Birds and Brekky at Fivebough Wetlands on Sunday 5th February 2017

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Birds and Brekky at Fivebough Wetlands

Kerri Keely of Murrumbidgee Landcare organised the successful Event at Fivebough Wetlands, which is designated a Ramsar listed wetland, to mark World Wetlands Day (held on February 2nd each year).  A lot of people turned up, perhaps lured by the smell of a BBQ breakfast in the carpark at Fivebough. 

After breakfast the group headed to Budyaan Baamirra Centre to hear from 3 speakers.  Keith Hutton spoke about the birds of Fivebough.  Keith has been undertaking surveys there since 1981.  He spoke about the range and number of birds observed at Fivebough and the migratory species that visit Fivebough Wetlands.

Geoff Sainty, a wetland plant specialist, is from Griffith.  Geoff gave a historical view of Fivebough.  He said that originally the area was covered in Black Box trees.  These were cleared in the early days of Leeton’s settlement for use as firewood.  He spoke of his concerns that all the drugs and other chemicals people use end up in the sewage which is then pumped through the sewage treatment works and eventually into Fivebough.  Geoff spoke of his interest in algae and cyanobacteria and other organisms that live in the water.  Geoff had several copies of two books which he gave away to people who were at the Event.  They are “Waterplants in Australia which he co-authored, and another, “Freshwater Algae in Australia which his organisation published. 

The third speaker, David Hunter is a frog specialist and comes from Office of Environment and Heritage in Albury.  David spoke about the importance of wetlands for frogs and the role they play in the food chain; from the tadpoles eating algae to the frogs transferring the nutrients back onto the land. Here they provide food for birds, mammals and reptiles.  He highlighted the importance of having good quality wetlands right across the landscape to ensure the biodiversity will be able to persist in a healthy way.            

Penny Williams