Monday, 12 May 2008

A perfect nesting site

Our council and the catchment management authority have been getting rid of some of the non-indigenous vegetation along the Barwon River. And most of the local residents are happy for them to do so. But they've run into a snag (excuse the pun).

For reasons unknown a group of Darters has set up a nesting colony on the trees overhanging the Barwon right in the middle of the suburbs, in rubbish trees, non-Australian deciduous trees that have suckered along the bank. There are four nests there and it seems to be an almost non-stop process of nesting and rearing the young. They've persisted even when the water level rises occasionally and washes them out. Several local bird watchers are taking copious notes of nesting times and dates, behaviour and number of young raised successfully.

The trees are marked for removal but the plan is put on hold while it is decided what to do about the Darters. My guess is that the most attractive part of this spot (for Darters) is that the horizontal branches hang low over the water. Replicate that and we're in business. Now how long will that take?

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