Get out and explore ...

Do you want to learn more about your local area?

Spend time outdoors with like minded people and learn from some keen (and very knowledgeable) plant and bird enthusiasts.

Lake Coolah and Rocky Waterholes Outing - 29 January 2017

Group on Rocky Waterholes BridgeDespite the unbelievably hot conditions, 12 brave members met at the Leeton Post Office at 5pm and headed to Lake Coolah where we were met by 2 more keen participants.

We set ourselves up under the shade of a lone gum tree by the roadside and actually enjoyed the birdwatching. Having 3 scopes helped everyone get good close looks at a pair of Brolgas as well as a good assortment of ducks and other waterbirds feeding close-by in the rapidly receding water of the northern section of the lake. Lots of egrets and herons were easy to identify and there were even some Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Spotted Crakes to be seen. In all at least 25 species were seen by most of the group before we packed up our gear and headed for Rocky Waterholes.

We arrived there about 6.30pm by which time the sun was quite low and the area was in total shade which made things more comfortable for us. The majority of the group crossed “Terry's” bridge and walked along the channel bank where they found 3 Koalas and an assortment of birds to make it all worthwhile. Just at the end of the bridge, in a small hollow in a red gum, a pair of White-breasted Woodswallows were feeding two fully fledged chicks which was a delight to see.

Breeding Bonanza at Fivebough Wetlands and Lake Coolah

Black Swan and young

This time last year we had the Bittern Bonanza at Fivebough wetlands with 34 birds recorded on the evening of 20 November. This year with all the winter rain both Fivebough and Lake Coolah, in particular, are again full as they were in March 2012 and the water birds have taken great advantage of the abundance of food in order to breed. This breeding breeding bonanza is also happening at Campbell's and Nericon Swamps and possibly at Tuckerbil as well if access into the swamp was easier.

As Fivebough started to fill in mid-year, the Black Swans were the first to take advantage of the increased water level and, by late July, Keith Hutton had recorded an amazing 71 nests scattered about the wetlands particularly in the northern end where they could be easily seen from Hooey Lookout. The first cygnets started appearing around early August.

Since then and with more persistent rain in August/September, all other birds have been induced to breed in great numbers. This has been particularly noticeable at Fivebough and Lake Coolah where it is relatively easy to see the birds, despite Fivebough being inaccessible still beyond the Information Centre.