This post was prompted by spotting a family of paradise ducks (including about a half dozen black and white bundles of fluffy down) as I biked through Hagley Park last week. The scene sent me back to a favourite place of ours for sitting in the sun, reading, birdwatching or simply sitting. And our daughter will sometimes take her horse there for a change of scene.
The ponds in question sit off Sabys Road, opposite the end of Candys Road. Some of the reasons we really like the place (other than their intrinsic niceness): there are no signs telling you to do this or not do that, no seats, no interpretive sign boards, no toilets - and, so far as the Happy Bicyclist knows, NO MANAGEMENT PLAN. The place just....is. A rare thing in Halswell these days. And it seems that hardly anyone knows about the place, judging by the almost total absence of people when we've been there.
Although there were no paradise duck families that I could see on Saturday, there is always a good diversity of water birds. One of my favourites is the Australian coot. While not exactly rare, one doesn't come across them every day - but there are almost always one or two at the ponds, usually at the road end pond.
So, go have a look for yourself. But please don't tell anyone I told you about this rather special place. It might end up with a management plan.