Aileen booted me out of bed at 6am last Sunday to go for a walk before the searing heat. Railway dam is very pleasant to walk around or ride your bike.
The dam has a sign explaining its interesting history as a water source for steam trains before the water became too saline. The water is only slightly saline, supports healthy waterweed growth and is crystal clear. I saw a guy catching quite reasonable redfin perch once and there is also a remarkable population of long-necked tortoises. We counted 16 swimming towards us as we stood on the bridge suggesting that someone either feeds them or dumped a body in the water. Tortoises have been known to pull baby birds underwater by a leg until they drown and become more edible. Apart from that they are nice animals.
Please note that it is not good practice to feed wild animals, particularly in a small dam like this where overpopulation could lead to catastrophic deaths. However in the interests of journalism we tried tempting them with a few cat kibbles. No luck, but the fish liked them. I have never seen such a variation in tortoise shell colour (small population mutation effect?).
Railway dam has a resident population of water birds and occasionally has interesting visitors like spoonbills and swans.Water levels in the dam have been much lower in recent years. There were large beds of rushes around the edges that provided shelter for frogs and nesting birds, but they are a casualty of our drying climate. As an example see the rushes behind us in the 1991 family photo and now.