Welcome to 2017!
My year got off to an exciting start when I was contacted by someone from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) asking me if I’d like to visit one of their environmental watering project sites with some field officers doing a wetlands health survey. Naturally I said yes, and so last Tuesday I headed to Yarradda lagoon (within the Yarrada precinct of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park) near Darlington Point with four field officers: two from OEH and two from Charles Sturt University (CSU).
I have two new field guides (and another on back-order). My thanks to Damien Michael who contacted me a few months ago suggesting I might be interested in his ‘Reptiles of the NSW Murray Catchment’. This is my first proper reptile field guide, and I’m sure it will come in very handy. The ‘Mosses of Dry Forests’ may see less use, but I do find mosses fascinating, and am looking forward to learning a bit more about them.
I was at a loss as to where to visit for my final field trip of 2016, when a friend on Twitter unwittingly provided inspiration:
So off to Griffith I went to visit Campbell’s Swamp.
Last week I needed to visit Cowra for a day, so I took the opportunity to stop into Conimbla National Park for a while before heading home. Cowra is outside of the area identified as ‘Riverina’ on the map on my About page, but it’s within the federal electoral division of Riverina, so I decided that was good enough to count as a Riverina site.
Conimbla National Park is very pretty, prepare yourself for lots of general scenery shots. Also pictures of bark; I’m intrigued by the variety of colours and textures of bark, and there was a lot of very artistic bark on display in the portion of the Park I visited.
I have an aunt and uncle who own a property near Wagga Wagga, and they recently discovered a Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) nesting near their house, and invited my parents and I out to see it.
I’ve never seen a Rainbow Bee-eater in person before, so I leapt at the chance, and was not disappointed. We saw the bee-eater flying around and snapping up insects, and it very kindly perched for a few minutes on a tree branch so I could get some photos.
As mentioned in my previous post, I visited Canberra this weekend with my parents. After attending a night tour at Mulligans Flat we decided to visit Jerrabomberra Wetlands the following morning.
It was quite windy, so we weren’t sure if we’d see many birds, but we were delighted to find several families of ducks, swans and swamphens, including fuzzy babies of assorted species.
This weekend my parents invited me to visit Canberra with them. After a look around the National Museum of Australia, we headed out to a night tour at Mulligans Flat.
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is an area of remnant Box Gum Grassy Woodland that is being managed to conserve and restore the entire ecological community at all levels. Non-native predators are actively excluded, rabbits are gradually being eradicated from within the reserve, and several locally-extinct native species have been reintroduced over the past few years, including Eastern Bettongs, Eastern Quolls, New Holland Mice, Bush Stone Curlews, and others. There are a large number of other native species living within the reserve as well.
Hi all, following on from creating a Riverina Wildlife Twitter account (@RiverinaWldlife) I have now also created a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiverinaWildlifeBlog/ so if you’d like to follow me on either or both of those accounts, to be kept up-to-date when new blog posts go up, please do.
I would also like to note that someone else has a similar Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RiverinaWildlife for sharing photos and news about wildlife on farms in the Riverina. I do not know who runs this page, but a quick look down their feed suggests that people who like my posts may be interested in theirs as well. Here’s hoping confusion between the two pages will be minimal.
See you on Facebook!
I must confess to a spot of laziness this month. With plenty of time available, and much sunnier weather than we’ve had in months, I had many opportunities to head out for a field visit during October, but I left off doing so until the final weekend (I did get a lot of washing and some yard work done, though, so I’m counting it as a productive month from a non-blogging perspective).
My tardiness was then capped off by a spot of not thinking things through properly, and I decided to head to Leeton’s Fivebough Swamp for this month’s trip. I managed to forget the part where this has been a high-rainfall year, and although Fivebough is now actively managed, it has for millennia been a drainage depression below a line of hills – aka a place that catches water in high-rainfall years (I don’t know, I was distracted, the brain cells just did not connect).
I have previously blogged about visits to Fivebough in January this year and last, so you might like to compare with the photos from those visits.
Currently, the main entrance to Fivebough looks like this:
I visited Deniliquin briefly earlier this month. I didn’t have much opportunity for bird-watching or bush-walking, but I did see this male Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), who was kind enough to stay still long enough for me to get some good photos. (Also of note: flooded Edward River, which was rising as I watched)