Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Small bush bird habitat created at Bradford!

Posted on 30 July, 2018 by Tanya Loos

What a difference a couple of years makes! Last Thursday, 26 July 2018, Bonnie, Frances and Tanya had the great pleasure of visiting Kerri Peacoulakis’ property in Bradford to marvel at the growth of native plant species at their direct seeding site, and also chat about bird surveying. Below is a photo of part of the site taken in September 2016, about one year after direct seeding.

Direct seeding site – photo taken 6 September 2016

Below is the same site, taken in the same direction. Note the large eucalypt with the wide crown in the left hand side of the photo.

The same site taken July 26, 2018.

The site was direct seeded in 2015, as part of Connecting Country’s Habitat for Bush Birds project. It is amazing to think that there are many tiny young plants fighting for survival under all the prolific capeweed in the first photo! The site is a bird survey site called NW-PR-03, a northwest paddock revegetation site.  The direct seeding is even more successful looking in the other direction, towards the Blue Hills area.

In the above photo, Bonnie is using a trundle wheel and a counter to carry out a direct seeding success count. These counts measure how many plants have grown, giving a standard measure of trees/shrubs per metre count. This number is comparable from site to site, and enables us here at Connecting Country to monitor the growth of our direct seeding from year to year.

The plant species in the direct seeding included a mix of local wattles, eucalypts, she-oaks, hop bush, and hakeas.

Kerri is taking on the bird survey site, by surveying the site four times per year. During our visit, we conducted a 20 minute 2 hectare count, with Kerri entering the data on her Birdata app on her smartphone. So simple! During the survey, we saw many open country species such as Red-rumped parrots, Welcome swallows and Australian magpies. Kerri said that she had observed Superb fairy-wrens on the site – a true mark of success as these little birds are NEVER recorded in a bare, open paddock! Well done Kerri and also her partner Tusker and family for a fantastic project!

Kerri, Jane ( Kerri’s mum in-law,) Bonnie and Tanya, photo by Frances.


Nest box workshop # 2 – Sunday 17 June 2018

Posted on 6 June, 2018 by Tanya Loos

If you already own nest boxes, or want to set some up on your property, come along to a workshop with nestbox builder and naturalist Miles Geldard. Our nest box workshop in May was extremely popular, so we are holding another similar event, but at a different location.

This workshop will be held at a beautiful Trust for Nature property at Sedgwick, north of Castlemaine. Miles Geldard will shares his extensive knowledge on the design, construction, installation and monitoring of nest boxes for wildlife. Landholder Tamsin Byrne, and Connecting Country’s Tanya Loos, will also talk briefly about habitat restoration and local birdlife. The event includes a light lunch, indoor presentation and nestbox check using a special camera.

Five sugar gliders look at the camera from within a nestbox. Photo by Max Schlachter.


Sunday 17 June 2018 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

Please RSVP, including any dietary requirements, by Wednesday 13 June to Tanya Loos by email ( or phone (03 5472 1594).

Attendance is free. We also have a very special door prize for a lucky attendee!

A map to the workshop location will be provided when you book.

As this is a partly outdoor event, please dress warmly, and wear shoes and clothing appropriate for walking in the bush. In the event of severe weather we will hold the workshop inside.



Joint Management Plan for the Dja Dja Wurrung Parks: provide feedback

Posted on 30 May, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Community groups and individuals are invited to take part in community consultation regarding a joint management plan for six parks in Central Victoria.

From the Parks Victoria website:

Parks Victoria has a vision to manage all parks in their surrounding landscapes, in partnership with Traditional Owners, and other government and non-government organisations and community groups. Parks Victoria is currently supporting the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board to involve the community in developing a plan for the joint management of the six Dja Dja Wurrung Parks held by the Dja Dja Wurrung People as Aboriginal Title.

The Draft Joint Management Plan for the Dja Dja Wurrung Parks covers the following parks:

  • Greater Bendigo National Park
  • