Everything happens in April. This is just a fact of my life somehow. But! I promised I would try to go somewhere in April, and so I managed to just squeak in a late-day visit to Narrandera Common yesterday, after the annual koala count had ended.
I usually attend the koala count, but was unable to this year, but I figured I could head out there in the afternoon and at least find the beribboned trees the counters had located koalas in. In about a 2 hour period I managed to find three. The rest must have been cunningly hidden, or at least away from the trails I was following. I did speak to a local person who had participated in the count, who said they’d found a total of 29 koalas across the whole count area, so I guess I just needed to look harder for the marked trees.
While I was making my way around, looking for trees sporting ribbons and koalas, I took a few pictures of other things I saw, and just as the light was going I stopped to take some pics of a small group of kangaroos, and was super excited to see a wallaby nearby. Said wallaby was then kind enough to stay put, nearby and plainly visible, while I tried to take some photos in the fading light.
So here are my photos from my little trip to Narrandera Common yesterday:
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.
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.
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.
I started last year with a field visit to Fivebough Swamp in Leeton, and I hadn’t intended to do the same this year, but I was in Leeton and awake at 6:30am the morning after it had rained, so what else could I do but go for a walk at Fivebough?