Gum Swamp near Forbes is a unique wildlife sanctuary hosting an extensive array of birds in their natural habitat.
In time for National Bird Week, the swamp currently has a pair of nesting Sea Eagles, Peregrine Falcon, Whistling Kite, Blue-billed Ducks, Freckled Duck, Pink Ear Duck, Glossy Ibis Grey and Chestnut Teal, Hard Head Magpie Geese, Swans and Cygnets, Sacred Kingfishers and Sand Spoonbills.
Located just four kilometres from the Forbes CBD on the Newell Highway, Gum Swamp is a nationally significant site for ornithology (study of birds), amateur twitch-ers and nature lovers with four, unobtrusive vantage points from which to observe over 160 bird species.
The Gum Swamp hides have had a great transformation recently, and now incorporates three new two-storey hides. The existing hide, built-in 1992 with support from Dick Smith, Australian Geographic and local community groups, was also refurbished as part of the Gum Swamp redevelopment project.
Forbes Arts Society’s Chairperson, Dr Karen Ritchie said: “The existing bird hide has been a tremendous community and tourism asset for close to 30 years, so we are delighted to see it refurbished to be utilised for decades to come.”
While Gum Swamp is commonly known as a destination for bird watchers, the redevelopment project will encourage residents and visitors to utilise the wetland sanctuary for other recreational activities.
“The landscape lends itself to a diverse range of opportunities,” said Karen. “We hope this redevelopment will attract new user groups, including photographers, artists, health and wellness enthusiasts, and those wishing to just immerse themselves in nature.”
The Gum Swamp redevelopment is part of the $7 million ‘Boosting the Lachlan Val-ley Economy Art Project’ funded by the NSW Government’s Restart NSW program through the Regional Lachlan Valley region as a premier tourism destination.