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And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

The Wolli Creek Preservation Society is holding their annual ‘Bat Watch’ Picnic again.  It is a great evening outing to have a picnic, then watch the Grey-headed flying foxes head out in search of food.  Personally I think it is a beautiful sight.

DATE:            Friday 10th March 2017

TIME:             6.30pm – 8.30pm.  There will be ‘batty crafts’ for the kids from 6.30pm.

ADDRESS:   Turrella Reserve, Earlwood.

BRING:          You, your family & friends, food & drink, something to sit on & insect repellent because the mosquitoes can be bad.

A large birdbath in Bankstown City Council Sylvan Grove Native Garden.  I think it is wonderful for local councils to provide water for birds.

A large birdbath in Bankstown City Council owned Sylvan Grove Native Garden. I think it is wonderful for local councils to provide water for birds.

The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study is happening once again.  I missed week one, but there are three more weeks to participate in this citizen science event.

The researchers at Deakin University & Griffith University want to know “what species are attracted to these resources and why people like to provide them.  Most importantly we need to understand the ecological and behavioural effects of bird feeding as almost all information from other countries regarding bird feeding simply does not apply here.  We acknowledge that feeding of wild birds is an important activity for large numbers of people and that the practice may be a significant way for many to connect with nature.”

The ultimate aim of the research is to “develop purpose guidelines for people who feed birds to do so with minimum risk to birds.” 

You don’t need to commit to the whole period, though you can if interested.  You are asked to observe the water/food source for 20-minutes a day & report your observations on the Citizen Science website.

Dates –

  • Monday 6th – Sunday 12th February 2017
  • Monday 13th – Sunday 19th February 2017
  • Monday 20th – Sunday 26th February 2017

To participate you need to sign up here – https://csdb.org.au/Account/Sign-Up.aspx

Showing the tree that was saved, the new garden area and the new viewing area.  Photo January 2016

Showing the tree that was saved, the new garden area and the new viewing area. Photo January 2016.  

Sydney Water & contractor Total Earth Care are holding a Community Open Day to celebrate the newly upgraded Alexandra Canal beside Tempe Reserve.

I last wrote about this work in January 2016 & was impressed with the extent of restoration work that had been done.  I am sure it looks quite different from my last visit.  See – http://bit.ly/1ZjIYhv

WHEN:          Saturday 5 November 2016.

TIME:             10 – 12 noon.

WHERE:        Next to the Alexandra Canal at Tempe Recreation Reserve.

Parking available in the park at the end of Holbeach Avenue Tempe.

 

Striated heron - Cooks River. Such shy little birds that sneak out of the mangroves when they think no-one ois looking. Expert catchers of fish too.

Striated heron – Cooks River. Such shy little birds that sneak out of the mangroves when they think no-one is looking. Expert catchers of fish too.

Back for the third year, Birdlife Australia’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count is looking for people to participate & help this important citizen science research.

In 2015 over 42,000 Australians counted over 1,000,000 birds.

“The Top 10 most common bird species in Australia remained unchanged from last year, with the Rainbow Lorikeet once again taking out the number one spot. There were minor changes in the order of some of the top 10 birds – Common Myna, Galah and Silver Gull were bumped down a place or two, with House Sparrow, Red Wattlebird and the Welcome Swallow moving up the list.

Other notable changes occurred in some of the state’s Top 3 birds, with the Budgerigar failing to make the Top 3 for the NT and being replaced by the Rainbow Lorikeet.

The Australian White Ibis lost its place in QLD to the Plumed Whistling Duck.

In the ACT the Galah and Crimson Rosella were replaced with the Magpie-lark and the Pied Currawong.

And in WA the Silver Gull had its spot in the Top 3 taken by the Galah.

The Top 3 bird species remained the same in VIC, TAS, NSW & SA.”

It’s easy to be involved.  All it takes is 20-minutes.  Record the birds you see in your backyard or in your favourite outdoor space.  You can do one count or as many counts as you like, but they all need to be done during the one week.

