Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Eastern Yellow Robin Talk – Thursday 31 May 2018

Posted on 16 May, 2018 by Tanya Loos

All are welcome to join Lana Austin of Monash University in Newstead next week as she unpacks the bizarre genetic story of what is known (and not known) about the Eastern Yellow Robin. Lana will also explain how volunteers can participate in this fascinating genetic study.

When:  Thursday 31 May, 2018 at 7 pm
Where: Newstead Community Centre: the Mechanics Hall (Lyons St, Newstead VIC)

This is a free event, with no need to book!

We featured the Eastern Yellow Robin project on the blog last week – read the story here if you missed it.  And click here for a poster about the event.

A stunning Eastern Yellow Robin, photo by Geoff park. Wonder which genotype THIS one is?!?



Caught on camera!

Posted on 10 May, 2018 by Tanya Loos

This remarkable photograph shows a Yellow-footed Antechinus bounding up a log with an Australian Magpie in hot pursuit. It was taken by a trail camera – amazing timing!

In this case, the antechinus escaped being breakfast, running so fast all of its paws are in the air! It is great to see the tables turned on these adorable but voracious hunters (see pictures of a Yellow-footed Antechinus preying upon a grey fantail here).

The landholders who sent us the photo said  ‘These wildlife cameras are great! We catch so much and are able to watch so many different animals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc.  and what they get up to each day.’ Lynne and Ric live on a beautiful woodland property east of Maldon, and are keen bird surveyors.

If you would like to see what lives on your property, why not borrow a wildlife camera from us? We are happy to loan wildlife cameras to our members – usually for a three week period. To book one, email or phone us at the office on 5472 1594.

Many thanks to Lynne and Ric for the amazing photo.


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: 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 (


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.