In her 14 April message, Sandra referred to the Sporting Shooters Association
of Australia property at Ripley (south of Ipswich, Qld) where Bundamba Lagoon
(also known as Daly's lagoon) is "monitored by local bird clubs".
Birds Australia South Queensland has been monitoring birds using this wetland
since 2005, at the request of the SSAA. They are very keen to manage the
property and this lagoon for the benefit of the waterbirds and other wildlife.
We survey the lagoon and its environs every month. Some 130 species have been
recorded, of which about 30 have bred. (For almost 2 years of this period, the
lagoon was very low or dry because of the drought.) We also do an annual
survey of a bushland area. All survey records go into the Atlas.
No ducks were shot on the property during this period (even when it was legal).
There has been some shooting - the SSAA has put a lot of effort into getting
rid of foxes, feral cats and pigs. (Well, reducing the numbers - given the
geography, they will never completely get rid of them!) They have planted a lot
of trees and overall their management has been very good. I am sure that their
protection of the lagoon and its environs from disturbance has contributed to
so much successful breeding. They were as excited as we were when the local
pair of White-bellied Sea-eagles fledged two young. Their Conservation group
has an active education program and we have had two bird identification
mornings with them.
The SSAA shooting range provides for a number of different gun sports (sports
for which Australians get Olympic Gold Medals) and archery. There is a huge
buffer zone round this area, so they need a big property.
When I lived in Victoria, and especially when I was President of the RAOU, the
SSAA and I were not exactly friends. However my opinion has changed and I now
respect their work on both their own properties, and in other places including
National Parks where their skills have been utilized to deal with feral pigs
Local birdwatchers would be welcome to join us on a survey, early in the
morning on the first Saturday of every month. However I would warn the hopeful
that at present there are almost no birds to count - presumably they are far
away in the inland or scattered among the many wetlands here in southeast
Queensland; while in past years we have had as many as 990 Australasian Grebes
and 630 Grey Teal, these days we have to be satisfied with perhaps 9 Grebes and
- well maybe 30 or so Grey Teal! So you might want to wait until things return
to "normal" whatever that is.
Cheers to all
2 Cintra Street
Eastern Heights, Qld
07 3282 9151
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