June 2018 Field Visit – Port Macquarie

Yeah, okay, Port Macquarie is not in the Riverina. It’s about as far from being in the Riverina as it’s possible to be while remaining in New South Wales. Geographically, climaticly, ecologically, the works. But I had to go to Port Macquarie for an unrelated reason this month, and while I was there I visited some rainforest fragments, and they were so pretty I decided to blog about them. So welcome to this month’s instalment of Riverina (and other places) Wildlife.

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April 2018 Field Visit – Narrandera Common

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:

River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) tree - complete with mistletoe - on Snake Island in Lake Talbot
River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) tree – complete with mistletoe – on Snake Island in Lake Talbot

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July 2017 Field Visit – Cocoparra National Park

This month in big rocky lumps jutting out of very flat landscapes, I visited Cocoparra National Park near Griffith.

The Cocoparra Range with Griffith farmland in the foreground

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April 2017 Field Visit – Narrandera Koala Count

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.

One of the koalas spotted at the 2017 Annual Koala Count held at Narrandera Common
One of the koalas spotted at the 2017 Annual Koala Count held at Narrandera Common

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June 2015 Field Visit – Kindra State Forest

In an effort to make up for not getting out in April and May I have already posted entries about two field trips I made earlier this month to Narrandera Common and Mulligans Flat, so go check those out if you haven’t already. However, this is the actual official Monthly Field Visit for June 2015. Today I went to Kindra State Forest near Coolamon.

Kindra State Forest Coolamon
Kindra State Forest Coolamon

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Another visit to Narrandera Common

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.

As always: click on the photos to enlarge them.

River Red Gum Woodland Narrandera
Bush on one side.
Main Canal and Lake Talbot at Narrandera
Water on the other side. (Main Canal in foreground, Lake Talbot behind)

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