September 2016 Field Visit – Narrandera Common under flood

I believe I have previously mentioned that this has been an unusually wet year – well it’s gotten wetter. All the creeks across the region are over-top, as is the river in several places, and there is so much standing water in paddocks just from rainfall that it’s impossible to tell if you’re looking at flooding from a waterway or not.

I was tempted to just drive around and take photos of all the water everywhere for this month’s field trip, but in the end I decided to head to Narrandera Common, so you can compare this month’s photos with ones I’ve taken there on previous visits.

With both Bundidgerry Creek and the Murrumbidgee River to contend with, Narrandera Common currently looks like this:

Narrandera Common under flood
Little bit wet underfoot

Continue reading

March 2016 Field Visit – Exciting birds!

March has been a hectic month, and I’ve worked every weekend, so I decided to take advantage of the Easter Monday public holiday and head out to Galore Hill – more-or-less halfway between Wagga Wagga and Narrandera, and located in Lockhart Shire.

Galore Hill
Galore Hill as seen from Galore Road.

Continue reading

January 2016 Field Visit – Fivebough Swamp

Hello everyone, and welcome to 2016.

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?

Fivebough-mist
Heading into Fivebough swamp early in the morning.

Continue reading

December 2015 Field Visit – Bitterns in Rice

I started this year with a wetland visit, and I thought it fitting to end it with another, only this time I decided to look at a very different type of wetland – rice bays.

Egret in rice bay
Intermediate Egret in a rice bay near Leeton NSW

Conservation agriculture is something I am particularly interested in, for numerous reasons. One of these reasons – a very major one – is that off-park conservation is vital to the survival of a great many of our native species. Conservation actions undertaken on private land bolster those undertaken in government-managed National Parks and reserves, and often provide essential corridors of habitat connectivity across landscapes. Without off-park conservation efforts – many of which are on private land – our native species would be in an even stickier situation than they currently are, and the current situation is bad enough.

Continue reading

January 2015 Field Visit – Fivebough Swamp

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.

DSCF9989
Fivebough Swamp – a Ramsar listed wetland

Continue reading

Adventures in roadside birding

Here are some incidental bird sightings I’ve had in the last couple of days as I’ve been driving around for work.

There were two of these just rising from the roadside at Oberne as I went past. Sadly, by the time I got my camera out they were too far for good photos or accurate ID. Large, mottled brown raptors, at my best guess possibly swamp harriers.

DSCF9875 DSCF9877

And yesterday morning, a few kilometres from Griffith, a bunch of emus in a paddock. They were still there in the afternoon, and I saw them last week as well, so I’m not sure if they’re wild or belong to the property, but either way emus are always great to see.

DSCF9884