Urban wetlands provide habitat for plants and animals, provide water storage, slow floodwater and reduce pollution.
They occur within city limits and are often remnant creeks or ponds, drainage ditches or man-made storm water collection areas in new residential estates.
Many coastal urban wetlands act as refuges for water birds when there are droughts inland.
However, last year's drought caused many urban wetlands to become totally dry and vegetation grew where the water should be. Although some of the deeper wetlands survived many of the birds were forced to move elsewhere.
When the rain came it was an enormous relief for everyone - many wetlands however still don't have enough water.
This week, I vIsited some of the local wetlands to assess the changes. The number of bird species has increased but water birds are definitely still missing, notably Eurasian Coot and ducks.
It was pleasing to find Great Crested Grebes had returned to Walka Water Works, although only half of the usual number. There was no evidence of breeding this year, but several pairs were bonding with each other and carrying vegetation around, a good sign.
Black Swans, ever optimistic, have built some of their enormous nests at Anambah and are sitting on eggs, which hopefully will result in cygnets. The vegetation that has grown since the rain is an essential food source for them.
Louth Park Wetlands held quite a lot of water but only a few Chestnut teal and surprisingly, a pair of Wandering Whistling Ducks and several Latham's Snipe. The Snipe should soon be returning to Japan to breed.
It was fantastic to see a Sacred Kingfisher on the fence and one lonely White-breasted Woodswallow, enjoying the abundance of insects. Both these birds will be heading north shortly for the winter.
Wetlands are one of my favourite places to birdwatch. Sitting beside a body of water and watching the antics of our water birds is a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Not to mention the health benefits of being outside in the natural environment.