And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Nice Day for a Dam Walk

Saturday was a bad day for any photography or video at Herdsman Lake, with a very cloudy overcast day, so it was basically just a walk around. It was interesting to see the big increases in water levels after last Monday's storms. Perth had not had any rain for almost 4 months, so Herdsman was low with lots of open mud and reedbeds, and lots of birds. A few weeks ago with the Birds Australia excursion, we managed to record 71 bird species in just over 3 hours!

Now a lot of birds had moved on and the lake is home to the usual deeper water winter birds, such as Musk and Blue-billed Ducks.

The big areas of mud have disappeared and some of the birds seemed a little lost, such as these Black-winged Stilts and Glossy Ibis. This group had 44 Glossy Ibis, a good number for Herdsman.

Sunday turned out to be a nice day for our walk around Mundaring Weir, which is only a twenty minute drive from our home.

The dam was built around 1900 as part of the plan by C. Y. O'Connor to pump water 550km to supply the towns of the eastern goldfields. The project worked, but due to savage media and political pressure the poor guy ended up shooting himself before the water arrived! It's an interesting story and you can find out more at wikipedia

I have a personal interest in this area, as my father worked on raising the height of the dam wall after the second world war. My father met my mother in the small workers village that use to be to on the southern edge at the base of the dam. Now only some old concrete foundations remain.

One of the walking tracks that my wife and I love walking on is the Bibbulmun Track. It starts in Kalamunda, passes near our home, across Mundaring Weir and onto Albany on the south coast. A 1000 km (620 mile) walk with shelters about a day's walk apart. For more info see Bibbulmun Track

Only about another 970km to Albany from here. Most people need at least 6 weeks to do the end to end walk. We have spent a week walking a part of it a couple years ago and it was great!

1 comment:

Stu said...

44 Glossy Ibis!!!!!

i think I've seen 2 in my entire life...........