellur: It is a great spot for bird watchers - and for someone with a camera, too.

      Thank you for your vote.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Chris Neal: Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it - I enjoyed my visit there, too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Native Australian swans are all black (although they do have a bit of white on them, too). They're not quite as big as the European white ones, but still very regal.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Tillsontitan: I'm so glad that you enjoyed your 'visit.' Thank you for your vote.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      This was amazing! The commentary, the photos and the great poetry. You totally outdid yourself! Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Thankyou for the beautiful photographs of these lovely birds. It must be magnificent to be there seeing them. God Bless You Dear Heart.Wonderful detailed hub on them.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you blossom for this wonderful read, the photos and poetry are beautiful, this looks such a peaceful place.

      Thank you and voted up

    • Gloshei profile image

      Gloria 5 years ago from France

      Really enjoyed this and the pictures are wonderful.

      I bet it was a lovely experience and one you will always remember.

      Thanks for sharing

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I loved this on so many levels--beautiful work Blossom!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Beautiful poetry and pictures!!! I really love you pic of Chestnut Ducks!!! I have never seen them before!!!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Wonderful photos to enjoy. Your poetry is awesome.

      Voted up beautiful and awesome, Joyce.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      The water fowl looks like an interesting character because it has an odd looking walk. I enjoyed reading about Swan lake and the poetry was awesome.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Looks like you had a wonderful time. I love all the bird photos and your description of the views. I would love to see them up close, maybe some day. Thanks for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Swan Lake is amazing. The birds were beautiful. I am an avid bird watcher so would love to see this, loved the painting. Enjoyed..

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Swan Lake looks like a haven for bird watchers. The poems are lovely. Enjoyed reading your hub. Great pictures too. Voted up.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 5 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Really enjoyed this hub! Voted up and shared! Never been to Australia, very glad to read this and see the pictures. Very educational!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi BlossomSB. Enjoyed this hub. Not sure I knew that there are black swans so thanks for educating me. I love how you included poetry into your hub. Looks like a wonderful spot. Loved the photos also.