On Monday a small group of Heyfield Birdwatchers hosted a small group of EGBOCers for a brief tour of some of the wetlands around Sale. Everyone was a little concerned about river levels, as there were flood warnings continually being broadcast across the radio. Although we hadn't had the rain other parts of the state received, there was concern for run off from the ranges to the north. The Bairnsdale people were worried about getting home across the Mitchell River, which had been forecast to cut the highway at some time through the day. In brief, we all stayed high and dry and as far as I know, we all got home safely!
First stop was Lake Guyatt which did have a fairly high water level and after Val opened the Powder Magazine for us we had a cuppa in some beautiful sunshine then hit the walking track where we had to dodge the usual pedestrian traffic with 'wires hanging from their ears'. The mud flats were almost completley inundated but there were a few birds in residence. Yellow Spoonbill, Chestnut and Grey Teal, and Latham's Snipe were some to add to Chis's list.
We did a car shuffle next and walked through the Common to the Swing Bridge. Whistling Kites, Darters, Cormorants and Swamp Harriers were spotted here. The highlight of this section however was the frog calls. With the nearby Latrobe River level being high, water was beginning to flood into the Common. We were able to trace the progress of the inundation by the frog 'din'. I think all present enjoyed the moment.
After a quick lunch at Sale's historic Swing Bridge, we climbed aboard two vehicles with a bit of ground clearance and Ron took us for a trip through the newly acquired Wet Trust properties adjoining the Heart-Morass,(link). We saw some wonderful evidence of natural regeneration plus the successful planting efforts conducted by the Bug Blitzers, WGCMA, Field and Game, etc. This once severely degraded piece of country is quickly coming back to life - yeah! Here we ticked Swans, more Teal and Kites, and a soaring White-bellied Sea Eagle.
We'd only seen a small section of the wetlands, but the day had gone, so with promises to do it again and cover some of the other areas, we said our goodbyes and headed for home.
Thanks go in particular to Ron and Val for conducting the expedition through the Powder Magazine, Guyatt and Wet Trust properties.
|Chestnut Teal - Lake Guyatt|
|Darter #1 - Sale Common|
|Darter #2 - Sale Common|
|Brushtail Possum - Sale Common|
|White-bellied Sea Eagle - Wet Trust/Heart Morass|