Passing Time in Centennial Park

Centennial park is Sydney’s biggest urban park and was opened during the Centennial Festival of 1888. During this (semi) lockdown the park is a great place to go. For the last two days I have been taking Dani there for a walk and to play football. You would think there were no lockdown issues. No lockdown at all, even! This place is busy.

Introducing the park…

There are many roads through the parklands area which extends for some 189 hectares (that’s 467 acres in old money). Cars are allowed to park for several hours normally during week days. Right now, there seem to be plenty of cars stopping there for much longer. Who can blame these people? Most beaches are closed or severely restricted. I am just amazed that the police have not closed the park gates, but I am glad they haven’t. There are so many cyclists, joggers, rollerbladers, walkers, skateboarders as well as the aforementioned car drivers.

The park is a huge green expanse consisting of wooded areas, lakes and wide-open grassland. There is even an equestrian area.

Birdlife

There are supposedly 130 species of birds recorded in this park. We have only seen a few of them. Here are some of those we have seen this week.

Purple Swamphen
Crested Pigeon
Emden Geese
Australian White Ibis

We also saw other birds that are shown in previous posts such as: black swans, galahs, corellas and rainbow lorikeets. Those white ibis are ugly little rascals eh? They have adapted well to urban areas and have become a bit of a nuisance, similar to pigeons and gulls. The locals call them ‘bin chickens’ as they are often found sticking those long beaks in waste bins.

There were also lots of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. These are quite large birds, mainly black with bright yellow cheeks and yellow panel on their tails. Getting a photograph with only a mobile phone proved a little difficult however. These birds fly in large groups from one wooded area to another eating the freshly fallen pin cones. I tried sneaking up on them hiding behind trees. But every time I got close enough and almost ready to take a snap they flew off. One day…

Those Europeans are Pests…It’s Official

That’s European Carp, not people. Although the people can be a nuisance at times, I will be the first to admit. It seems that the European Carp is an alien species in these parts, and they are classed as a pest. These words are straight off the park website:

Cyprinus carpio or European Carp is a major pest species in Australia and poses a significant threat to native fishes by destroying aquatic habitats and competing for resources.

While Dani and I were waking around the various lakes and ponds we did notice many large carp. Yet I was puzzled by the “No Fishing” signs that I easily found.

I then found out that they have what they call “…a community volunteer fishing program focused on educating the public on the impact of European Carp on the environment.”

Yes, OK. I am educated. Basically, these carp are a bit of a nuisance. Got it. Now, what more do I need to know?

“Volunteers who participate in this program have an exemption from the regulation prohibiting fishing and can fish on the ponds.”

BINGO ! Just what I was looking for. A legal Carp Cull! Fantastic. Why have I only just found out about this? Naturally, I checked online, fully intending to ‘volunteer’. But guess what?

“There are no vacancies currently available for this program”

Ah shit! Well hardly a surprise. Judging by the photos there are some monster carp in those ponds. I will definitely try again though. In the words of Arnie: “I will be back.”

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