The good news about Robbie the Bittern just got even better – he’s decided to visit the Long Swamp Restoration Trial!

The good news about Robbie the Bittern just got even better – he’s decided to visit the Long Swamp Restoration Trial!

If you are one of those people who like stories of synchronicity, or meaningful co-incidences, then this blog update is for you…

As if Robbie the Bittern making a bee-line for Pick Swamp, directly from the rice crops of the Riverina where he was born and bred, wasn’t good enough… he decided to take in some sights near the Glenelg River mouth (within a very short distance of a spot mentioned in this recent blog), before flying down the coast to – you guessed it – Long Swamp!

Robbie’s journey, from Pick Swamp, to the vicinity of the Glenelg River mouth, to Long Swamp!
(Image courtesy of the Bitterns in Rice project)

But it turns out that Robbie didn’t head to just anywhere in Long Swamp, he flew straight to the wetland in the immediate vicinity our our restoration trial at Nobles Rocks.

The location of the weir structures associated with the three phases of the Long Swamp restoration trial at Nobles Rocks – the very area that Robbie has decided to fly to for a look around!

For two concurrent and previously unrelated conservation projects to come together like this, when one of those projects started over 500 km away in NSW, I reckon is a pretty amazing, meaningful coincidence!

Now he’s oblivious to all the fuss of course, but Robbie is quickly becoming our highest profile touring ambassador for wetland restoration!

In case you are wondering, this is what he is seeing at the moment around the Nobles Rocks area:

Panorama of the Long Swamp Restoration Trial site at Nobles Rocks  (Photo: Mark Bachmann), with the centre of the image looking in a westerly direction, showing:
(1) – Nobles Rocks
(2) – The Phase 1 Trial Structure – constructed May 2014
(3) – The Phase 3 Trial Structure – constructed April 2015
(4) – Location of the (now redundant) Phase 2 Trial Structure – constructed July 2014
(5) – Location where the nearest corner of Long Swamp proper begins

Let’s hope Robbie sticks around a while longer, because the trial at Nobles Rocks is now really starting to get interesting – and we think he might be well suited to the habitat being restored in this area.

It turns out that after a wet week in the local area, water levels in this recently restored portion of Long Swamp are continuing to rise.

Here’s how the levels have changed at our gauge board in Long Swamp both before and after the structure was completed on the 27th April:

Date Level in channel at Phase 3 structure Level in Long Swamp Notes
31-Mar 0 cm 0 cm
6-Apr 0 cm 0 cm Over 50mm rain overnight
8-Apr 53 cm 34 cm Depth in channel – free flowing
9-Apr 74 cm 34 cm Structure begins raising level in channel
12-Apr 105 cm 34 cm
16-Apr 122 cm 34 cm
20-Apr 133 cm 34 cm
23-Apr 140 cm 34 cm
24-Apr 144 cm 36 cm Structure begins to influence swamp level
27-Apr 151 cm 43.5 cm Structure completed
28-Apr 153 cm 45.5 cm
30-Apr 154.5 cm 47 cm
3-May 159 cm 51.5 cm
9-May 170 cm 62.5 cm

In other words, the transformation of the swamp has begun…

How the swamp looked for a couple of months before the heavy rain on the evening of the 6th of April. (Photo: Mark Bachmann)
Depth – 0 cm


The swamp after the early April downpour. It continued to look like this for the next few weeks. (Photo: Mark Bachmann)
Depth – 34 cm

The positive impact of the phase 3 structure is now becoming evident. (Photo: Mark Bachmann)
Depth – 62.5 cm




Mark Bachmann