Bucley swamp returns after 100+ years

Subject: Bucley swamp returns after 100+ years
From: Steve Clark <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 20:00:12 +1100
G'day all

I work at an agricultural research institute a few km south of Hamilton, western Victoria. Adjacent to the institute is an area called Buckley Swamp. The early settlers describe this as an amazing wetland for waterbirds and talk about the abundance of Brolgas, Bustards, Magpie Geese, Ibis, ducks etc. The swamp was drained with public funds for the benefit of a handful of landowners towards the end of the 19th century. In my time in Hamilton there has never been much water in the swamp but recently a small section has flooded and is full of birds. Maybe the drains have not been maintained over the last few years. Today, in several sections the new wetland held hundreds of Whiskered Tern, Silver Guills, Black-winged Stilts, thousands of Straw-necked Ibis, assorted ducks, spoonbills, herons and small flocks of unidentified sandpipers. All these were seen from a km or two with a 20X scope. No doubt there are other species present. It is a tiny taste of what "The Great Swamp" must have been like - and what it could be like again. All we need is the cooperation of about 6 land-owners and maybe some govt money to fill in the drains and a few days work with a dozer.

Apparently, the similar Lake Condah to the south is about to be reinstated after similar long-term drainage.

I don't know how long the water will last but I'll see what I can find lurking in the swamp - Painted Snipe would be happy there at the moment.



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