An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

A couple of firsts

Story by Rich Weatherill, Program Manager, ClimateWatch.

Spring is an exciting time for ClimateWatching with lots of species active across the country. Even though I have been working on the program fulltime for more than 18 months I am still excited when I get to experience new things.

Welcome Swallow photo by Sandra Wallace.

I have worked on developing a number of the ClimateWatch trails and I am always on the look out for indicator species when outside, but until recently I had not seen any of the ClimateWatch birds nesting. Sure I have seen plenty of old nests in trees, but none that were being used. Maybe my timing is off or I stomp around making too much noise. Fortunately this all changed when I was recently walking around Lake Monger in Perth.

Welcome Swallow nest photo by Rich Weatherill.


Welcome Swallows were swooping over the water feeding on insects and I saw one fly up into the roof of a bird hide. I decided to have a closer look and see what happened. In the eaves of the roof there was a nest and an adult Welcome Swallow. So at last I have entered my first "Bird on Nest" record.

Western Xenica photo by Geoff Walker.


Another delightful experience involved butterflies. Last year the only time I saw a Western Xenica was at Cockburn Wetlands Centre before the launch of Conservation Week. This year I have been lucky enough to see a couple at Marlee Reserve when we explored the trail with the Bush Rangers WA Cadets and last weekend I saw more Western Xenicas in two different urban locations. 


Have you had a new or unusual ClimateWatch experience? Contact Us with your story.