Kooragang Island

To: "birding-aus (messages)" <>
Subject: Kooragang Island
From: "Alan Stuart" <>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 21:13:05 +1100
Some list members, particularly those in NSW, will be familiar with
Kooragang Island in Newcastle as a bird haven, especially for migratory
waders.  One popular location for birds and birders is the area on the
northern side of Stockton Bridge.

During the early-mid 1990s, this area had become degraded due to overgrowth
from a type of spiky rush (I don't know the scientific name; it is a native
plant).   The plants began growing there because some gradual changes to
local topography had stopped the occasional flooding at very high tides
that used to occur.  Consequently, the habitat became favourable to this
particular plant, which was unfortunate for the waders that liked to roost
there.  They mostly stopped doing so.

A couple of years ago, as part of a major rehabilitation project that is
going on centered around Kooragang and Ash Islands, some earthworks were
carried out at the Stockton Bridge site to create a lagoon and small island
and to allow occasional flooding of much of the rest of the area.  This
work has had mixed success.  The spiky rush is under control, and some
waders now roost again in the area (they have always been feeding on the
exposed mudflats at low tide).  However, things used to be better, and
hopefully can be.

Hunter Bird Observers Club has recently been invited to put forward
proposals to further improve the site.  We're thinking that the island,
which is little used by any birds, should be lowered in height and the
surrounding water depth decreased.  I'd like to invite comments on this,
and solicit additional suggestions, from those of you who are familiar with
the site.

Please send your thoughts to me at   In due
course I'll post a summary of the suggestions to the list, and we'll put
forward a set of suggestions to the rehab. group.  (This doesn't mean that
they'll necessarily act upon them, but at least they will give


Alan Stuart
HBOC President

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