Tuesday, September 9, 2008

suburban wetlands - ecosonics

I used to live about a ten minute walk from a creek and surrounds that, long ago, used to be a wetland. Then it was just a suburban drain in a strip of land between a freeway and some cricket pitches and monitored by massive power-pylon robot-monsters. Then it was remade into a wetland again, complete with a secluded bird-watch. I used to regularly scoot down to the waterside on a hot Summer's evening to enjoy the frogs' competition with the nearby freeway traffic noise. I have since moved house.

As Spring has now arrived I am very pleased to find that once again the frogs are near at hand. I was out at midday, at last enjoying some sunshine, and I found myself in a wetland a 20 minute walk away — quite manageable and well worth the steep return trip. The frogs were making a lovely din that completely drowned out any traffic. That is quite a feat in suburban Melbourne! Its a shame about the ever-present DIY renovation junkies and their circular saws and routers. Even the frogs were stretched by this competition. Why aren't people happy with their homes as they are? Anyway...

I heard at least three frogs. Thanks to the marvellous Frogs of Australia website's audio resources and a CD of Australian frog-calls, I can say with (shaky) confidence that I heard: the Eastern Common Froglet; the Eastern Banjo Frog (I prefer its other name, the Pobblebonk); and lastly, a frog that made a very short, percussive "click" sound. I suspect this was the Spotted Marsh Frog. If not, it may have been the Striped Marsh Frog (named like an Italian beer, Limnodynastes Peroni). The frogs were set off delicately (!?) by the screech of playing Lorikeets, the warbling of Magpies and the playful antics of the native Noisy Miners.

These local wetlands are absolutely brilliant. I wish all storm-water drains and creeks could be de-concreted and replanted. The urban sonic environment would benefit immensely.

1 comment:

  1. Extra notes: (i) the Noisy Miner must not be confused with the Indian Myna which is a serious pest; (ii) the frog website has a fantastic page on phytoremediation wetland construction for backyard grey water treatment.