Newell’s Paddock Conservation Reserve, Footscray

Friday 28 August 2020. Today, a beautiful, sunny late-winter day, with blossom bursting forth and jasmine in bloom, the Handels rode their bicycles along the Maribyrnong River Trail to Newell’s Paddock Conservation Reserve, a lovely area of reclaimed wetland located within a bend of the river. Immediately to the south is the Heavenly Queen Taoist temple. Once used as a night-soil dump, then as a livestock holding yard, the paddock has been revived over the past 30 years or so: it has been replanted, its waterholes restored, and is now, as it once must have been, a thriving avian paradise. Australian Ibises held court today; there were 20 or more of them, including two perched on posts. A family of Black Swans glided across to us and came out of the water to feed. A lone Little Pied Cormorant aired its wings. We played badminton and Frisbee and enjoyed the sun.

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