First you need to register as a counter. http://aussiebirdcount.org.au

There is an app that you can download, which allows you to submit your count.  This is available at the above link.  If you participated last year, your already downloaded app will have an update.

You can also choose to provide information about your count directly to the website, but you still need to register as a counter.

Birdlife Australia have also prepared lesson plans for teachers.  These are available here – http://aussiebirdcount.org.au/teachers/

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is happening during the week of 17-23rd October 2016.

Little Wattlebird

Little Wattlebird

Photo Taken 15th May 2016.  Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

Photo Taken 15th May 2016. Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

How fantastic!  A two-day ‘Litter Congress’ all about the massive problem of littering in Australia presented by Keep NSW Beautiful.

Over 30 experts from across the country will appear at the conference “focusing on the best & newest litter reduction techniques, campaigns, & methodologies.”  YES!

Topics include –

  • Roadside litter
  • Engagement & awareness techniques
  • LIttering behaviour studies
  • Litter audit methodologies
  • Community education
  • Eradicating litter at beaches & in waterways
  • Plastic bags, plastic bottles, & other problem items
  • The upcoming NSW Container Deposit Scheme
  • Litter reduction in schools”

“People are much less likely to litter in clean areas & littered places keep attracting more litter.”

WHEN:          Wednesday 31 August – Thursday 1 September 2016.

WHERE:        WatervieW in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park.

Litter at Steel Park Marrickville.

Litter at Steel Park Marrickville.

dirtgirl talking to a group of children about biodiversity & the need for trees.

dirtgirl talking to a group of children about biodiversity & the need for trees.

Many Marrickville LGA locals are used to heading up to Sydney Park on National Tree Day, but this year the City of Sydney & Planet Ark are holding their event at Jubilee Park Glebe.

There are 2,000 native seedlings to be planted & the event will go ahead even if it is raining.

WHERE:        Jubilee Park Glebe, access via Northcote Road.  The site can also be accessed from the Jubilee Park light rail stop.  They ask that you register in arrival.

WHEN:          Sunday 31st July 2016.

TIME:             10am to 1pm.

BRING:          Wear suitable clothing.

PROVIDED: Gloves, tools, equipment for planting, watering cans / buckets, drinking water, snacks, refreshments & a barbeque.

SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN:       Yes

ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED: Yes

ACTIVITIES: 

  • Special appearances & photo opportunities with children’s TV sensation, dirtgirl.
  • Kids activities – native animals, nature crafts, face painting & kids yoga.
  • Take-away plantable ice-cream cone.
  • Sausage sizzle or vegie pattie for participants.
  • Have a slice of our 21st birthday cake.
  • Edible garden patch.
  • Urban Ecology & City Farm information.
  • Indigenous performance artists the ‘Yamma Boys.’
  • Plus, there will ice cream & coffee available to purchase from Serendipity Ice Cream Van & the Nomadic Coffee Trike.

There will be three National Tree Day events across the Inner West LGA at Marrickville, Lilyfield & Ashfield/Haberfield.  For more information see – http://wp.me/pyn6B-2oC

For further information & other National Tree Day sites across Sydney & NSW see – http://treeday.planetark.org/find-a-site/search.cfm

National Tree Day at Sydney Park 2015

National Tree Day at Sydney Park 2015

National Tree Day is happening next Sunday 31st July 2016.

The Inner West Council has three planting sites – Steel Park Marrickville, Leichhardt Park Lilyfield & the corner of Marion Street & Hawthorne Parade Haberfield.

MARRICKVILLE: 

Planting local natives on the banks of Cooks River.  There is also a free tree give-away for residents.  For information about getting your free native tree see – http://bit.ly/29Awjyp

WHERE:        Steel Park Marrickville South – near the exercise equipment.

WHEN:          Sunday 31st July 2016.

TIME:             10am to noon.

