Showing posts from June, 2013

Canberra Noisy Miner Bird

This is the native Noisy Miner Bird photographed at Tidbinbilla but common around the suburbs of Canberra. Unfortunately it is often confused with the introduced and destructive Indian Myna bird.
For more information: The Canberra Indian Myna Action Group Inc.
As you can see there are obvious differences on closer inspection. The introduced bird has a full black head with yellow markings of a different shape and the body colour is different. Basically not all birds with yellow eye patches and yellow beaks in Canberra are the same. 


Canberra Bunyips and Yahoos

Apparently in the 1920s most Canberra people firmly believed there were real bunyips living in the area. A rundown on some historical bunyip and yahoo sightings around Canberra...

The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995),  Saturday 31 July 1976

National Library of Australia

View Larger Map -

Canberra history snapshots- Cranleigh.

A little history of an old Canberra homestead called "Cranleigh" and its location today...
Video today from jgm64productions
"Author JG Montgomery goes for a wander through the little known Cranleigh site in Latham, ACT, once the home of a significant Australian military figure."

World War One Australian Lieutenant GeneralJames Gordon LeggeCBCMG (15 August 1863 – 18 September 1947) (Wikipedia bio)

From Wikipedia: 
By 1923 cottages for a manager and workmen were being built at Cranleigh, farm machinery including a tractor had been purchased and a concrete weir across the Ginninderra Creek was under construction. The main house was styled from houses he had seen in India early in his military career. In its external appearance the house was square with a flat roof resembling a fort or block house, built of concrete blocks moulded on site with sand from Ginninderra Creek. 
There was a central verandah courtyard surrounded by ten rooms with each room having an e…

Quoll found on Isabella Drive Canberra

Sorry if the image is disturbing but hopefully this is an indication that the poor old locally rare and endangered Spotted tailed quoll in Canberra is making a comeback. This is all the information I have been able to get.
Photo: Adam FitzGerald!forum/natchat
The Quoll was discovered on the side of Isabella Drive, Gowrie on the morning of 9th June.
It was near the underpass (on the road obviously) between Ashley Drive & Kellet Streets.

We rang Namadji Visitor's Centre at the time & advised them as we thought it was unusual. They were very interested & asked us to email the details to them. We also emailed them the photo so they knew we knew what we were looking at.

Rangers rang us the next day as they wanted to collect the poor bugger for DNA-testing, stomach contents examination, & possible taxidermy etc.!topic/natchat/q6…

The Flogging Tree

James Wright - Lanyon
Just a mention of a memory. That of a tree used for flogging convicts when Canberra was known as the Limestone Plains.

The Charleville Times (Brisbane, Qld. : 1896 - 1954),  Thursday 15 September 1949

National Library of Australia
I have cut the following from an older post on Convict Floggings at the time of settlement in the region. It was transcribed from the Convict Barn display at Lanyon which unfortunately was gutted by a vandals fire a few years ago. It is quite an example of the severity of floggings dished out locally...
One convict, Phillip Lee who was transported to New South Wales for life for burglary at the age of 17, had several run-ins with Wright and the Magistrate's lash. It is a sad record.

14 December 1838
Wright - Yesterday morning I had reason to check this man and with great insolence of manner he told me he had behaved well but would not do so any longer. I might take him to court and do what I please with him. Another servant tried to st…

Wild dog or ACT dingo?

please note photo is not of a wild dog.
I’ve seen what I believe was a pure bred dingo just west of Piccadilly Circus Brindabella. It stood out from all the ‘wild dogs’ I have seen. I'm told they talk of dingos in percentages of pureness now but regardless they remain an important part of the ecosystem. The first time I heard about Canberra’s long association with dingos was a remark from Lanyon in the 1830s relating to large stones being placed on a buried body to deter the digging up by dingos of the recently departed.
The Trove notification system just announced the release of two Canberra related articles digitised from 1976. One a discussion of sorts around a wild dog/dingo kill in the Orroral Valley and the other the ACT declaration of their protection.
The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Wednesday 14 April 1976 National Library of Australia
And some months later...
The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Saturday 28 May 1977
National Library of Australia
I suppose it is a …

Gold at Gundaroo

Another for the Canberra gold buffs. Report of an 1860's gold find at Gunderoo...

Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser (NSW : 1864 - 1867), 
Thursday 30 May 1861

National library of Australia

View Larger Map


Views from the descent of the Gingera Ridge

As far as the eye can see. Another video from John Evans. A view from the Gingera Ridge. The title is the description...

