Murrumbidgee Conference of Bird Observers

Subject: Murrumbidgee Conference of Bird Observers
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 18:58:45 +1000
David asked to hear about the conference and Ian wanted to know where
Tuckerbil Swamp is.
The conference was organised by the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists Inc. 
It commenced on Friday pm (18/10/96) with a visit to Red Gum forests
south of Leeton.  The highlight was several Superb Parrots.  On Friday
evening we listened to talks by Michael Hutchison, Dick Cooper and Iain
Taylor.  Michael spoke on his project for the RAOU on the waterbirds in the
Murray-Darling Basin, Dick talked on the NSW Bird Atlas data and Iain
spoke on his study in Homebush Bay (the Olympic Site) of the feeding
habits of stilts and other waders.  The latter study has provided interesting
data that could be used to enhance some of the wetlands to favour
waders.  Michael's talk was particularly relevant as Fivebough and
Tuckerbil swamps near Leeton are among the most important in the
Murray-Darling Basin in terms of containing species covered by treaties
relating to migratory birds with Japan and China, threatened or endangered
species, bird abundance and features satisfying the RAMSAR criteria. 
Fivebough is threatened by a recreational lake development.  The EIS is
about to be published.  Meanwhile it would be valuable to lobby the NSW
Ministers for Environment (Pam Allan) and Water Resources (Kim Yeadon).
       On Saturday we visited Tuckerbil, which is on private land just outside
Leeton on the Griffith road.  One would have to contact Michael Shultz,
the current president of the Naturalists re access (Tel 069 532541).  There
we saw 6 Brown Bittern flying and lots of Glossy Ibis and an early season
Brolga.  Fivebough swamp was short of waders and much of the
vegetation had been flattened by cattle.  It needs a management plan as
well as protection.  It is Crown Land and leased to graziers.  After lunch we
were taken to Brobenah Hills- surrounded by private land. There are a few
pairs of Glossy Black Cockatoos in this area.  The highlight was a pair of
Painted Honeyeaters.  On Sunday we visited Nericon and Campbell's
Swamp near Griffith.  The former had large numbers of Marsh Sandpipers
on it.
      Some 70 people attended to conference including c 20 from Sydney
and several from Victoria and QLD.  It proved an important opportunity for
us to see important wetlands and for the people of Leeton to see that
people from all over were interested in the local wetlands.
    Elisabeth Karplus

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