Dipping into the Murray-Darling wetlands

River Red Gums, raucous with white corellas screaming from their upper branches, their gnarled trunks splashed grey-and-cream, rise up out of a flooded wetland. The water is strewn with green wetland plants, and smeared yellow with floating pollen. Ducks and … Continued

The scribbly gum woodland at Freshwater

posted in: Forest portraits | 16

Freshwater National Park smells burnt, but it looks lush green. I can hear the sleepy chortles of lorikeets, somewhere up in the bloodwoods. It’s late afternoon, on a hot January day. Maybe they’ve had too much sun, or too much … Continued

Why are Australian swans black?

posted in: Tales of science | 4

Australian swans are black, while most swans are white. Why should this be? When I was a child, growing up in Australia, the only swans I saw were black. At Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, or in the Botanic Gardens of … Continued

Is an aboriginal woomera like a heron’s neck?

posted in: Tales of science | 6

This post is co-authored by Gordon Sanson.¹ Early dawn light is creeping across a glassy-still wetland, as wreaths of mist curl upwards. A large white egret stands still, poised ready. Nearby an aboriginal man is waiting for kangaroos to venture … Continued

Egrets? I’ve had a few…

posted in: Tales of science | 16

  Over the last couple of months four species of egret have been frequenting Dowse Lagoon. Sometimes I see them together in the same muddy corner near the bird-hide. They are the great egret Ardea alba, plumed or intermediate egret … Continued