Tag Archives: St Peters Billabong

Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen
Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen
Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen, Pukeko, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Moorhen, Purple Gallinule, Purple Coot
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
St Peters Billabong, South Australia – April, 2010

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I took these photos a few years ago, and I suspect the bluish colour on the body is a little off. I will do a new post on this species soon. Purple Swamphens occur across a large part of the world, and there are several subspecies. They occur in wet areas like swamps and lake edges and are good swimmers and flyers, despite their ungamely appearance. They eat eggs and young of other birds, as well as plant material. They are larger than Coots and Dusky Moorhens which are often seen nearby. Their larger red bill and red shield distinguish it easily, as well as the purple-blue front.


Juncus pallidus – The Pale Rush

Juncus pallidus aka Pale Rush

Juncus pallidus aka Pale Rush
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum (?): Angiosperms
Class (?): Monocots
Subclass (?): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Juncaceae
St PetersBillabong, South Australia – December 23rd, 2013 – sunny conditions after a severe windstorm

Photo: Michal Dutkiewicz

From Wikipedia:
“Juncus pallidus, commonly known as the Pale Rush, is a species of rush that is native to southern Australia. It is a vigorous, tufted, tussock-forming, rhizomatous perennial herb with culms growing to 70–135 cm in height. The inflorescence, which is 25–185 mm long, contains many straw coloured flowers, each with six floral segments. It is usually found in moist, nutrient-poor soils subject to periodic flooding, such as fresh and brackish waterways, including swamps, creek banks, lake edges and sand seeps.”
Thanks to Michael Starkey for the ID.