05 November, 2011

The place to be!

The Barwon on a sunny day
It's amazing what a difference a few degrees in weather temperature can make - especially on a week-end. Today was just about the first 30 degree day of the season and a Saturday. Not surprisingly, every man and his dog (yes, literally) wanted to be on, beside or in the river and I was no exception. I was due for a run and knew it was going to be warm, so headed out at 8:30am to Queen's Park and back via Breakwater.
Water skiing
The little athletics crew were out early - but then, they would have been regardless of the weather. Quite a number of joggers were doing the same as me and getting in before the heat as were the cyclists and walkers, with or without dogs, iPods or walking buddies.
I completed my run in reasonable time given the warm conditions and headed home only to be tempted once again by the lure of river on such a pleasant day. So, armed this time with my camera, I headed back down to see who else was around. The rowers who had been much in evidence during my run - they need to install traffic lights  on the path during rowing season - had packed up and gone home for lunch. The little athletes were still cutting laps of Landy Field and the runners, walkers and riders were all still out in force even at the usually quiet Breakwater end of the walking track.
A picnic on the river
I say usually. Today however, this part of the river was anything but quiet. With good weather and week-ends come water-skiers and by the time I returned this afternoon, they were out in force. There must have been at least half a dozen power boats of varying size taking turns up and down what suddenly seemed a rather short stretch of river below the rowing course. The noise was less than peaceful - to say the least - and the backwash from the boats strong enough that I'd swear I saw a moorhen body surfing near the west bank. Despite this, the various boats all seemed to steer well clear of each other and their activities didn't seem to be worrying the bird life which is no doubt quite used to these warm weather invasions of their otherwise peaceful home.
Barwon Valley Golf Course
A particularly large group of skiers had set up and were having a picnic lunch during a break in proceedings whilst on the opposite side of the river, golf was the preferred pursuit. Overhead, some lucky tourist was taking in views of the river from an altitude which I have yet to achieve as the sea-plane circled overhead.
Nor were people the only ones making the most of the good weather. The birds as I mentioned were out and about, with one very vocal White-browed Scrubwren still managing to make itself heard over the boats, whilst a couple of the braver waterbirds were still opting for a swim despite the surf-like conditions.
White-browed Scrubwren
The bugs it seems were also out and about with a variety of bees and other beasties in evidence and from the rustling in the undergrowth, the reptilian population was possibly also enjoying the day.
Unlike the resident wild life, my window of opportunity was brief, so I snapped my photos, spent some time chasing the scrubwren through - yes - the scrub and then headed off to my other commitments.

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