Tag Archives: urban

Of trucks and Bowerbirds

Continuing the question that some unlikely species are finding refuge and food in areas close to human habitation, this post includes photos of a species “choosing?” an unusual site to reside and display. The following photos were taken over the last week in Queensland.

wordp Satin bowerbird male

Male satin bowerbird, photographed within 2 meters of a bitumen road. Truck road use started at 7am. The evolutionary process continues….

wodpress Satin bowerbird female5

Female of the species enticed by a bower made in a roadside culvert.

wordp Satin bowerbird bower

View of the bower which contains mainly blue clothes pegs, I guess the locals learn to use alternative peg colours to hang out washing.

If you know of a researcher who is looking at how some species are choosing living space ajacent to urbanization, please advise by replying in comments or email.

 

 

 

Resilience, or the new (not pristine) ecosystem?

This winter I have been busily shooting this video…which is really a question I cannot answer. Why do these birds persist occupying this fragment of polluted creek estuary, only 10km from Melbournes’s CBD? Are they attracted in some way to urban space? Is winter warmer in the city? How do they withstand the relentless noise and noxious odours eminating from the refinery, the continual train passage, car traffic and heavy metals in the water, the dogs? Or is this a last refuge for them, a place where they can find food and shelter of sorts? Is there no place else to  go?

I spent a couple of hours today with my camera in the hope of shooting something extra, but the gagging fumes dove me away and I can still taste acrid refinery fumes.

Why is it some native species move to cities with people, rats and sparrows (possums, bats, parakeets and now even powerful owls)? Are our rural landscapes now so unfriendly to wild species? Is”biodiversity” moving to the world of people, or is this just an abboration?

 

 

Pink ears

Pink-eared duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus an endemic bird, can be found in anyplace in Australia especially after rain, but they are over-wintering in  Melbourne. Question is why? The small wetland was fenced-off from dogs/humans etc but was full of pacific black ducks and hard-heads. Guesstimate; 1000

How can so many birds find enough forage in such a small an area, is it because things are even more difficult inland? Is this species over-abundant outside the city. Or are city environments attractive in some way?

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“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.