I wasn’t going to do another wetland for a few months, because I feel like I do wetlands a lot, but a friend of mine told me that Fivebough Swamp was spectacular at the moment, so I decided that was too good to pass up, and off to Leeton I went. As coincidence would have it, I ran into the same friend and her sister while I was there, and we spent a while wandering along together before parting ways.
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.
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.
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).
Currently, the main entrance to Fivebough looks like this:
I promised you a post about the birds I saw on my quest for wildflowers in September, and here it is!
At Mundawaddery Cemetery I saw a pair of galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) settling in for the evening. I’m not sure if the dead tree had a nest hollow in it, or if they just liked the open roosting location.
It’s a week later than I’d hoped to get these up, but here are my roadside birding pics from my aborted attempt at a field trip in July.
Birds on a wire near Coleambally. They flew off before I managed to get a good view of them, and I can’t ID them from this photo, it’s possible they’re introduced Blackbirds (Turdus merula).
Long-billed Corellas (Cacatua tenuirostris) at Darlington Point.
Welcome to the first ‘official’ monthly blog post of Riverina Wildlife. My goal is to post one field trip report per month, interspersed with any incidental sightings or items of interest I’d like to share in between (more information about my posting schedule can be found here). It being the 31st I’m just getting this one in under the wire for January.
On Wednesday I visited Fivebough Swamp, one half of the Ramsar-listed Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands at Leeton. Fivebough and Tuckerbil are two naturally-occurring shallow swamps, located about 10km apart, to the north-east and north-west of Leeton. Fivebough is a permanent, but fluctuating, fresh-brackish wetland, whilst Tuckerbil is a seasonal, shallow, brackish-saline wetland. Tuckerbil is being managed primarily for waterbird conservation, and amongst other things is an important brolga flocking area, and so is not open to the public. Fivebough, on the other hand, is being managed for both conservation and community education and has a permanent walking trail installed in the south-western part of the swamp, complete with interpretive signage, bird hides, viewing mounds and seating; there’s also a covered picnic area near the carpark.
In October 2002 Fivebough and Tuckerbil were jointly recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. You can find a list of all Ramsar wetlands in Australia here.
As it is World Wetlands Day next Monday (February 2nd – the date on which the Ramsar Convention was originally signed in 1971) I thought Fivebough was a good choice for January’s field trip.