Greetings from all the staff at Booderee National Park.
This is our very first e-newsletter. Thanks for subscribing and/or checking us out.
We hope this (and future editions) will provide you with a little bit of an insight into what makes Booderee National Park so special and we'd like to give all our readers a bit of a peek at things that happen behind the scenes.
We hope the information in this newsletter will add to your experience when you next visit the park or get you thinking about some of the 'other things' this great Park has to offer (and looks after).
Please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like to know about - or get us to focus on - for future editions. We'd love to hear from you or catch up with you when you next visit.
Visitor Services Manager | Booderee National Park
Return of the masked owls
A keen amateur naturalist and Park Visitor, Mr Richard Jackson from Engadine, recently spotted one of the most elusive of Australia's nocturnal birds - the masked owl Tyto novaehollandiae along Elmoos Road in the western side of the park.
This magnificent bird was trying unsuccessfully to secure its dinner of sugar gliders when it was seen and photographed. This is a great find for us as masked owls have not been recorded in the park since 1996.
As you can see from the photo they look like a large dark brown barn owl and like the barn owl they can let forth a terrifying screech. They are something of a mystery bird being found throughout most of Australia but never very common. One strange form of the bird even lived in caves in the Nullarbor and fed on stick nest rats.
Whatever the reason for their disappearance from Booderee in the past - we are glad to have them back in our forests!
In flower - waratah, Telopea speciosissima
For anyone who appreciates the bush, spring time in Booderee National Park (and particularly in our Botanic Gardens) would have to be one of the best times of year. It's impossible not to notice the vast display of flowers at the moment and especially at Booderee where the landscape is a rainbow of colour wherever you turn. There are pink boronias, yellow pea plants, white smoke bushes, purple native iris and the list goes on. Perhaps more outstanding than any other is the red flowering waratah, Telopea speciosissima. This plant grows to approx 2 m height and produces a striking red flower easily the size of a common garden variety rose. Like so many other plant species in the Australian bush the Waratah has adapted well to fire, such as the one experienced at Booderee in 2003. So it came as no surprise to staff at Booderee that perhaps the biggest Waratah bloom seen in the park in many years occurred only a couple of years following that fire. Booderee is very lucky to be graced by this striking plant, but you need to keep a keen eye out to spot them in the bush as they are not the most common plant around. Alternatively - visit our Botanic Gardens - where we have a special waratah plantings and this is the best time of year to see them. If you haven't yet been to that part of the Gardens - you will be amazed. It is stunningly beautiful and a great place to sit and relax - or have a picnic.
Just remember, when you do spot a waratah in flower, enjoy the moment, take perhaps a photo or two, but make sure to leave it for the next visitor to enjoy.
All plants and animals are protected in Booderee National Park for many future generations to learn about and to see and enjoy.
October school holiday activities - walks and talks
For all those interested in finding out a whole lot more about Booderee's secrets come along to one of the many school holiday activities we are running over the October holiday period.
There are morning or afternoon walks and talks, night time 'slide shows and talks' on our big screen at Green Patch, Bush Tucker and Medicine walks, Kids Koori Games, bird watching, whale watching, mammal trapping and a focus on our marine creatures and the ecology of the park. Most of the walks are with our Koori staff who will also give you an insight into the Koori way and the Koori culture.
So if this sounds like something that might interest you or your family download Spring holiday activities timetable (PDF 62KB) >> or contact our Visitor Centre on 02 4443 0977 for bookings information.
All activities are free of charge once you have a valid park use ticket.
Whale watching at Booderee
There have already been many sightings both in Jervis Bay and from Booderee's old lighthouse viewing platform of migrating whales this year.
Recently there were a pod of 9 killer whales in Jervis Bay and there were more than 10 Southern Right whales sighted between Bowen Island and Wreck Bay a couple of days later. Both of these are a rare treat to see.
The most common sightings from Booderee are of the humpback whales who are visiting Jervis Bay right through October - resting and playing with their young calves in the bay on their journey back down the coast to Antarctica. If you are lucky you might be able to see them from the terrific vantage point of our old historic lighthouse.
'Joint management' in action ...
Booderee National Park has a special 'joint management' relationship with the owners of this Park - the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community.
Wreck Bay has a business enterprise arm that undertakes work in the park under contract. This includes the Entry Station Booths, maintenance on roads, walking trails and fire trails, building maintenance and the daily cleaning of all facilities in the park (amongst the most prominent). You'll often see the Wreck Bay Enterprises Limited (WBEL) workers around the park. In this photo road crew members, Darren and AJ are laying 500 tonnes of 'DGB' materials to upgrade the Pimple Track fire trail.
The supply of all contracted services to Booderee National Park by Wreck Bay Enterprises Ltd is undertaken under a formal Service Level Agreement. It is an innovative and very successful management model.
Landscaping in Greenpatch campgrounds
Earlier this year we commissioned landscaping consultants to advise on a master plan for Greenpatch campgrounds and day use areas. A thorough tree risk assessment was done and recommendations have been made for long term rehabilitation and revegetation of areas around big trees and around campsites to provide additional shading for visitors, privacy screening and general beautification.
We want to retain our big old trees (as they are important habitat trees for our diverse population of birds and possums in particular) but we are also very conscious of providing a safe environment for our visitors and campers.
As a result of this study we have had professional tree pruners in Greenpatch day use area and we are now commencing a revegetation project underneath the large tree canopy at the entrance to our Y-section campground at Greenpatch. This latest project has necessitated the removal of two wood barbeques and the re-location of picnic tables in the Y-section area. However, the undercover electric barbeques nearby remain available for campers.
Our Park Care volunteers play an important role in all this helping to grow these local plants in our Botanic Gardens nursery, under our supervision, (with all seed collected from this park). Then our volunteers help us to plant out these campground friendly species.