04 February, 2012

Blue and green

Well, it has been over a week since sections of the Barwon were closed to the public due to an outbreak of toxic blue green algae and far from improving, things seem to be getting worse! There has been little rain to speak of during the week and temperatures are hotting up again for the weekend.
As a result, the river has now been closed as far downstream as the breakwater and the green goop continues to spread. I had the chance to have a look at the section from Breakwater up to Fyansford during a run and walk yesterday (Friday) and whilst it doesn't look too much different at the Breakwater end, the section upriver from Queen's Park is currently a dozen different shades of green.
Blue green algae in the Barwon River above Queen's Park
I returned this afternoon with camera in hand to snap some more shots of the spreading scourge and hopefully of a little kingfisher I spotted on my way past yesterday. Both aims were fairly quickly achieved. The Barwon up to the confluence with the Moorabool River (as far as I went on this occasion) has a distinctly greenish tinge to it and will do for some time I am told.
Blue green algae at Queen's Park

Blue green algae
Around Queen's Park the algae is currently flowing slowly past in clumps and swirls and threads of green, aqua and every shade in between. There is one aspect however, which does not translate into a blog post, and that is the smell. It is in places - to say the least - unpleasant and gives a very particular scent to the air.
But enough of algae. I headed a little upriver and soon managed to find the kingfisher by virtue of the fact that it was being roundly chastised by a willie wagtail.
Willie Wagtail and Sacred Kingfisher
It didn't seem too concerned by this and perched on a branch and watched me take my shots. We then proceeded to play chasey amongst the trees whilst I attempted to find just the right angle. At one point it swooped down to the surface of the river after some prey in a flash of blue wings against green water.
Sacred Kingfisher near Fyansford

Sacred Kingfisher near Fyansford

Eventually I headed a little further upriver to take more shots before turning back. I was keeping an eye out for the kingfisher but would have walked straight past, had it not chosen precisely that moment to sing. We then played another short game of hide and seek before it took off for a dead tree on the opposite bank. Given the current state of the river, I had no intention of following and continued on my way downstream.

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