Recently had a very quick look at a few of the lakes in the Kerang/Swan Hill
district of northern Victoria and wanted to let people know that this spring
and summer is looking like being a really good one at a number of the lakes
in the region.
The floods have long gone, but the water levels in some of the larger lakes
which have been very full for the last year or more are starting to drop,
and already the birdlife is starting to respond.
Lake Tutchewop, which is now a very saline lake, is coming into its peak,
and the bird numbers there are already spectacular. There are 1000's of
Avocets around it's shores. On Sunday I stood on the southern lake shore as
roughly a thousand Avocets flew around us calling, what an experience.
There are also some numbers of Banded Stilts building there, and the waters
are full of Grey Teal and Hoary-headed Grebes as far as the eye can see.
This spectacle should last for some time, and spring should see it only get
better, with the migratory waders arriving.
The water levels in Cullens lake, not as saline as Tutchewop, are also
starting to drop and the bird numbers there are starting to build. It should
remain good right through this summer. We saw a few Sharp-tailed Sandpipers
flying around (new arrivals) and in the past I have seen phenomenal numbers
of birds at this lake.
I didn't get to go to Lake Murphy this week, but I know that it too will be
great this summer. A few years ago a number of rare waders turned up there.
The Marshes, Sandhill Lake, and Lake Bael Bael should also be great this
summer as they continue to dry up.
On Lake Boga we saw many hundreds of Great Cormorant and Pelican. There must
be lots of fish there, presumably small enough to feed on, after it dried up
a few years ago killing all the humungous 3 foot long Carp that were in it
Round Lake is always good, and has many hundreds of Coots, plus Grebes,
Other lakes and swamps have already dried up, such as Hirds swamp, but there
may be some environmental allocations this year. If I hear of any I'll let
you all know where the water will be going.
It's going to be a great summer up there and well worth a visit if you get
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