Central NSW Sewage Works and the Sturt's Desert Pea

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Central NSW Sewage Works and the Sturt's Desert Pea
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 19:49:35 +1000
I found the time to take a look at both Lake Cargelligo Sewage works and Hillston Sewage Works on the weekend.

Lake Cargelligo sewage works produced most of the same birds as the previous weekend. Small numbers of waders were present including Sharp-tails, Red-necked Stints, Marsh Sands, Avocets, BWStilts, Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints. There were larger numbers of Mountain Shelducks though. One Pink Cockie flew overhead. A conversation with a neighbour from the adjoining property revealed that he knew of a spot with flowering Sturt's Desert Pea. While a little sceptical I took a mental note of his mud map and decided to see if I could find them. Sure enough, on a stock route on the Condobolin Road there was a patch of Sturt's Desert Pea in full bloom. They're quite rare in the area and I was pretty excited to come across them. My version of the Plants of Western NSW (1982) regarded them as possibly extinct in the area.

Hillston Sewage Works produced the usual array of suspects in the duck, grebe and moorhen lines with 9 Black-tailed Native-hens and 1 Australian Crake being the highlights. Some of the other birds present included Little Grassbird, Black-winged Stilt, Red-kneed Dotterel and Eastern Rosella.

I think both sewage works could produce good birds at times. Lake Cargelligo has large ponds and could support large numbers of waders at times. Hillston is considerably smaller with greater reed development in one of the ponds at least, but was a pretty little spot (I don't know whether I can use the word pretty in conjunction with sewage works). While I'm talking about sewage works Griffith Sewage Works is very full these days which the ducks don't mind but its not much chop for the other birds. I'm told that it is being kept full to keep mosquito numbers down.


Mick Todd
Griffith, NSW

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