I’m pleased that I was able to pay a visit to Frogmore Swamp this afternoon. This fabulous wetland, dominated by Cane Grass Eragrostis infecunda, is drying rapidly unlike the last time it was full over the summer of 2010/11. Back then it held water throughout 2011 and there were some interesting birds to be seen, including rarely seen migratory waders such as the Wood Sandpiper and Double-banded Plover. This afternoon the most conspicuous birds were ibis, Sacred and Australian White Ibis, along with a bevy of ducks – Grey Teal, Australian Shelduck and Black Ducks.
Frogmore Swamp is a special place in a special landscape.
Thanks, as ever Geoff. Do you know anything of the hydro-geology of the Moolort Swamps – why do they hold water, what’s the subsurface geology, how do they link to aquifers? This may be beyond birds, but I was wondering, as the retained water seems so important. Cheers
Hi Deb – I am digging up a report which I will send you about this matter as it relates to Bell’s Swamp, at the extreme north end of the plains. While not truly part of the Moolort plains this swamp behaves in a similar manner to the likes of Frogmore and Walkers Swamps. Essentially they fill from small localised catchments – a layer of low permeability material (black goo!) has formed over many hundreds/thousands of years and traps runoff in wetter than average years. They are not directly connected to underlying aquifers, although small volumes of water might leak through. Long Swamp is a different kettle of fish – it appears to fill at least in part from groundwater recharge via the basalt cone to the north of the swamp. I’ll send this report on also. Cheers, Geoff
Many thanks. I’d like to read it.
Thanks very much for these photos. My wife Tina and I visited Frogmore Swamp today, in the sunny late afternoon, after overnight rain. There was with so much water that we had to walk most of the way to the south-west boundary before we could cross without getting our feet wet. The Google Maps satellite photo shows all bare ground or dead grass where the water is today, and the same in the paddocks for miles around.
We heard southern brown tree-frogs and another frog with a short call a little like a knock on wood. A clutch of ducklings swam towards the middle of the lake, while the parents stayed by the shore, some distance away.
We actually visited the Frogmore Swamp Wildlife Reserve: https://www.google.com/maps/place/@-37.0059387,143.9216927,17z p on Baringhup Rd, next to the junction with Allans Rd.
Frogmore Swamp is about 1km to the east, on Moolort Rd. It is not marked on Google Maps or the Victorian Government map https://mapshare.vic.gov.au/Vicplan/ so I guess it is on private property. I don’t know what permission would need to be sought in order to access it. See my comment at https://geoffpark.wordpress.com/2022/08/31/a-landscape-rehydrated/ about permission to access the much larger Long Swamp Reserve.