Keep a look out for uncommon wildlife in Glebe

The March meeting of the group was joined by Sophie Golding, Urban Ecology Coordinator, City of Sydney, who updated us on the City’s Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan. We discussed possible activities and ways of involving the community, particularly with regard to the reporting of wildlife, which was vital to the strategy. Sophie asked to be advised directly of any opportunistic sightings of less common birds. It was suggested that the Glebe Society Bulletin might be one way of involving more people in wildlife observations. Sunday 26 October has been set as the date for our next Spring Bird Survey and information will be provided in future Bulletins.

Interested in bush regeneration?

The Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group continues to meet monthly in the Park with the next gathering on Saturday 3 May from 9.30 to 11.30am. Please meet behind the townhouses on Wood St, Forest Lodge. We will have about 200 tubestock of shrubs to plant in amongst the trees. It is a mostly terraced area with existing plants, rocks, etc., so wear covered shoes and be prepared to scramble a bit. Please bring your own gloves and a trowel and other tools like secateurs, if you have them. Bring something to share for morning tea afterwards, if you are able to stay around. For further details, please contact Judy Christie 9660 8309

Also, the Glebe Bushcare Group meets each Wednesday from 8am to 12 noon and is currently weeding and planting native species in Chapman Rd opposite the Rozelle Bay Nursery (for further details, please contact Sue Copeland 9692 9161). Members of the Society are most welcome to join these Groups and assist with their important work in enhancing biodiversity in our suburb’s parks and reserves.

Where will the children (and the birdies) play?

The Subcommittee has discussed the impact during school hours on St James Park and John St Reserve of large numbers of children from St James School and we wondered whether the church’s own land was being utilised to its full extent.

The use of these small pocket parks should be distinct from that of large open areas such as Wentworth Park. It is hoped that we may be able to engage with the school positively as we have done already with Forest Lodge Public School, where we provided advice on enhancing small bird habitat and biodiversity within the school grounds.

In St James Park the construction of the new tennis pavilion is underway and the eastern court is being renewed. The other (western) court is currently available for hire. Work is progressing on the playground area with new seating and paving and a tree house is being constructed.

John St and Paddy Gray Reserves will be affected by the Johnstons Creek Flood Mitigation Proposal; detention basins are proposed for both Reserves. At an onsite meeting on Monday 5 April, the Friends of John St Reserve met with Robyn Kemmis, the Deputy Mayor, and Kristin Gabriel and Water Asset Engineers, all from the City of Sydney. The Engineers advised that the purpose of the basins (a series of ‘weirs’) was to help manage the expected volume of floodwaters should there be a 1-in-5 to 1-in-10 year flood event. It was explained that the proposal is in its ‘discovery’ stage, construction is planned in about 10 years and the likely effects on the biodiversity of the Reserves are unknown.

The members of the Subcommittee who attended Council’s information meeting about the Harold Park Open Space design plan expressed disappointment at the fragmented nature of the proposed plantings and our more detailed critique of the design was incorporated in the Society’s formal response to the plan.

Many media mentions

The work of the Subcommittee in increasing and improving habitat areas and creating wildlife corridors in Glebe was described in articles in the Inner West Courier (‘Wildlife returns to city’; 1-4-2014) and Sydney Morning Herald (Urban haven; rich array of wildlife calling Sydney home; 8-4-2014). Also in a review of a recently published book (The thing with feathers: the surprising lives of birds and what they reveal about being human by Noah Strycker), The Economist of 5 April 2014 featured a photo of a male wren. The review states: ‘Most striking are the gorgeous Australian fairy-wrens, whose intergenerational altruism looks uncannily like human’s supportive family life’.