BRING:          Wear suitable clothing.

PROVIDED: Gloves, tools, equipment for planting, watering cans / buckets, drinking water & refreshments.

SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN:       Yes

ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED:   Yes

_____

LILYFIELD: 

Aiming to provide habitat for native fauna & beautify Leichhardt Park.

WHERE:        Leichhardt Park Lilyfield.  From the park entrance at the bottom of Glover Street, walk west for 200-metres along the Bay Run pathway.

WHEN:          Sunday 31st July 2016.

TIME:             9:30am to noon.

BRING:         Wear suitable clothing.

PROVIDED: Gloves, tools, equipment for planting, watering cans / buckets, drinking water, refreshments & a barbeque.

SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN:       Yes

ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED: Yes

_____

ASHFIELD/HABERFIELD: 

Remove the African fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) & replace with local native species.

WHERE:        116 Hawthorne Parade, corner of Marion Street & Hawthorne parade Haberfield. “This site is an uneven site along the side of Hawthorne parade. Please take special care in regards to traffic. The eastern side of the site is within a park along a pedestrian footpath which would be much safer. Please approach the site from the reserve side.”

WHEN:          Sunday 31st July 2016.

TIME:             9am to noon.

BRING:          Wear suitable clothing.

PROVIDED: Gloves, Tools, equipment for planting, drinking water & refreshments.

SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN:       Yes.

ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED:   Yes.

For further information & the locations of other National Tree Day sites across Sydney & NSW see – http://treeday.planetark.org/find-a-site/search.cfm

Print made by someone at the 2015 Cooks River Day Out.  To me it summed up the whole event.

Print made by someone at the 2015 Cooks River Day Out. To me it summed up the whole event.

The Cooks River Alliance is holding their annual Cooks River Day Out, this time at Steel Park in Marrickville South.  Expect crowds.  Last year’s event was great & this is a busy park anyway.

I wrote about last year’s event here – http://bit.ly/1KBDWjo

There will be live music, art & craft, a jumping castle, food stalls, plus kayaking & cycling tours.  There will also be education about Aboriginal traditional & contemporary ecological knowledge & how to maintain & enhance the river.

The workshops are –

  • Cooks River kayak tour 10-11am & 11.30am-12.30pm.
  • ‘River Stories’ creative writing workshop 11am-12.30pm.
  • Backyard rain gardens, wetlands & frog ponds 1.30pm-2.15pm
  • Save water with greywater recycling 2.30pm-3pm.

WHEN:          Sunday 21st August 2016.

WHERE:        Steel Park Marrickville South.

TIME:             11am – 3pm

The Cooks River Alliance request that people planning to attend take the time to register, as this will help them plan for the event.  Also, if you would like to take part in the activities or attend the workshops, you will need to register to reserve a place.  See –  http://bit.ly/29RUJqk

A small section of the stalls at the new Canterbury Markets. Nice Fig trees in the background.

A small section of the stalls at the new Canterbury Markets. Nice Fig trees in the background.

A beautiful Fig tree just inside the grounds.  A jumping castle is on the right.

A beautiful Fig tree just inside the grounds. A jumping castle is on the right.

We just came back from visiting the new Canterbury Markets.  I think this is only the second week since the markets started.

The bulk of the stalls are food-orientated, though there was some jewelry, clothing & fresh flowers.  There were also jumping castles & miniature horse rides for the kids.

Today there were at least 15 stalls offering a variety cooked food from sweets to paella to Vietnamese & Chilean street food as examples.  For me it was the fresh fruit & vegetables that was the attraction.  There are organic only and/or produce from a variety of farms from the Liverpool region, Orange & Tamworth.  Also selling was grain fed meat, & fish, plus loads of honey.

What I particularly liked was that prices were displayed & I think they are comparable to the supermarkets.   As I write I am eating a gorgeous juicy unwaxed apple picked from the tree yesterday.  Eating it reminds me of apples from my childhood.

