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.
This month’s field visit was to Guise Hill Travelling Stock Reserve near Wagga Wagga.
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.
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.
I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop about fungi run by Alison Pouliot on the weekend. We ended the day with a walk through Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens looking for fungi, and found more than I’d expected to. I have no idea what most of these are, although I’m sure Alison could tell you, but they look rather fab so I thought I’d share. Click on the photos to enlarge, they look better bigger.
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.