Tag Archives: kingfisher

Rewilding Melbourne’s West.

I live in Altona Victoria, home to Melbourne’s petro/chemical refineries, car plants and other major industries. The main waterway here is Kororoit Creek which was once a beautiful babbling brook but had become an industrial drain.

Unfortunately the original creek escarpment has been all but obliterated, but if you know where to look there are still stone chips left by the Wurundjeri  people  200 years ago. Work has been going on for over 20 years,  dragging away rubbish, landscaping, planting and maintaining. This video shows one  unexpected creature which has come to raise a family here. There is no sound because there is still an enormous tip close by and bulldozers are operating seven days a week. The area is surrounded by factories but this little oasis is showing signs of new life.

Folkc shows  what can be accomplished with a little organization and determination by ordinary people.

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Azure kingfisher, a flying gem

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I photographed this sequence last week at Carnarvon gorge National Park Qld, patience and a lucky break. Words are not really necessary, but standing in the creek with camera the bird flew to within 1.5 meters, an experience of a lifetime. This bird hovers with a whirr of wings just like the hummingbird of the Americas, prior to dropping vertically when fishing

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Carnarvon azure kingf fishing

Can we rewild Yorta Yorta country?

My previous post mentioned Yorta Yorta lands. For international readers this country is on the Murray river, Australia’s largest waterway.  Since white settlement the river has been transformed into a channel for irrigators.  Currently almost no river water reaches the sea. Prior to settlement the Murray regularly flooded into an enormous braided river system at snow melt, but would sometimes cease to flow entirely in summer as can be seen here in 1915 drought.

10 River Murray Koondrook 1915 drought

Species which evolved over millenia  to live with this cycle  now has to cope with a regulated flow regime.  Some species like white necked heron  have adapted, but others like white breasted sea eagle are now listed as threatened.

The gorgeous Azure kingfisher alcedo azurea is another  Near Threatened species  (depi advisory list), I felt very fortunate to see these and you’ll hear my amazment looking through the viewfinder. (apology for sound)

It has taken whitefellas several generations to realize our largest rivers are dying. Water is at last being allocated for ‘environmental flows’. This is Hattah WITH its water allocation earlier this year.

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The photo below gives an idea of size, I’m no expert but I’d guess these trees are pushing 1000yrs old, which makes our little lives seem so insignificant.  We have been cutting these ancient woodlands up to make railway sleepers and for firewood. Victorian side of the river  has just ceased this practise in Barmah National Park, however the northern NSW side is still being logged (forestry).

Ian and tree

Tree with man standing, Yorta Yorta lands.

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