Another bird sighting milestone for Tempe Lands

Inner West Council’s Tempe Lands continues to astonish local wildlife lovers with 110 bird species now identified as frequenting the former ‘Tempe Tip’.

The land was a shale quarry in the 1920s and a greyhound track in the 1940s, before becoming the infamous ‘Tip’.

The site was used as landfill for commercial, domestic and trade waste from around Sydney until the mid-1970s. In 2004, the then-Marrickville Council began work on remediation of the site.

This included creating three sedimentation ponds for treating stormwater and planting a diverse range of native species to create a native wildlife haven.

In January 2006, when the $17 million Tempe Lands remediation project was completed, the then Mayor of Marrickville was quoted as saying that, “Birdlife that has not been seen in the area for some time is already starting to return to the wetlands.”

By 2011, the remediation project was so successful, Tempe Lands was identified as one of Marrickville’s seven Priority Biodiversity Areas.

“In just 12 short years, Tempe Lands had been transformed from a rubbish tip to a thriving biodiversity area,” said Administrator of Inner West Council Richard Pearson.

The volunteer bird watching group, Tempe Birdos, was formed in November 2011 and since then has met monthly for an early morning bird walk and survey at the Tempe site.

At the most recent survey Tempe Birdos recorded their 110th species.

Tempe Birdos member Virginia Niven said that three new species were sighted in Tempe Lands during their March survey.

“This means that 10 new species have been sighted in the area since reaching our magical milestone of 100 species in August last year,” she said.

“The new birds are the Eastern Rosella, Musk Lorikeet and Spangled Drongo.”

The group has also recorded a growing number of frog species, as well as an Echidna sighting, Blue-tongued lizards, water skinks, eels, and flying foxes.

“I think it's an incredible list of native species for a relatively small area in the inner west of Sydney,” Virginia said.

“The habitat created in the mid-2000s is obviously becoming a more attractive and important area as it matures. A big thank you to all in the biodiversity unit at Inner West Council who manage and support this vital green space, not just for Tempe Birdos members to enjoy, but the wider community of people and the local biodiversity,” she said.

“This shows that it’s never too late to regenerate degraded or polluted areas,” said Mr Pearson. “Tempe Lands has become a fantastic example of how natural area restoration can bring back biodiversity to the inner city.”

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018