Wallpolla island is the best location I’ve ever been to for spotting Water rats (Hydromys chrysogaster). It is located near the town of Wentworth in Western NSW near Victorian border. Wentworth’s only claim to fame is its geographic position at the confluence of Murray and Darling rivers. It is a quiet little town that services the adjacent farming communities.
Water rats can be easily seen from the island itself, or for something different, from a canoe. Photographing the rats, however, proved to be a lot more challenging. The views from the bank were always abstracted by vegetation and from a canoe, we could only ever see retreating individuals. As a result, all I have to show for my efforts is a couple of failed ‘happy snaps’ of them.
Birds of Wallpolla island
Water rats are not, of course, the only inhabitants of Wallpolla island. We saw at least 15 species of birds including Rainbow bee-eater, Sacred kingfisher, Forest kingfisher, Blue-faced honeyeater, Whistling kite, Welcome swallow, Laughing kookaburra, Wood duck, Australian darter, Great Cormorant, Variegated fairy-wren, White-plumed honeyeater, Long-billed corella and a Yellow rosella – a recently rediscovered subspecies of Crimson rosella.