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.

Glossy Black-Cockatoo Count - Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists 2nd March 2019

Glossy Black-Cockatoo - Barry AllenGlossy Black-Cockatoo - Nella SmithAfter a very extended dry period we had up to 50 ml in the Narrandera, Brobenah and Cocoparra Ranges a fortnight before the census. We thought we would struggle to find dams with water in them at all and that was the case in Binya State Forest and the Cocoparra National Park. The Narrandera Hills and Brobenah had some dams with water. This could actually have been a good thing as it concentrated the birds into one area. In the end we looked at dams that we had looked at in previous years which is a good thing for ongoing data. If anyone heard a begging youngster though I would like to know about it and add it to my records.

The total of birds seen in Narrandera Hills was 14, Brobenah 9, Cocoparra 12 and Rankins Springs 17 (In Narrandera, Cocoparra and Rankins Springs birds were seen at one dam).  The largest range of other birds seen was at Brobenah by our gun birdwatcher, Max Sullivan

Many thanks to all who participated and the landholders for assisting with the count and for allowing us access to their properties.

Nella Smith

World Wetland Evening – Thursday 31st January 2019

Spoonbills at Fivebough Kathy TenisonWorld Wetland Evening Fivebough Kathy TenisonThe World Wetland Evening was part of a global event organised to celebrate the positive input wetlands all over the world have in cleaning up river systems, buffering floods, providing habitat for a large diversity of wildlife and providing a wonderful place for us all to visit and enjoy.

Fivebough Wetlands provided an ideal venue for our World Wetland Evening. We saw a good number of bird species (28x) including Freckled Duck, Red-kneed Dotterel, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Yellow-billed and Royal Spoonbills. Given we are suffering the effects of a prolonged drought it was great to see these birds calling Fivebough home.

Sixty people took part in the workshop that covered such topics as wetlands in our region, birds, frogs, history, management and climate change impacts. We began the evening with a wonderful Welcome to Country by William Ingram.

Erin Lenon spoke about some of the decisions that are made in order to provide water to wetlands. It is certainly not an easy job to know what water is required where with several delivery partners involved. These decisions include maximising environmental outcomes, not intending harm/adversely, using local knowledge and negotiating consent.

ROCK OF AGES with Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists

Lake Cowal - Wedge-tailed Eagle Kathy TenisonLake Cowal Rock - Rowena Whiting Mal Carnegie is a rock: a tall, tough country boy born and bred in this same unforgiving land which hosts the Evolution gold mine, the epicenter of our outing on November 24, 2018. He is also the rock upon which the success of the Lake Cowal Conservation Centre is assured, which has its home adjacent to the gold mine.

It was in their spacious tearoom/conference centre that Mal welcomed us with a mandatory video on mine safety. Apparently, with the stringent obligations of OH&S attached to Australian mines, too much safety is never enough. And this colossal enterprise is, happily, Aussie owned and operated.

Our host then gave us an informative talk on the mine and its history; along with lots of operational facts and figures. This is indeed a major industrial complex just 40 or so kilometres north of sleepy West Wyalong.

Then he escorted us on a tour of the mine; hard hats, hi-vis vests and safety glasses for all. We looked, for all the world, like a party of desperate politicians canvassing for regional votes!