Lens over Gwydir's iconic waterholes and wetlands
The Old Boyanga Waterhole north west of Moree may be remote, but a 'candid camera' is providing people with a bird's eye view of the latest feathered arrivals.
Daryl Albertson from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) said a remote sensor camera installed at the edge of the waterhole in northern NSW has caught egrets, herons, ibis and ducks waddling by.
"With the permission of the land owner, a remote sensor camera was installed just before planned environmental water flows arrived in December," said Mr Albertson.
"For the past three months the camera has snapped pictures of the water moving through the lower Gingham Watercourse and the birds that follow the flows foraging for small fish.
"Since late December around 15 gigalitres of NSW and Commonwealth environmental water, has been delivered by OEH to enhance the health of the wetlands - and the birds have responded beautifully."
The data gathered from the remote cameras and other equipment supplements the on-ground monitoring program.
Last month researchers from OEH and the Commonwealth's Long Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) program visited 38 sites across the Gingham, Lower Gwydir and Mallowa and recorded more than 120 bird species, including 46 different waterbird species.
"It was a treat to see birds such as brolgas, black-necked storks, magpie geese, plumed whistling ducks, Australian bittern, little bittern and migratory species including sharp-tailed sandpipers and Latham's snipe," Mr Albertson said.
"Four other cameras have been installed in the Gingham and Lower Gwydir system by OEH and LTIM and this new technology give us a unique, real-time look into the progress of managed and natural flows and the ecological response to watering events."
Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said the Commonwealth Long Term Intervention Monitoring in the Gwydir was showing ongoing improvement as a result of environmental water.
"Each year, we are learning more and more about how these wetlands respond to environmental flows," Mr Papps said.
"Working with OEH, the landholders, the community and our monitoring partners, we have seen great advances in the management of the wetlands since water recovery began."
Anyone can access the surveillance images to keep track of the wetland's progress. Log in at www.rmcam.com.au with the username 'gwydir waterbirds', password '1234'.
Photos for media: Old Boyanga Waterhole