There are many other videos of the ACT's wild places on John's YouTube channel -

Farewell to the Enlarged Cotter Dam tower cranes

From ACTEW YouTube the dismantling of the construction towers at the new Cotter Dam. Canberra Filmmaker Richard Snashall produces another great documentary showing the many facets of the effort. Pictured above is a photo taken some months ago...
"They became a familiar sight in the Cotter valley in recent years, but their service in the construction of the Enlarged Cotter Dam has come to an end. The three tower cranes have now been removed, and this film features the dismantling of number two. This sophisticated process involves a lot of planning and a well qualified team of people."
[Documentary maker Richard Snashall works with ACTEW Water to help us capture and document the Enlarged Cotter Dam and other water security projects for our Heritage Archive.]

Worker ants on the wall...

Canberra Centenary Typeface Design Competition.

Attention any Typographers and Type Designers & those electronically arty types I think this $10,000 competition deserves a mention...
Entries Close: 27 September 2013

Winner to be Announced: October 2013 "Canberra is the capital city of Australia. It is situated in the Australian Capital Territory and is home to Australia’s Federal Government, its administrative agencies, the diplomatic community and five universities. Every year millions of words are promulgated in this city and published in traditional and electronic media across the country and around the world. It seems logical therefore that our Centenary should celebrate one of the most essential skills exhibited by this city’s government ministers, politicians, apparatchiks, judiciary, reporters, commentators, spin doctors, advertisers and image builders – namely the art of offering thought provoking communication using the awesome power of the printed word. Every year Canberra unleashes a flood of legislation, policy pro…

Wartime plane crash on Mount Ainslie - Mystery solved

This is the end of the story of a mystery plane crash on the slopes of Mount Ainslie in the 1940's. Part 2 of the original post  A wartime plane crash or crash landing on Mount Ainslie.
Article & research by Dave Wheeler

In regard to this yarn, should a viewer wish to read the original story I did on this site regarding how my deceased maternal uncle came into possession of an engine plate from a crashed plane on the slopes of Mt Ainslie, as shown above. As I could find no details of the crash I called for the help of others, and with the efforts of David Ellery of the Canberra Times for whom I am very grateful, the mystery was solved.

David did two excellent articles on the crash in Gang Gang. One told the initial story and the other gave details of the mystery after he was able to solve it with the assistance of the research of Mr Bob Piper. I am  also extremely grateful to Bob for his efforts. Bob is an aviation historian. He was an RAAF Historical Officer for 15 years and…

The source of the Cotter - ABC News 24

A recent Canberra filmmaker Richard Snashall  and a wonderful view of the source of Canberra's water supply.

Published on Jun 5, 2013

"This edited excerpt from is from Triple Trickle: A Journey Into Canberra's Water Catchments, and was broadcast on ABC News 24 and ABC1 in June 2013. Produced and presented by Richard Snashall with funding from the ACTEW Water Source Water Protection Program."


A comment about National Parks

Decades ago it was recognised that in order to maintain biodiversity and help arrest native species extinction that areas of wilderness and recovering wilderness be set aside. These areas were called National Parks and remain in almost pristine condition for the enjoyment of future generations.
Now let me be clear here… I detest politics and even working for years in another life at Parliament House didn't really engage my interest long term.  Too many wee small hours debate over pig liver amendment bills. Several years with Hansard and several hanging around the public galleries with Parliamentary Security, I was one worker who was truly apolitical… I just didn’t care.  Probably swung more to the left… Whitlam hangover thing…
I do however have an affinity with the environment. I read daily about the plight of once common species evaporating in my lifetime.  Under past governments there actually seemed to be a fairly healthy balance. The parks were maintained, feral …

Tharwa girl killed by dingos

The Canberra area has many stories involving dingos. This caught my eye some time ago but re-appeared on another unrelated search today and thought it worth a mention. Its a shame that nobody knows her name and that her only seeming reference is a brief mention in someone's recollections but this nameless girl, age also unknown, was reportedly killed and eaten by dingos at Tharwa in 1845. Gruesome death.

If anyone has or knows of any other references to this vague mention I'd be pleased to know.
UPDATE 4/6/13 Dave Wheeler kindly pointed out John Gales reference to the event...

The 1st clipping... From the original article...
The Argus - Saturday 25 January 1947
National Library of Australia

View Larger Map