16 Jan Update #1 – Wetland Restoration on Private Land Case Study 2 – Coleraine District
Back in December I kicked off the annual monitoring of the “wetland restoration on private land” sites, visiting one at Coleraine where we installed a regulator last year. I’m pleased to report that this wetland was still full and a large number of birds are currently calling it home. The site has also recently been fenced thanks to a grant administered through the Hamilton – Coleraine Railway Line Landcare Group and Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority.
It took a while for the water to start moving in the inland parts of Western Victoria last year but once it started raining, it really didn’t let up – in stark contrast to the year before (2012). In line with this extended wet season, annual wetland monitoring was delayed for a month which is great because it means more species of plants have been observed flowering and this makes them much easier to identify.
With stock only recently excluded, it is still too early to see any major changes from holding water back at the Coleraine site. Also this year, being as wet as it has been to this point, the wetland would still have initially retained water without a structure in place. However, we expect the real impact to become apparent once evaporation kicks in and the water levels downstream of the wetland begin to drop. Stay tuned for more updates as we watch it dry down in the coming months.
In the meantime, I’ve put some before and after shots together along with a couple of snaps of some spoonbills. I’ve always been fascinated by these birds and it seems there are a lot more around the last few months, don’t you think?