Wonga Wetlands, Albury (Access & recent sightings)

Subject: Wonga Wetlands, Albury (Access & recent sightings)
From: "Matthew Herring" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 18:22:50 +1000
G'day everyone,
A stroll around the Wonga Wetlands Flora and Fauna Reserve this arvo (see highlights below) reminded me to send an email to birding-ausers regarding access, now that it is easy. From the Hume Highway in Albury, take the Riverina Highway turnoff (Finley, Howlong, Corowa etc.). Follow this highway for about 4.5 km (from the Hume Highway), at which point, the blue gates to the "Waterview" treatment labs stand out on your right. Go a further few hundred metres down the Riverina Hwy and turn left off the highway down Waterview Road. You will go over a bridge immediately, keep following this dirt road straight ahead, follow it around to the right, keep going for another few hundred metres until you reach a gate, parking area, signs etc. A walking track starts from here.
They are currently not at their best but a brief stroll on sunset today yielded some great birds like Musk Duck, Azure Kingfisher, Double-barred Finch (5), Peregrine Falcon and Swamp Harrier. There were also good numbers of other species like Pink-eared Duck (50+), Australasian Shoveler (70+), Purple Swamphen (35+) and Red-browed Finch (~ 80).
I'd be very interested to hear of significant sightings people make. We (mainly Peter Merritt and myself, together with Charles Sturt Uni) are keeping a list, which at last check was more than 150 species, including some very special wetland birds. Earlier in the year Little Bittern (single female 9/3) and Glossy Ibis (single 4/3) were recorded for the first time, whilst Lewin's Rail, Spotless Crake and friends (Bb Rail, A. & B. Crake) were present from at least December 2000 - March 2001. They, including the Lewin's Rail, may be resident, and exemplify the importance of the Wonga Wetlands to regional waterbird diversity. Many new bush birds will continue to be recorded, together with waders and hopefully Painted Snipe and Australasian Bittern.
These wetlands are really worth visiting. There are some magnificent old River Red Gums, River Bottlebrushes and reedbeds. Perhaps you could tie it in with a trip to Chiltern Box-Ironbark NP.
Cheers, Matt Herring.

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