If you’ve ever flown over the Chittering area you’d have noticed an enormous lake system a few kilometers south of the Bindoon townsite. However, without this bird’s eye view you may have been driving past this beautiful natural resource with absolutely no idea of it’s existence!
Fed by the mighty Brockman river, the pretty Chittering Lake is almost completely obscured by vegetation on it’s western boundary where it laps within meters of the Great Northern Highway. It is otherwise completely enclosed by private property, although the Lake itself is owned by the crown.
Many fortunate properties high in the Chittering hills afford spectacular views of the lake – but access is limited to members of conservation groups such as Chittering Landcare – who are granted special permission to visit the lake but must rely of the kindness of local landowners to get close.
Each year Chittering Landcare offers a Kayak Nature tour allowing visitors onto the Lake itself. As the area is teeming with birdlife this is popular
with birders and researchers as well as locals. After just missing out last year (places are strictly limited), I leapt at the opportunity to join this
year’s tour on Saturday 2 September. Armed with a handy bird reference guide prepared by Roseanna Hindmarch, Chittering Landcare coordinator, we set off across the Lake in search of birdlife – although many of us were simply so distracted by the amazing scenery and the joy of paddling that we missed several sightings made by experienced birders amongst the group.
Three anxious cygnets were the first birds I spotted, before they paddled off to find sanctuary with their parents. And while others noticed Glebes, Wood Ducks and even Wedge Tail Eagles, the stand-out for the most was the opportunity to see several stunning Spoonbills stationed around their nest area towards the far end of the lake. I realised I had never actually seen the namesake of our other local waterway up quite so close – and the result was breathtaking!
I highly recommend the kayak tour and any other opportunities you may have to visit this magnificent local lake. One can only imagine it’s value as a tourist attraction should public access ever be negotiated.