We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of these lands and waters.
Kate Walsh is taking some time out for family and health reasons and Sue Miles is writing this update. Our best wishes go out to Kate and her family.
In the past few weeks CPB Contractors have installed all the concrete culverts over the rail trail for the underpass closer to Koonwarra. Workers are now building up the earth around this area to form the basis of the new section of South Gippsland Highway that will cross at this point. Photo courtesy of CPB Contractors.
At the Meeniyan end, next week (from 30 August) the rail trail will be diverted onto a new concrete path for about 200 metres, so that it will travel under the new bridge over the Tarwin River at this point. Walking along the rail trail you may notice also that the retaining walls in this area are being installed. There will be a lot of activity in this area in the coming weeks as they backfill the area to join up with the existing highway.
Bridge beams will be installed on the two bridges in the next couple of months.
In mid-August Landcare members noticed a pair of swans were nesting on a large water weed nest in the middle of the swamp just north of the new pedestrian underpass on the Great Southern Rail Trail. They are not far from the very noisy trucks and roadworks construction site shown above but seemed to ignore it all.
Black Swans (Cygnus atratus) mate for life and begin breeding between the ages of 3 – 4. Swan eggs take between 35 to 42 days to hatch. A male swan is called a cob, the female a pen and baby swans are called cygnets.
Swans are highly intelligent and remember who has been kind to them, or not.
Facts taken from www.thefactsite.com/15-fun-swa...
At our recent Annual General Meeting a member commented that due to her disability she was unable to attend some events, specifically the monthly bird monitoring, as she takes a longer time to get to our first monitoring site. Consequently we have changed the meeting place to Black Spur Creek bridge on the Rail Trail which allows people to take their own time to get to the start of the event.
Coral Hughes noted that the Eucalyptus strzelecki is flowering along the track. Kate Walsh and myself have both noted that the frogs are croaking actively in the swamp area near the Apple tree bridge.
Last year we had 15 bird surveys taken at the Black Spur Wetlands, 6 surveys at Middle Bridge and 13 surveys taken at the Apple Tree Wetlands site from July 2020 to June 2021.
All survey sites are taken from the bridges and can be accessed via the Birdlife app or use the QR codes which are displayed on the bird sign at the Black Spur Creek bridge. Anyone can participate when they are on the Rail Trail.
We applied for a $25,000 Gippsland Transport Environmental Projects (GTEP) Pilot Program to control weeds and revegetate the Apple Tree wetlands. Although these grants should have been awarded in the 2020/21 financial year, delays mean it has not been announced. We are hopeful that these will be announced soon so that we can order plants to revegetate the area after weed removal.
The Tarwin Landcare group meeting with us in May was cancelled due to Covid closures and we hope to reschedule it on the 26 September.