Matt Herring of the Bitterns in Rice project comes to see Robbie’s new home at Long Swamp
Today I had the great privilege of catching up with Matt Herring, who had just undertaken the same journey that Robbie the bittern did (albeit by land rather than on the wing!), by travelling from NSW to the coastal zone near the border between SA and Victoria. [By the way, in case you haven’t seen it, Matt has recently released a new booklet about the Bitterns in Rice project, that you can see here.]
We decided to retrace Robbie’s ‘steps’ from where he landed at Pick Swamp, before travelling east past the estuary at Nelson, and then heading in to look in more detail at the restoration trial site in Long Swamp at Nobles Rocks.
It was great to witness Matt soaking up the fact that a bird he had in the hand, and fitted the transmitter to in NSW in April, has ended up in this completely different wetland environment, seemingly a world away. Thanks to the journey he took, not only do we know a bit more about the cryptic life of the Australasian Bittern, but we are beginning to understand how the wetlands of south-eastern Australia are invisibly connected, at an incredibly vast scale.
Although we didn’t spot Robbie today, we did see one of his kind at Pick Swamp. Needless to say, the value of wetland restoration was a consistent theme of our conversation – hopefully the first of many more to come.
All in all, a fantastic day out, spent with a top bloke doing some great work with the rice farmers in NSW. A special thanks to Robbie for getting us in contact with each other!