We’ve been busy pulling down fencing at Naree Station over the last couple of weeks – an exciting change after our focus on boundary and exclusion fence building over the last four or so years.
Volunteers Paul Bateman, George and Rosemary Maddox, Clifford Grant and Brian Redman spent 10 days at Naree, braving heat waves and thunderstorms as the weather decided to put on a special show for them.
After an exceedingly dry year, the weather broke on their arrival, with 15mm rain falling in a spectacular fashion, washing the vegetation clean and (almost) settling the dust as they worked across the woodlands, sandplains and wetlands of Naree. Luckily for us, the crew were all keen bird watchers and produced some great survey results at several spots on Naree as they moved through the landscape.
All up, nearly 70 species were recorded, including a new species of cuckoo. We had some friends visiting from Queensland at the same time, Carol Smith and Paul Bruce, and they were sucked into the cyclone of activity here too – de-fencing and bird watching with the team for a few days and learning a bit about Bush Heritage in the process.
Thanks to everyone for making the working bee such fun, and so successful. Your work effort was extra-ordinary. Seasonal conditions are now getting challenging so this is almost the last volunteer effort for 2017, although we think we have one last surprise for the year up our sleeve – stay posted….
Meanwhile here's a poem about the visit by Rosemary Maddox.
The Twitching De-Fence Team
(Paul, Brian, Cliff, George and Rosemary – 8-9 October 2017)
Cutting fence wire with grey crowned babblers,
rolling barb with mulga parrots
and pulling posts with grey falcons.
Unfettering the landscape, letting everything merge and belong to itself.
Bolt cutters and binoculars.
Disc grinders and bird guides.
We find an ancient grinding bowl laid out in a clay pan.
Welding gates under the shadow of the black breasted buzzard.
Cameras capturing the excited honeyeaters in the corkwood blossoms.
Fence twitchers twitching to the natter of wood swallows.
The colour shock of a splendid wren or crimson chat.
Hot colours but lovely cool weather for October.
The spectacular gloss on a glossy ibis at dusk.
The excitement and challenge of 15mm of rain in a black and orange storm.
Machinery bogged and new blades of grass.
Protect the algal crust but not the freshly baked crusty bread in the kitchen.
Interesting food, good conversation and a wealth of skills with one intent.
Sue and Dave enhancing our every experience.
We view the huge thirsty mouth of the Cuttaburra wetlands,
parched in a year of 100mm of rain to date – waiting with so much potential.
The “cultural heritage” of Yantabulla township is thought provoking,
layers of “civilization”, entropy at work!
Naree please need us some more.