McKellar Bitterns

To: "'Julian Teh'" <>, "'shorty'" <>
Subject: McKellar Bitterns
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:18:43 +1000

Following Julian’s comments I went and had a quick look at the large McKellar pond around 3pm. There certainly is quite a bit of trampling going on but the reeds haven’t been cut. One thing that might have caused the illusion that they are shorter is that the water level has risen quite a bit. This is especially obvious on the small McKellar Pond, about 400 metres away. The last time I was at this smaller pond the water level was way below the small boardwalk that juts into the pond. Today it was almost lapping the top of the boardwalk, threatening to overflow onto it. Both these ponds rely on rainfall runoff from stormwater drains to keep them full. With the recent rain, it has done just that.


All these ponds over Canberra are designed to trap debris and rubbish from spilling into the various lakes. They are a brilliant idea but the ACT Government needs to regularly inspect them for accumulated rubbish and remove it. It would be an ideal project for people on community service orders.




From: Julian Teh [
Sent: Friday, 18 July 2014 9:41 PM
To: shorty
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] McKellar Bitterns


I don't think so, unfortunately. It looked pretty uniform, and there must have been a fair few swamphens to trample all the reeds in the pond!! Also they didn't look like they'd been bent over, more like cut.


On 18 Jul 2014, at 20:48, shorty wrote:

I don't think they have been cut down, rather been trampled down by Swamphens?


On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 8:38 PM, Julian Teh <> wrote:

I went up to McKellar yesterday for a quick squiz to see if I could spot the Little Bitterns again.
I was very disappointed to see that the reeds have been cut down to about half the height they were when I saw the Little (and Australasian) Bitterns previously - needless to say no bitterns were seen yesterday.

Does anyone know who cut it down, when, or why? The reeds were tall, but not THAT tall... If they were wandering through there cutting stuff down, I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing our little bitterns anymore. I would have thought some consideration would have been taken into account for an endangered species - or were they simply unaware?

Julian Teh
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