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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More School Visits

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

On Thursday 14th September at 12 noon, 10 students from Tantanoola Primary School arrived with their teacher to plant some grasses at the lake. The grasses were native Lomandra, Lime Tuff and Blue Ridge, mostly donated by the school. Another 24 children, from Millicent North Kindergarten, arrived with 2 teachers and a parent for lunch. After lunch, groups were formed from both schools with the older students acting as wonderful guides and carers for the younger children. The children had a good look around the area, with the look-outs, Down's Island, and the boardwalk and bridge proving to be very popular attractions. The nesting swans was another popular  attraction. The weather remained kind once again and a great time was had by all. 

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Child Care Visit

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

On Wednesday 16th August 18 children plus 6 adults from the Gladys Smith Child Care Centre came to visit lake McIntyre. Everyone was rugged up in jackets, beanies and boots. The visit was part of their 40th Anniversary Celebrations, and they came to add some ground cover plants to the garden bed that was established by them in 2013. They planted Prostanthera saxicola, Leptospermum Shore Tuff, and Correa Mallee Lantern. These plants will help with weed control in the bed and add some much needed cover for the bare areas. 

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National Tree Day

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

A very successful National Tree Day event was held at Lake McIntyre on Thursday 27th July. Twenty six McArthur Park Kindy children arrived to plant 13 shrubs in three locations around the lake. They were accompanied by their siblings, mums, teachers, 3 Lake Mac volunteers, and representatives from Millicent Toyota and Banner Mitre10. 

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Bird of the Month - Little Pied Cormorant

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

The Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is readily distinguished from other cormorants by its colour and short yellow beak. They are common in a wide range of areas where there is water. They usually feed alone, but roosts in small flocks in trees close to water. They are able to hunt for crustaceans like yabbies in quite shallow water, allowing them to feed in smaller wetland areas than their larger cousins. A common site at lake McIntyre with as many as 30 occasionally congregating in the trees on the islands. The photo shows a Little Pied Cormorant in a familiar pose drying it's feathers - this needs to be done often as their feathers are not water-proof as are most diving birds. 

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Newbery Park Primary School Planting Day

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Newbery Park Primary School undertakes regular planting days at Lake McIntyre as part of their Environmental Studies Program. The latest visit was by 19 year 1 and 2 students from Room 3 on Tuesday 13th June. These students were led by Angela Jones and Kasey David with four parent helpers, and five Lake McIntyre volunteers - Noel, Gavin, Sam, Sheila and Dee. The plants were Lomandra longifolia, were propagated at the Newbery Park Primary School and were cared for by the students. 381 of these plants were planted on the day under established gum trees, in an area known as Annie's Trees. 

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Planting preparation

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

As everyone knows, before any planting can take place, there has to be a reasonable amount of preparation. This preparation is undertaken by Lake McIntyre volunteers before each school, kindergarten and/or Child Care Centre visit, which are designed to plant 100's of trees, shrubs and/or grasses. This photo shows some of the preparation work undertaken recently in readiness for a planting event by Newbery Park Primary School. The volunteers were Noel, Gavin and Sam. 

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Rare visitor

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Although there have been some previous sightings of White-necked Herons at Lake McIntyre, their arrival is a rare event. Just this month we have had sightings of two juveniles on several separate occasions. Sitting quietly in the bird hide afforded us with great views of them going about their daily business - feeding, preening and sleeping. This photo of one of them coming in to land on a branch near the water shows clearly the spots on its neck which disappear with age. 

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Autumn Reflections

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Still mornings with good light provide the best opportunities for capturing great reflections. This area is truly a photographers delight! 

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