Finches, parrots and much more
The Gum Swamp is a nesting and breeding area and in drought conditions a refuge for the birds. Even in the midst of a drought the swamp is near full capacity with birdlife just as prolific as in non-drought times.
Always open, the Bird Hide is nestled on the edge of Gum Swamp wetland sanctuary. From here you have wonderful viewing of the many species of birds (at least 158 species) and native fauna which use the area in the course of the year.
Best viewing is at sunrise and sunset. Reports are that the hide is not actually needed as the birds seem to ignore you anyway.
The sanctuary located 4km south of Forbes is off the Newell Highway, turning right down a well sign-posted gravel road.
The surrounding vegetation also provides a habitat for many non-water birds such as Honeyeaters and Parrots.
Up to nine species of duck have been recorded, including the rate and endangered Freckled Duck, the Musk Duck and Blue-Billed Duck.
Other notable sightings include occasional visits by Black Falcons, Magpie Geese, Peregrine Falcons, Crakes, Brown Snipes, Treecreepers and Grey-Crowned Babbles.
Lake Forbes is a restful place for picnickers and travellers. The banks are grassy and there are barbecue and picnic facilities, large shade trees with abundant birdlife and playgrounds. A tranquil relaxing place to meander the 4.8 kilometres of walkway and cycling tracks, sharing the beauty with the swans and other aquatic wildlife living on and around the lake.
The natural beauty of Lake Forbes was gradually established by successive councils who improved the water and foreshores of the once neglected 'lagoon' which intersects the town - adding a beautiful fountain and turning it into a great asset for Forbes.
Stay longer and take some day trips to other great bird watching locations around the region including:
Lake Cowal is New South Wales' largest natural inland lake at approximately 21 kilometres long and 9.5 kilometres wide with an average depth of around 2.5 metres and covering an area of over 13,000 hectares when full.
It is a dedicated bird and wildlife sanctuary where a diverse species of waterbirds make their home. The Lake is listed on the Register of the National Estate for the diversity and the number of species that inhibit the lake. It can be accessed from a public reserve off Clear Ridge Road West Wyalong.
The birdlife on the lake is amazing, over 180 different species have been identified ranging from seagulls and pelicans to ibis. Many of the species are either rare or endangered. The lake is popular for photography, bird and nature watching are also popular.