Another reason why I wanted to go was to look at the trees on site.  I have driven past the racecourse & even ridden past it along the river, always wanting to have a closer look at the trees. There are many large Eucalypts, some special figs trees, lots of mature Queensland Brushbox & palms.

Because of the trees there were birds everywhere. I was fortunate to see a family of Galahs loudly eating from a palm tree.  The fledgling was still being fed & was quite clumsy getting around the tree.

Birds in Backyards says the following about Galahs – “Galahs form permanent pair bonds, although a bird will take a new partner if the other one dies. The nest is a tree hollow or similar location, lined with leaves. Both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young. There is high chick mortality in Galahs, with up to 50 % of chicks dying in the first six months.” 

Canterbury Markets –

WHEN:  Every Sunday

WHERE:  Canterbury Racecourse

PARKING:  Masses of free parking onsite, enter King Street.

TIME: 9am – 2pm.

The fledgling being fed.

The fledgling being fed.

The fledgling being clumsy.  Getting around this tree caused a lot of wing flapping.

The fledgling being clumsy. Getting around this tree caused a lot of wing flapping.

Street art in Marrickville

Street art in Marrickville

Marrickville Council has fliers all over the place inviting interested members of the community to attend a workshop that asks the very important question – “How can we make our local environment the best it could be?”

They say, “bring your ideas & all ideas are the right ideas.”   Council will provide a free vegetarian lunch.

And, “This event is a must for people who love to breathe clean air, grow food, plant trees, see clean streets, get to know people, connect with community, watch birds and help nature grow & thrive in Marrickville now & into the future.  Importantly, this event is for people that are ready to do something & to do it with others.”

For me it is easy.

  • Marrickville Council could follow City of Sydney’s example & double the urban forest within a decade, though City of Sydney Council are planning to achieve this by 2020 & the results are already noticeable.
  • Again follow the City of Sydney’s example & reclaim as many street corners as possible, allowing that space to be greened up & also serve as informal & attractive meeting places.  This kind of intervention slows down traffic, as well as adding beauty to the streetscape.
  • More de-paving & more verge gardens. This program is already having a positive impact throughout the municipality.
  • More green walls, even if it is a simple vine that grows up a side wall cooling the area & preventing graffiti tagging.
  • More native trees to fill in the ‘urban biodiversity mosaic, Council’s map of areas of biodiversity across the municipality, instead of mainly planting for wildlife only along biodiversity corridors such as the Greenway & the Cooks River.  Unfortunately, areas that support wildlife are sparse, except for along the Cooks River & the railway lines.
  • No loss of our park space for any reason. We have the least green space of any municipality in Australia, so keeping it must be a top priority.
  • Fresh water available for birds with every bubbler & in parks.  It happens in neighbouring municipalities, why not ours?
  • Complete The Greenway, though I did read recently that the NSW government is going to financially contribute with the councils to make it happen.  See – http://bit.ly/1rHJMxC
  • Insist that new high-rise developments move back from the street to prevent a canyon effect & to allow tall street trees to be planted. It is better for those living in these units to look out onto green & importantly, better for their health as those street trees will help capture particulate matter, protect air quality & lessen the development of respiratory illness & fatal heart attacks.  This is vitally important in my opinion.  I’ve written about this public health issue on a number of occasions. See – http://bit.ly/1qfKvVz    Also, more footpath area outside these developments leaves more room for landscaping & seating if there is a café or restaurant included on the ground level.  Plus, it provides more room for pedestrians.  Targeting new development to produce better looking streets is a no-brainer in my opinion.  Otherwise we will be stuck for the next 50-years with the mistakes of today.

WHEN:     Sunday 22nd May 2016.

WHERE:    Tom Foster Community Centre at 11-13 Darley Street Newtown. 

TIME:    12.30 – 4.30pm

RSVP:    By Tuesday 17th May 2016.
To RSVP & for more information see – http://bit.ly/1QxT1F8

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