Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Come frogging for World Environment Day – 5 June 2018

Posted on 23 May, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Celebrate World Environment Day 2018 with local ecologist Karl Just and Connecting Country on a special evening ‘frogging’ workshop.  

Karl Just will share his extensive knowledge of our local frogs, and help participants learn how to identify frogs by their calls, and by sight. The evening will also cover how we can look after frogs and their habitat. The workshop is free, and includes hot drinks and snacks and a frog identification guide.

A Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) photographed by Peter Robertson

When: Tuesday 5 June 2018 from 4:30 to 7:30 pm

Where: Meet out the front of Newstead Community Centre (9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC) and carpool to a private property in Strangways

What to bring: Sturdy shoes, long pants, warm and weather-appropriate clothes, torch (as it will be dark around 5:30 pm)

The workshop will be strictly limited to fifteen participants so make sure you book!

RSVP: to Asha by Monday 4 June to asha@connectingcountry.org.au

Enquiries: (03) 5472 1594

 

Swift Parrot surveys on 19 and 20 May 2018

Posted on 10 May, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Swift Parrot survey season is upon us again, with a monitoring weekend coming up on 19 and 20 May. BirdLife Australia’s Swift Parrot monitoring program is essential for assessing where our beloved swifties are, what resources they are feeding upon, and their numbers.

Our regional coordinator for swift parrot surveys is Beth Mellick from Wettenhall Environment Trust. If you would like to be involved in this Autumn’s swift parrot count, contact Beth via email to be assigned a site (email: beth@wettenhall.org.au). And regular watchers – don’t forget to let Beth know where you are surveying so we can make sure we cover our whole region!

This beautiful Swift Parrot was photographed by Connecting Country member Micheal Gooch, visiting his bird bath in Clunes (www.outsidefourwalls.com)

 

Chris Timewell (formerly of Connecting Country and now with BirdLife Australia) provided this update on Swift Parrot (and Regent Honeyeater) surveys:

We are again seeking volunteers to search for both species across Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland, as Swift Parrots make their way up to the mainland from Tasmania and Regent Honeyeaters move about the landscape in search of flowering Eucalypt trees to feed on. The May 2018 Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater survey weekend is coming up soon on May 19th and 20th. As always, we are happy for people to undertake their searches up to a week on either side of the survey weekend. Opportunistic sightings from any time of the year are also welcomed. 

So far this season there have been scattered Swift Parrot sightings from across its mainland range – with the highest clusters around the north-eastern fringes of metropolitan Melbourne and returning birds to favourite haunts such as Mt Majura (ACT) and the Cessnock forests of the Lower Hunter (NSW). There are Spotted Gums noted flowering on the South Coast of NSW (e.g., Marramarra National Park), Coastal Grey Box is flowering in the Lower Hunter and Swamp Mahogany is starting to flower in coastal areas – each of which are attracting large number of lorikeets and other nectar-feeders. 

If you are new to the plight of this Critically Endangered parrot, the BirdLife website has a profile on swift parrots here.

 

Volunteers needed for nest box checks

Posted on 12 April, 2018 by Asha

Connecting Country is once again monitoring our nest boxes. These boxes were installed across the shire in 2010-11 to provide habitat for Brush-tailed Phascogales.

The boxes have all been monitored at least once during autumn in the survey periods of 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. A summary of the results to date across the whole of the survey periods, and other information about the monitoring program, are available on the Connecting Country website – click here.

Please contact us if you are interested in assisting as a volunteer with the nest box checks by emailing asha@connectingcountry.org.au. You won’t be climbing trees or ladders, or handling animals, rather helping with carrying equipment and recording data. It is a great opportunity to see some interesting and special places in our local landscape, and learn more about phascogales and other species.

Updates on the nest box monitoring program will be provided after the autumn monitoring. For further info on our nest box program, see our  monitoring page of our website – click here.

Connecting Country nest box