water rats

To: "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: water rats
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 13:54:36 +1100
Here in Australia we have the satisfaction of knowing that when we say water
rat we mean water rat.  Kenneth Grahame fans who experience a gush of
nostalgic pleasure at seeing our chap hopping among the weeping willow roots
by LBG, should remember that 'Ratty' was not a rat but a vole.  Moreover the
original wind-penetrated willows were probably not weeping willows but the
white willow of Europe, one variety of which became valued under the name
'cricket-bat willow'.

After introduction to Europe weeping willows were cloned from cuttings.
There is a story that in the 1820s an early NSW settler took cuttings from
weeping willows growing beside Napoleon's grave at Saint Helena and these
gave rise to the willows along the Molonglo, long before Canberra was
thought of.  (My authority here is a little volume "Plant Immigrants and
Stowaways" by Alexander McTaggart, 1945).  More recently male and female
willows of various species were introduced and apparently they have
hybridised like mad.

-----Original Message-----
From: Elizabeth Compston  
Sent: Saturday, 2 January 2010 1:09 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: water rats

Anyone wanting to know more about the water rat seen at Norgrove Park  
should go to Google water rats.  Pass by all the references to the TV  
series of that name till you come to

Australian Water Rats! Tropical Rain Forest, North Queensland.

Good information there.  We also have seen the one at Norgrove Park.   
It appeared to be hunting in the reeds beside the bridge nearest to  
Dawes Street--Printers Way corner. Also some time ago, we saw one  
beside the bridge at Jerrabomberra Wetlands



<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU