[Fwd: Lake George] - student seeking information

To: Michael and Janette Lenz <>
Subject: [Fwd: Lake George] - student seeking information
From: Denis Wilson <>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 18:07:58 +1000
Thanks Michael, for your response.

I always found Don Lamm's surveys interesting. in that he was the only person I knew who could regularly report Australian Bitterns. He seemed to flush them from within the deep drainage channels through the northern end of Lake George (technically NOT Lake area as such), but amongst the long grasses in the area he surveyed. As you rightly point out that area has been grazed for a very long time, now (about 30 years, or more likely 50 years).

While on the topic of Lake George, Professor Philip Pells, an hydrogeologist and Geotechnical Engineer, who has recently done a series of studies on the Thirlmere Lakes, recently commented to me that Lake George has the longest running set of water level data records of any Lake in Australia.

He then said that those data collection studies had been abandoned in recent years (which in view of the recent return of  water in the Lake has proven to be an unfortunate decision). Apparently the data is held (buried within) Geoscience Australia


Denis Wilson.

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM, Michael and Janette Lenz <> wrote:
Hi Denis,
most interesting to have some one who went out with Don Lamm to Lake George. However, the area surveyed by Don Lamm and others (incl. the "Wilson family" as in the acknowledgements) is very much the same that COG surveyed later as part of its waterbird surveys, although we did not manage to round the northern tip as far East as probably D.L. would have done (heavily stocked with cattle by then).
Michael Lenz

Hi Sandra

I know that my father's close friend Don Lamm (D.W. Lamm) conducted a waterbird survey at the northern end of Lake George over a number of years through the early 1960s. From memory he resumed this survey which he had conducted during a previous posting to Canberra (in the 1950s I believe).

Don was Charge D'Affaires at the American Embassy in Canberra during the early 1960s.
He had been posted here in the 1950s I believe.

He was around Canberra probably before COG was formed - I am not totally sure when he left Australia.

From memory he published papers in the Emu. Some were jointly published with my father (S.J. WIlson) but they would have been papers on small passerines.

RE Lake George, I found one reference with a quick Google Search.
Incidentally, the area Don surveyed has been totally dry for about 30 years. Even with the return of some water to the southern end of the Lake bed, the area Don surveyed would be approx 8 Kms from standing water. I may be able to help give general directions to the area he surveyed, as I accompanied him on several such surveys.

Mark Clayton and other senior members of COG might also be able to flesh out this report, as Mark would almost certainly remember Don.
Don Lamm travelled widely in his diplomatic career, in Africa and South America, and then retired to Arizona, so Google Searches with DW Lamm and birds will probably all relate to him. I know he collected many specimens for the Smithsonian Museum, mostly South American birds.

I hope that is of interest to your correspondent.

Denis Wilson

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Canberra Ornithologists Group Inc. <> wrote:
the request below is self explanatory - please get back to me if you can help this student and if you're happy for me to pass on contact details so she can email you or phone you.
sandra henderson
COG secretary

 I am currently completing history honours at the ANU. Broadly speaking, my thesis is an environmental history of Lake George. I have found early evidence of a bird and animal sanctuary on the Lake. I was wondering if your group has had any association with Lake George and if not, if you would know which organisations did? I am very keen to write about the significance of conservation in the area historically, so any help, or direction you could give me would be very much appreciated. 

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Denis Wilson
"The Nature of Robertson"

Denis Wilson
"The Nature of Robertson"

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