Kelly Swamp

To: <>
Subject: Kelly Swamp
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 18:51:53 +1100

I read with interest  Martin’s recent comment, below.


“4) a bit later in the day I noted that there was water visible between the vegetation in Kelly's Swamp  in front of the Ardea and Bittern hides.  It doesn't seem to have spread to the area in front of Cygnus yet.  There could be all sorts of of crakes, rails and bitterns lurking in that jungle (even herons if they crouched a bit).”


While I claim no wetland expertise, I would have thought that the ‘swamp’ is now at an early stage in its waterbird-attracting cycle, and that the advantage of the present dry-land veg is not that it will of itself attract birds but after inundation will decompose and then provide an abundance of food for the underwater-veg eaters and then, much later, attract fish and invertebrates and much later again in the cycle will eventually provide food for the next stage of visitors, including crakes, if any of them have survived anywhere.


I haven’t read through the proposed plan, but, Jenny, it might be worth insisting on a science-based approach to the management of inflow into Kelly Swamp.  If it is to be truly a refuge the time to put water into it, to a minimum level, would surely be just when other ephemeral shallow bodies are drying out completely.  This seems to be the time when the swamp is allowed to dry completely.  This might be the ‘natural’ cycle but it denies a refuge to the hard-pressed shallows-frequenters.  I wouldn’t be prescriptive about what they should do, but if it’s a refuge surely they should have objectives and a plan.  During the time Kellys was bone-dry, the nearby silt trap impoundment was full but of no use to waders that feed in shallow water.     

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