New arrivals

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

The start of spring brings new arrivals to the lake, and so far we have welcomed a clutch of 5 baby Black Duck and more recently a cygnet. We have been fortunate in having a pair of Black Swans nest at the lake each year over the past several years. This year is no exception, although there appears to be only one cygnet this year compared to 8 in years gone by. There are not too many places where you can sit quietly and watch swans build their nest and then sit for weeks on the eggs, and finally see the young emerge from under the parent and start following them around the lake. What a wonderful place out Lake McIntyre is!  

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Snake Season

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

With the weather warming up a little now that it is spring, there are lots of things happening at the lake. This is the time of year for the snakes come out of their holes and sun-bake somewhere warm. One of our local Lowland Copperhead snakes has been doing just that recently. He is a fairly large fellow and likes to sun himself on the large stump situated at the start of the walk near the main gate. Most snakes prefer to avoid contact with us and they will usually disappear if they hear us coming or detect our movements. This fellow disappears back into his hole when disturbed, but care must be taken at all times when walking anywhere in, around or near the lake. We will monitor his movements and if he becomes a threat we will relocate him. In the meantime, enjoy the walking trail around the lake, and always be aware of your suroundings and the path in front of you.  

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McArthur Park Kindy Visit

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

National Tree Day, sponsored by Planet Ark and Toyota, was celebrated at Lake McIntyre on 26th July, when 30 children from McArthur Park Kindy arrived to plant 18 trees. The children were accompanied by teachers and parents, and were met at the lake by Lake McIntyre Board members, as well as Jeff Lowe from Millicent Toyota (who donated the plants), and Jeannie Hutchesson from Banner Mitre 10 Millicent (who supplied the plants at cost price). 

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Wattle Range Council Photographic Competition

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

The annual Wattle Range Photographic Competition is on again with the focus on People, Places, Product and Performance. 

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Special Breeding Events

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Well another surprising breeding event has taken place at the Lake over the summer. We have regularly had musk ducks call in to the lake and stay for awhile, but until this year we had not seen both male and female ducks at the same time. This year there were three female ducks observed and one male. We did not observe any breeding behaviours, nor any nesting activity. Earlier this month a female musk duck with 2 young ducklings were observed. This was confirmed again at the last bird count undertaken by the Millicent Field Naturalists when another 3 juvenile musk ducks were observed. So there was not 1 but 2 recorded breeding events for Musk Duck at the lake this year. 

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Banded Birds

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

In 1997 Adrian Boyle started a project banding birds to look at bird movements and populations at Lake McIntyre. In May 1998 a Brown Thornbill aged 1+ years was banded. The same bird was recaptured in March 2013, making it nearly 16 years old! The oldest known Thornbill at that time was 17.5 years old. 

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Latham's Snipe

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Latham's Snipe breed in Japan and migrate to Australia each year, arriving at Lake McIntyre from September onwards. They spend the spring and summer here before departing back to Japan in about March. Lake McIntyre has seen large numbers of snipe in the past, but recently (the last 2 years) there have been a lack of birds sighted at the lake. This may be because after two years of good winter rains, there area lot of places for the birds to go, and Lake McIntyre has been full to the brim for those two years, which deprives the birds of their favourite feeding places - the mud flats. The snipe's large straight bill is used to probe the mud flats for food, but by the time the lake has subsided enough to provide good mud flats, the birds have left to fly home to Japan. 

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Newbery Park Primary School Visit

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

On Thursday 21st September, Angela Jones came to the lake with a Junior Primary class, their teacher and several parents from Newbery Park Primary School. Their first task was to weed their Lomandra bed, then to spread compost and mulch. As the compost hadn't arrived, they moved around the lake visiting their favourite places.With their 6 mini wheelbarrows, it was decided they could spread the mulch that was waiting at the Child Care bed. A lot of fun resulted as the mulch was zipped around, with most landing where it was meant to be! That heap disappeared just before two more loads of mulch were delivered for their Lomandra bed. By then though, the energy levels were dropping, but an excellent effort was made by everyone. 

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Great Crested Grebe

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

As with all grebes, the Great Crested Grebe is a specialised waterbird, spending the majority of its time on the water. They rarely walk on the ground, but when they do, it is in a very clumsy way. There has been a pair of Great Crested Grebes breed at Lake McIntyre regularly for the past several years. They arrive in spring and make their nest in the Ribbon Grass (Triglochin) in the middle of the lake. The chicks can swim almost immediately but prefer to catch a ride on the backs of their parents.After raising the chicks together the parents then fly off leaving the juveniles to follow later when they have learnt to fly. 

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Native Orchids in Flower

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Spring is a great time to see local native orchids in flower. Our Native Forest Reserves, Conservation and National Parks are the ideal spots to walk through keeping a sharp eye out for the small and delicate orchids that flower at this time. Lake McIntyre has it's own small patch of native orchids - Caladenia latifolia, or more commonly known as Pink Fairy Orchids. The orchids have only been noticed relatively recently, although the dedicated volunteers have been keeping an eye out for them this season to ensure they are protected from being trodden on. Please take care when looking at the orchids as they are small and can be easily trodden on. 

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