We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of these lands and waters.
Oh what changes we have seen in the past 3 months viewed from the Great Southern Rail Trail. The new road is taking shape very rapidly and as I write this half of the Minns Road bridge is up with a very large crane overshadowing it.
The easterly winds have dominated our bird monitoring evenings and we have seen less birds that normal for this time of the year. We are not sure if the birds have been hiding from the winds or due to the large amount of earthworks happening.
Last month we did see two Wedge Tail Eagles hovering overhead, the Azure Kingfisher again (at the Blackspur Creek bridge) and an echidna walking along the rail trail south of the Koonwarra Recreation Reserve.
This past week we have been notified that our group has received funding from Regional Roads Victoria to remove the weeds on the steep slope above and around the Apple Tree rail trail bridge and the current South Gippsland Highway, and revegetate this very steep slope. This will link Kate and Pete Walsh's plantings above the current highway down to the Tarwin River. Main Roads Victoria will revegetate the old highway when it is closed to traffic and making it easier for the birds and animals to move about.
The Bass Coast Landcare works crew will be poisoning the Sweet Pittosporum, broom, and other invasive plants that have invaded this area. Sweet Pittosporum suppresses regeneration of other seedlings, especially Gum Trees, which provide essential habitat for so many birds and animals. This bank is dotted with some very old gum trees and we hope to revegetate this area with locally collected seeds and to produce seedlings from them.
Below are two photos of the area taken in April 2021 and the same area taken in March 2022. Note the rate of growth of the invasive species in that short time.
Photo above: April 2021
Photo below March 2022
The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority has also agreed to have the blackberries sprayed on the river bank just under and to the north of the Apple Tree Rail Trail bridge. These weeds have also enjoyed the great growing season.
At the Blackspur Creek bridge we also noticed the deer tracks running across the now dry swamp area. These are also a pest in the area.
This will be our last Blackspur Creek Wetlands Project newsletter. From now on we will incorporate it into our monthly Landcare newsletter. Thanks to Kate Walsh for all her work on this newsletter. We will incorporate our two mailing lists so that you do not miss out on any of our news.