In 2015 FOGL joined members of Rotamah Island Bird Observatory Inc for a working bee at the old bird observatory homestead. Several members arrived on Friday afternoon and others throughout Saturday.
While space was limited in the homestead, a couple of people tent-camped while others slept on their boats. Good weather and good humour found much hard and often dirty work being done both inside and outside, with the goal of making the homestead habitable for future working groups. Walls and windows were washed, bedding sorted, doors and windows repaired, fridge, oven, all cooking pots, cutlery and crockery washed and sorted, thistles spaded and piles of rubbish cleared from around the homestead. After a long day of work on Saturday, many FOGL members enjoyed a swim off the beach and then gathered in the evening for drinks on the deck with beautiful views across the lakes to the mountains beyond.
FOGL members and friends with boats assisted in ferrying people to and from the island over the weekend and a lovely couple moored at the jetty from Brighton Yacht Club took a member and children back to Metung when their friends were unable to pick them up – a truly community effort! Thanks to everyone involved.
The bird observatory, formerly under the auspices of Birds Australia (now Birdlife Australia), had been a valued community asset up to about 15 years ago but has been vacant since, with some vandalism occuring. As it is sited in ecologically-sensitive coastal vegetation in the middle of the Gippsland Lakes National Park, it is recognized the restoration of this site needs to be done in an environmentally-sensitive manner. If the bird observatory is developed appropriately, with attention to ecological values, it can once again become a valued community asset, and FOGL is happy to assist with this.