The frequent sightings of platypus in the Hobart Rivulet Park is drawing attention to the semi-wild places that nature-lovers call “patches”. The folk of South Hobart are responding as never before to initiatives to clean up the once neglected and polluted waterway to make it a safe environment for both wildlife and people. The focus on the rivulet follows a recent ABC documentary on the “platypus whisperer”, local resident Peter Walsh and his efforts to publicise the … [Read more...] about A patch of paradise
On The Wing
Passport to birdland
Birdland is a magical place where it’s possible to escape all the pressures and stresses of the environment of the city created and inhabited by one species – humans – and immerse yourself in a less one-dimensional world. Birdland is nowhere in particular, and does not have to be special or noteworthy. It could be in the wildest of wild forest, or in suburbia. It could be a pristine beach, a few hectares of eucalypt woodland, or a neatly manicured city park. It could be a backyard. That’s the magic of birds; they bring beauty and wonder to every corner of the planet, wild or untamed, and my On the Wing writing is their celebration.
Has it really been six months since I gazed over the tranquil waters of the Waterworks Reserve and made a prediction? Feeling a northerly breeze on my cheeks, I said to myself: “Today will I see the first swallow.” In a flash, there it was, flittering in from my right as if the snow clouds of recent weeks had parted to let in spring. No great clairvoyance on my part. Like many birders, I anticipate local arrival dates for migrants after watching them over many years. … [Read more...] about One swallow makes a summer
Although humans and birds are separated by millions of years of evolution, we share remarkable similarities in some of our behaviours. That is why we love them so much. It is well known that birds like humans use song to communicate and educate their young. Now scientists studying superb fairy-wrens have discovered that, like humans, they are more likely to help family members in distress than strangers. The beloved Australian songbirds will risk life and limb for its … [Read more...] about It’s all in the family for fairy-wrens
Bird-watchers have been searching Tasmania’s wetlands for a little winter visitor from New Zealand which bucks the trend of north-south migration. The shorebird, the double-banded plover, chooses to travel east to west, leaving its breeding grounds in the southern New Zealand alps for the south-eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania in March. After its western sojourn, it flies back in early September. Although the north-south migrants make epic journeys each year of … [Read more...] about A winter haven on this side of the ‘ditch’
Amid all the frenzy and excitement over the Matildas campaign, Tasmania’s “Mr Football”, Walter Pless, found himself distracted by events off the pitch. On the eve of the Matilda’s game against France, Walter had been counting down the hours by reporting on a lesser game, the Glenorchy Knights versus Riverside Olympic at KGV Park in Glenorchy. Forget the 3-0 victory for the Knights, Walter was recording the antics of two peregrine falcons on one of the floodlight … [Read more...] about Peregrines score goals of their own