Parklands staff had a fun morning last week on the river, paddling from the Waterworks to Kremur St boat ramp to do a couple of ‘ground truthing’ jobs setting up for 2022.

One of these was checking for Flying-fox colonies along the river, to ascertain if the colony that left Gateway Island moved in it’s entirety to Kremur St or separated into smaller colonies. After our paddle we can report that no other colonies were found in that particular stretch of the river.

Our Bonegilla Bat Biodiversity project, funded by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat, is securing habitat for these endangered mammals up the river towards the Hume Weir. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who is aware of other Flying-fox colonies in this area.

The other job on our list was checking out the woody weed burden on crown land frontage on the Victorian side, to assist with planning for next year. Several of the islands have become infested with exotic trees and suckers including Tree of Heaven, False Acacia and Ash, reducing the quality of the habitat for native species. These will be targeted next year.

Mindful of the might of the current with the river flowing full, we enjoyed the magnificent river red gums lining the banks, noting the many hundreds – likely thousands – of hollows visible from the river. Ducks – who would have used these hollows to brood their annual clutch of eggs– were enjoying the river with their progeny. We spotted kingfishers, kookaburras and all manner of smaller birds, especially in the bush of the crown reserves.

Altogether a very enjoyable mornings work and a lovely way to end the working year. Thanks to Dave the Canoe Guy for your assistance and advice for new paddlers.

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