Tag Archives: rewilding

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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A well-smoked Tawny Frogmouth

Wivenhoe dam in Queensland has a shoreline of many hundreds of kilometers, but it’s clear some birds prefered to remain close to the small camping area. The following shots were taken within and close to designated camping sites. The frogmouths were actually roosting within the smoke zone of camp fires! wordp Frogmouth 3

Campers were totally unaware of the two birds above their heads

Wpress Frogmouth 2

WordpBrahminy kite adj

The Brahminy kite was possibly a chick hatched in  a  nest in clear site of human camping visitors.

Wpress Darter

A Darter chose a poly pipe within 30 meters of the camp to dry out and..

Wpress red-backed wren male

a red-backed wren family used nearby reeds and bushes as their chosen home base.

In addition to the above, a flock of many hundreds of black cormorants choose to roost in the trees directly ajacent to the camp-ground. The question is, why do these species choose the camping area given the enormous space available to them at Wivenhoe?

 

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.

Please share.

 

“Re-wilding” in Melbourne’s West

I live near Kororoit Creek Altona which was possibly the most polluted stream entering Port Phillip Bay. It was until recently refered to as Kororoit “drain” by the City of Hobsons Bay Council. This stream is bordered by heavy industry, waste “tips”, chemical plants and oil refineries. Over the years the original stream escarpment has been obliterated by in-filling, buildings, roads and weeds. Until very recently the valley has been used as an industrial waste depositary.  An ecologist would call it totally fragmented system.

Call it “re-wilding” or just plain crazy, but some years ago a band of ‘locals’ got together to make a change . Our intrepid leader is Geoff Mitchelmore, now in his seventies. He has driven Council and nearby car makers, oil refineries and factories to fund “Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek, FOLKC, see  http://www.folkc.com.au/

Clearing rubbish, weeding (and I mean enormous boxthorn) planting mulching and watering etc has now proceeded to a stage where first plantings are becoming mature. Trees are flowering and birds have arrived. We are creating a corridor for wild species which cuts through the western suburbs’ industrial minefield.

My photos show species now resident in industrial Melbourne due to efforts of people like Geoff.

KMalurus cyaneus Superb fairy wren
Superb Blue Wren         Malurus cyaneus            winter plumage

KGolden-headed Cisticola 1st view

Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis

K(spotted) Pardalotus punctatus

Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus

KDarter 2
Darter             Anhinga ruf
Knew holland
New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiaeKRed-necked Avocet 2

Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae

KRoyal Spoonbill
Royal Spoonbill          Platalea regia
KWhite Fronted Chat Male
White Fronted Chat Male Ephthianura albifrons
Ksilver eye
Silver eye  Zosterops lateralis
Red Kneed Dotterel Charadrius cinctus
Red Kneed Dotterel Charadrius cinctus

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How the “creek”looked….

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Kororoit creek in 2003

 

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Tree planting 2015 National Tree Day

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How early plantings now look

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It’s people who care who make a difference.