December 2016 Field Visit – Campbell’s Swamp

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:

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So off to Griffith I went to visit Campbell’s Swamp.

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ACT Field Visit Part Two – Jerrabomberra Wetlands

As mentioned in my previous post, I visited Canberra this weekend with my parents. After attending a night tour at Mulligans Flat we decided to visit Jerrabomberra Wetlands the following morning.

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.

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October 2016 Field Visit – Fivebough Swamp in flood

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).

I have previously blogged about visits to Fivebough in January this year and last, so you might like to compare with the photos from those visits.

Currently, the main entrance to Fivebough looks like this:

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July’s roadside birds

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).

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Long-billed Corellas (Cacatua tenuirostris) at Darlington Point.

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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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