Mother of ducks it's almost World Wetlands Day

Tuesday 2 February is World Wetlands Day and the National Parks and Wildlife Service is urging people in the New England and North West to explore local wetlands.

Little bittern (Ixobrychus dubius)

Recent rain and river flows mean wetlands in the area are looking better than they have in many years, and the birds, turtles and frogs have noticed.

With Little Llangothlin and Mother of Ducks Lagoon nature reserves near Armidale and Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area near Moree there are plenty of local options.

NPWS Project Officer Joanne Ocock said these wetlands are currently teeming with life.

"We are so lucky to have these wetlands right on our doorstep in really accessible areas.

“The best way to experience them is to be prepared and be patient.

“If you’re in the Armidale area pack a picnic and head to Little Llangothlin or Mother of Ducks Lagoon for some gorgeous scenery without a long walk.

“Or take your binoculars and long lens camera and head to Waterbird Lagoon bird hide at Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area where keen birdwatchers have been rewarded recently with some spectacular finds.

“Species sighted at the hide this January include an Australian little bittern, black-necked stork (jabiru) and pheasant coucal.

“Sightings of more common species such as pink-eared ducks, pelicans and whistling kites are almost guaranteed.

“Wetlands are important feeding and breeding areas for many native species of fauna as well as other migratory birds such as the Latham’s snipe and sandpipers.

“Wetlands play a vital role in the ecosystem, improving water quality and recharging our ground water systems,” Dr Ocock said.

For further information visit National Parks and Wildlife Service.