For my May Field Trip I decided to go somewhere that I haven’t been before – Matong State Forest.
Matong is a small village of less than 200 people, and the state forest area is nestled within the surrounding farmland. It turned out to be bigger than I had expected, although I’m not sure what the actual size of the forest is. Continue reading →
I love September – winter is finished, summer isn’t quite here yet, and there’s wildflowers everywhere – so for September’s field trip I decided to visit several sites around the region and see what flowers I could find. A warning for people with slow connection speeds – this post is very pic-heavy.
As always, click on photos to view larger, and please excuse the variation in image quality, I used three different cameras this month, including the one on my phone, which is not the best.
I started in Ganmain because the daisies and hop-bushes (Dodonaea viscosa) beside the road caught my eye as I drove past. Strictly speaking, the lovely colourful things on the hop bushes aren’t flowers, those are their seeding bodies, but they’re much prettier and more eye-catching than the flowers.
In my first attempt to keep my promise to you and myself to try and get out more in June – and to celebrate the end of the work assignment that kept me chained to my desk every waking moment of the past two weeks – I headed back to Narrandera Common yesterday for a walk along the canal bank.
I’m not counting this as an official monthly field visit, because I did one to Narrandera Common in February, so the official June Field Visit is yet to come. Maybe count this as in lieu of April or May – especially as I had intended to visit Narrandera Common in April, for the annual koala count, which unfortunately got rained out and cancelled, and I did see some koalas yesterday (scroll down for pics).
Instead of walking through the interior of the woodland, as I did in February, I decided to walk along the canal bank this time. The Main Canal comes off of Lake Talbot at Narrandera, right next to the Common/Wildlife Reserve, and goes on to feed the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation Areas downstream. There is a lovely broad, flat walking path along the edge of the canal for several kilometres, from the gate into the Common down to the Rocky Waterholes Footbridge. This is a very popular place for walkers as it’s a lovely easy grade and you can set your own pace, there’s no vehicular access except occasionally for maintenance (or emergency) vehicles, and you have the great experience of walking along with river red gum woodland on one side, and the canal and Lake Talbot on the other. This gives a great cross-section of bush birds and waterbirds in one place, with a high probability of seeing a koala or several, and the rather lower but not impossible chance of coming across a turtle or water-rat. Something went very loudly ‘splosh’ right behind me yesterday as I was looking at birds in the trees, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see what it was. The bank is also raised higher than the floodplain the trees grow in, so you’re at lower-branch level for many trees, which brings a lot of the more arboreal wildlife closer and easier to see.
March has been a hectic month, and I’m reporting in on the final day again. I haven’t had much chance to get out and about this month, but I did spend a couple of evenings poking around Flowerdale Lagoon and Pomingalarna Reserve at Wagga Wagga, just this week, accompanied by my dad.
Pomingalarna Reserve (aka Pomingalarna Park) is a scrubby hill reserve on the western edge of the Wagga Wagga township, and is named after a Wiradjuri woman from a local legend. The reserve is dominated by White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla), assorted Acacia species and some rather weedy-looking Inland Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and White Box (Eucalyptus albens). The reserve is popular with mountain bike riders and is criss-crossed with trails for cyclists, walkers and horse riders to use. The Wagga Urban Landcare Group have undertaken habitat plantings for Glossy Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami) in parts of the reserve over the past decade, but I didn’t walk through any of these sections on this particular visit.
I seem to be developing a habit of posting each month’s field trip report on the very last day of the month. Knowing what my calendar looks like for March, I suspect next month will be the same. Here’s hoping I manage to be a bit more timely with my posts after March.
Ironically, I actually did my February field visit at the start of the month but decided not to post it so soon after January’s report, then didn’t get the chance to post about it until now.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I visited Narrandera Wetlands for World Wetlands Day. After finishing at the wetlands, I decided to spend the rest of the day exploring some of the other ecosystems Narrandera boasts. Narrandera is interesting to visit, because the town itself is situated in the middle of several very different ecosystems. Within a few minutes drive, or a fairly easy hike if you’re a keen walker, you can find an ephemeral wetland, a permanent lake, remnant Inland Grey Box and Yellow Box grassy woodland, riparian River Red Gum woodland, and hillside scrub dominated by Acacia species and Cypress Pine.