Gwydir Ark Family Fun Day

November 16, 2016

Gwydir Ark Family Fun Day on the banks of the Gwydir River, Sunday 6th November was informative, interesting and delightful.

Gwydir Ark Field day

This was due to the stunning weather, the participants and the generosity of one Alex Dudley, an herpetologist. He found a Two Clawed Worm Skink commonly known as the legless lizard under fallen leaves and a male Burns Dragon lizard sunning peacefully on a log.

Another generous, knowledgeable mentor was Stefan West. On the side of a tree, a mud nest was found, made by a Kookaburra. Apparently this bird hits the completed empty mud mound with its head to make a perfectly round hole for entry to the nest.

John Hodges, the group’s flowering plant specialist, identified a Carissa ovata, the native current bush and assured participants it was safe and delicious to eat. Most sampled the fruit ate fruit and were pleasantly surprised with the taste.

Garry Voysey explained how to construct a bird hide and shared magnificent photos of birds he had taken that morning.

Scratch marks on a tree were easily identified as made by a koala because they have three claws and use the front claws first to start the distinctive jumping action they have followed by hauling themselves up with their hind claws. There was too much grass underfoot to find any old or fresh scats. Apparently Koalas and possums sound alike when fighting so one must be careful to sight as well as hear when identifying birds and animals.

All participants, including the children shared sandwiches and stories after the walk, agreeing that learning how to identify evidence of animal habitation was the highlight of the day and expressed appreciation for our mentors.

Gwydir Ark group are hosting a Photographic Competition with two age group categories. Watch this space for details or visit Gwydir Ark Facebook page. Please ‘LIKE’ the page to share the interest and information with your family and friends. The public may upload photos to the Facebook site with locations attached which will help identify potential population areas for rare and unusual wildlife. What might be seen in one place regularly might actually still be rare across the district or region.

Since Gwydir Ark was formed, people have been contacting the group with interesting news and information such as four Koala sightings. A great deal of information is on Gwydir Ark Facebook page. The page has the ability to document sightings, knowledge, pictures of birds and evidence of animal habitation. One of those four koalas needed vet attention.  Go to the FB page for the full story.

Koala Detection dogs will be coming to Warialda on the 5th of December. Watch this space for more details. The area between Warialda and Barraba is considered to be a black spot with little being known about the koala population and it is hoped that further sightings and documentation of GPS locations, funding could be applied for research and documentation.

On Sunday we did not see the local endangered species: – Koala, Regent Honeyeater, Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Black-striped Wallaby, Swift Parrot or a Platypus. Drop into the Local Land Service office and pick up a brochure about each of these to assist in identification as the more people looking the more likely they will be to find.

Next Meeting:

Gwydir Ark is a community group in the Gwydir region of NSW Australia that is keen to discover, protect and help thrive the local flora and fauna.

  • Monday, November 21 at 6 PM – 7:30 PM
  • Conference Room Imperial Pub Bingara