Fwd: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)

To: "Denise Goodfellow" <>, "Frank O'Connor" <>, "Birding Aus" <>, "Barbara Backers" <>, <>, "Valda Ioane" <>, "Susan Fraser-Adams" <>
Subject: Fwd: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)
From: "Harmony Teelow" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 10:52:46 +0930

         I have seen the 2 families of Magpies this weekend at Maud

I was surprised, Mike had said he had seen them before.

How common are the Magpies up this way?


 Harmony Teelow


From: Denise Goodfellow 
Sent: Friday, 18 January 2008 1:21 PM
To: Frank O'Connor; Birding Aus; Barbara Backers;
; Valda Ioane; Susan Fraser-Adams; Harmony Teelow
Subject: Fwd: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)

I know the crocodiles at the sewage ponds well.  We were first warned of
Ben back in 1984, I think it was.  Ben, according to Martin the curator,
was named by the sewage pond workers who fed it sandwiches.  Ben became
so "tame" that while he was sunning himself on cool, dry season
mornings, the workers would drive by and opening the car door, stroke
his back!  I was a little more wary, and it was with trepidation that I
put a dinghy into one of the ponds one day to rescue a pelican with a
broken wing.  Having just had a caesarean, I was not particularly happy
after three hour's paddling (the boat had no oar locks), but my
dedicated obstetrician was on hand.  He was one of those on the bank
waiting to grab the bird when I finally caught it!

Anyway, the inevitable happened - the Conservation Commission set a
trap.  The workers kept removing the rotten chook bait, but finally Ben
was caught (on a Saturday, and knowing the ranger and his wife concerned
with Ben's capture I've that story too!).  The workers did what any one
would do for a mate, and put in an unfair dismissal claim.

Then this present croc turned up.  My first close encounter with him
occurred late one afternoon before Christmas , a couple of years ago.
The NT Tourist Commission had decided to hold their Christmas function
at the ponds.  Barbara Backers and I turned up early to set up the
trestle table and laden it with goodies such as roast chicken and cold
champers.  I set up my telescope hoping to encourage the staff to look
at the waterfowl crowded along the opposite bank.   Then Barb went off
to unlock the gate for the others.

It was a lovely evening, the sun was setting and it wasn't too hot.
However, my musings were rudely interrupted when I noticed the crocodile
as it swam past me and the table about twenty metres away. Then it
turned around and swam back a little closer this time.  It repeated its
actions, each time coming a little closer.  So I did what any
self-respecting birder would do - I unmounted the telescope and picking
up my tripod prepared to do battle.  Fortunately the crowd turned up
just then and the croc decided to leave.

It turned up for my birthday celebration two years ago.  My friends and
I were sitting in the dark, me just having blown out the candles on my
icecream cake, when Valda heard a noise. Switching on my torch I spotted
the saurian repeating the tactics of the year before.  But unlike the
intrepid NTTC'ers, my friends decided then was a good time to leave!

Power and Water Authority people and I decided people should wear
closed-in footwear after the first of our birdwatching soirees when we
noted a woman teetering along the top of the raw sewage channel wearing
high-heeled shoes.

on 18/1/08 12:06 PM, Frank O'Connor at  wrote:

From: "Arthur & Sheryl Keates" <>
        To: "Frank O'Connor" <>
        Subject: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 05:32:38 +0930
        Hi Frank

        Would you mind putting the following message on birding-aus
please, if you think the wording is ok?

        Subject:  Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)
        Apparently a pilot has reported a 2-3 m salt water crocodile in
the ponds so access to the ponds will be denied until the croc is
caught. This particular croc has been in the ponds for over 5 years and
local birders do not consider it a danger.  Being well fed on fish and
ducks, the croc may take some time to lure into a trap.  There are
another 2 smaller crocs present, one being a 'freshie'.

        Those of you who are familiar with the Leanyer ponds will know
that birders drive around in the safety of their cars.  Birds are more
approachable in this manner.  Under the terms of entry with Power &
Water Authority, we are required to wear closed footwear (to kick the
crocs out of the way, sic!).

        Last Friday 2 Little Ringed Plover and about 6 Yellow Wagtail
were present.  Most of the thousands of ducks that were there before
Christmas have dispersed to the wetlands.

        Sheryl Keates

Frank O'Connor          Birding WA
 <> <>
Phone : (08) 9386 5694             Email : 



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