Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Birds thriving in Campbells Creek

Posted on 27 July, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Connecting Country has been carrying out bird monitoring at a site in Campbells Creek since 2010, and so it was with great pleasure that Tanya had an opportunity to lead a walk there on Sunday 22 July 2017, with some of the members of Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare that had a hand in the restoration of  this part of the creek and surrounding land.

Over twenty people attended the Feathered Friends of Campbells Creek event, which was part of Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Sustainable Living workshop series. The workshop started with a bird walk at Campbells Creek, near Honeycomb Rd. We walked down to the Connecting Connecting bird survey site to carry out a twenty minute two hectare survey – the standard bird monitoring method. I was impressed to see nearly everyone had their own binoculars.

We all had great views of New Holland Honeyeaters, and at one point a Wedge-tailed Eagle soared majestically overhead. An abundance of thornbills darted about through the wattles, along with pardalotes, a Grey Fantail, superb fairy-wrens  and a small flock of Red-browed Finches. Towards the end of the walk, we caught a glimpse of a female Scarlet Robin, and this was only the third sighting of this species in 28 surveys! For a copy of the Bird Monitoring results for the Campbells Creek site click here.

It was seven degrees, a bit glary and a bit breezy – not the best conditions for seeing small birds. However it was clear that the wattles, hakeas, native grasses, hop bush and cassinia were providing excellent cover and hiding places for the small birds of the area!

“Hmmm – are they Yellow Thornbills calling and bustling about up there? “

After the bird survey, David King from the Friends gave us an overview of the work of the group over the past thirty years, in particular Ian Higgins. David told us that before the group started their revegetation work, Ian had counted a mere five individual wattles between Castlemaine and this section at which we stood! An incredible transformation. We then walked back up the path to the sign, which had a whole range of information and QR codes so that you could use your smart phone to find out more about the flora and fauna the Friends are such fine custodians of.

David King talked about the sign. Moments later we saw a Swamp Wallaby!! Photo by Jay Smith.

After our walk we returned to the Campbells Creek Community Centre for a short presentation on birds and habitat, where I had the opportunity to emphasise how the restoration work has made the site so perfect for small bush birds such as thornbills, fairy-wrens and pardalotes. The Scarlet Robin is an excellent candidate for a focal or flagship species for the area – and I predict that sightings of the Scarlet Robin may become more frequent in the coming years – thanks to the work of this fantastic group!

Many thanks to David King, and to Jay Smith from Mount Alexander Shire Council for hosting the walk.

As previously posted, the Friends are participating in National Tree day this Sunday:

Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare will be planting in the Honeycomb Bushland Reserve in Campbells Creek. It’s a 10 minute walk from car parking to the site, along an bush trail used by recreational walkers, with interesting features along the way. The planting will be followed by a free BBQ lunch for all, catering for a range of dietary needs.
When: 10am – 1pm, Sunday 30th July 2017 
Meet at the Honeycomb Bushland Reserve, Campbells Creek, where Honeycomb Road meets the gravel trail (CLICK HERE for map).
More information: follow them on Facebook (CLICK HERE), go to their website (CLICK HERE) or contact Shona on 0408 724 699


2 responses to “Birds thriving in Campbells Creek”

  1. Sue Boekel says:

    …and where there is one Scarlet Robin seen, there is likely to be more hiding! Such an encouraging story.

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