Hello lovely people, and welcome to the very end of 2017.
In keeping with my trend over the last few months, this month’s field visit was once again someplace I could squish into my schedule at the last minute, because I ran out of time to do it sooner. I will work on fixing that approach next year.
I needed to go to Barellan yesterday, so I decided to look for likely spots to stop and poke around whilst there.
As I mentioned last month, I have been All The Busy this October, with no time to head out for a proper field visit. However, having known in advance that that would be the case, I took my camera around with me all month and tried to photograph as many incidental wildlife sightings as I could.
I got off to a great start, when a work colleague – after seeing how excited I was over last month’s nesting Tawny Frogmouth – told me where to find another that she and her dad had found while out walking. She even took a photo of the surrounding landmarks to show me so I’d be able to find the exact spot. I do work with some lovely people.
I have been so busy this month that I nearly didn’t manage a field visit, but with today being the last day of the month, the weather being nice, and my having no hugely urgent work that desperately needed to be done today, I decided to take a day off and go for a walk/drive out bush somewhere.
I further decided that ‘somewhere’ would be MIA1 – a former state forest reserve that is now part of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, and is located between Narrandera and Leeton. MIA1 is one of the sadly numerous reserves in the Riverina that I have spent my life driving past, but never actually visiting. I fixed that today.
Today was the Annual Koala Count in Narrandera. I have been every year for the last several years, except when it’s been called off because of rain or flooding, and as I did last year, I decided the Count could be April’s official field visit.
I believe I have previously mentioned that this has been an unusually wet year – well it’s gotten wetter. All the creeks across the region are over-top, as is the river in several places, and there is so much standing water in paddocks just from rainfall that it’s impossible to tell if you’re looking at flooding from a waterway or not.
I was tempted to just drive around and take photos of all the water everywhere for this month’s field trip, but in the end I decided to head to Narrandera Common, so you can compare this month’s photos with ones I’ve taken there on previous visits.
With both Bundidgerry Creek and the Murrumbidgee River to contend with, Narrandera Common currently looks like this:
Every April the Narrandera Koala Regeneration Committee and the National Parks and Wildlife Service organise Narrandera’s Annual Koala Count. I was told recently that this is one of the longest-running citizen science wildlife monitoring programs in Australia (or maybe just the longest-running koala-specific one – possibly both, I’m not sure). I don’t remember how long it’s been going, but I think somewhere around 20 or 25 years.