Saturday, 10 February 2018

Big Bush Nature Reserve near Temora NSW

Took a quick trip out to the Big Bush Nature Reserve near Temora New South Wales today after some limited research last night on Google. The weather was hot and I didn't plan on travelling far from my vehicle when I arrived.

I left Temora via the Goldfields Highway towards West Wyalong searching for a left turn at Thanowring Road about 10 kilometres out but missed the turn and took an alternate route by turning at Cedar Road a couple of kilometres further along. After crossing the nearby railway line that runs parallel to the Highway the entrance to the reserve was about 7 kilometers along the by then dirt road.

The reserve gate where I entered on foot opened up onto a management track with regrowth scrub growing quite densely although open enough to walk through if desired which I did not do owing to the heat and the possibility of encountering snakes.

The most striking observation was the litter of logging stumps dotting the landscape having been cut in the days before the area was declared a reserve. Also of interest was the regrowth from some of the stumps showing the resilience of the vegetation as it recovered from past generational use as a source of fenceposts and firewood cutting.

 From my research of last night I learned that Big Bush is a significant woodland remnant in an otherwise agricultural landscape dominated by sheep production and dry land cropping especially wheat. Big Bush is also the home of quite a few bird species such as:

Bush Stone Curlew
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
Purple Crowned Lorrikeet
Painted Honeyeater
Swift Parrot
Square Tailed Kite
Hooded Robin
Black Chinned Honey Eater
Turquoise Parrot
Barking Owl
Gilbert's Whistler
Superb Parrot
Grey Crowned Babbler
Diamond Firetail
Regent Honeyeater.

Apparently Malley Fowl were once present but no birds or breeding mounds have been located in over 20 years. No doubt because of the prevalence of feral cats and foxes.

Two disinct vegetation communities occur in the reserve.. tall open woodland dominated by Mulga Ironbark and Western Greybox. The reserve also supports White Cypress Pines on the lower slopes and Black Cypress Pines on the upper slopes and Ridges. Shrubs include the Quandong, Native Cherry, Rough Wattle, Bent Leaf Wattle, Hakea Wattle and the Wedge Leaf Hopbush.

I'm now looking forward to a bit of cooler weather so I can explore a bit more and hopefully observe and photograph the wildlife.

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