Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Bird outing to Karrook at Kalimna Park

Posted on 24 May, 2016 by Tanya Loos

By Tanya Loos.

Saturday 14 May 2016 had a magical Autumn morning and our group of 25 bird observers was ably led by Jules Walsh and Geoff Hannon from Friends of Kalimna Park. Jules and Geoff are locals in the area and were able to share with the group some of the history of the site known as Karrook. Thanks Jules and Geoff!

It was very quiet at first, with our group seeing few birds. But by the time we got to the gully/ dam area, the bushland was alive with Scarlet Robins (6!!), thornbills, White-throated Treecreepers and a very healthy looking male Golden Whistler. Another highlight was a Little Eagle soaring overhead!

We also saw an Eastern Spinebill –a small, much-loved honeyeater, most often seen in gardens so great to see in the bush! One of you (I think it was Lynette!) asked me if the female had a grey crown,  and I most mistakedly said  “oh no, that difference is the difference between White-eared male and female honeyeaters”. Well,  I am happy to say that as a birdwatcher one is learning all the time and I was very wrong! Geoff Park did a lovely blog post on Natural Newstead on these birds which points out that the female spinebill does indeed have a grey crown (as in the picture by Geoff below, and read more on this post HERE).

Our outing was during the annual mainland Australia Swift Parrot survey count weekend. While we did not see any Swifties, we have nevertheless  submitted a survey form,  as knowing where they are NOT is also very important. I have attached a word copy of the completed survey form (WL_-_Swift_Parrot-Regent_Honeyeater_survey_sheetConnectingCountry).

If you would like to be on the email list for bird surveys in the area – drop me an email at

A female eastern Spinebill, by Geoff Park

A female eastern Spinebill, by Geoff Park

Our bird walk also happened to fall upon the Global Big Day Out 2016 – a massive worldwide event that encourages users of eBird to record their sightings. eBird is an online recording tool that can be downloaded as an app, or used online.  To see our survey as it looks in the eBird program go HERE.

Don’t worry if you have never heard of eBird – it is a great tool, and fun to check out but not essential. Sometime this year BirdLife Australia will finish their smartphone app and online recording tool or portal – we’re expecting that this will be more useful and relevant to us than eBird, as it is locally-based and uses exactly the same bird surveying methods.

Having said that I think the idea of a simultaneous worldwide bird count is a lot of fun! The results of the Global Big Day Out are in: 6,199 species recorded by 15,446 people all over the world! In Australia, 487 species were recorded in 944 checklists by just 309 people! Our humble contribution was 20 species! I encourage you to explore the Global Big Day website (click HERE)  – it is really inspiring and has a lovely picture of a map of birds all over the world to download.

Big Day stats

The statistics for the Global Big Day Out

2 responses to “Bird outing to Karrook at Kalimna Park”

  1. Sue Hayman-Fox says:

    Great report Tanya – an opportunity to hear what is going on in other parts of Victoria than where I live as well as see names of good people involved in the activities. Thanks to all, Sue.

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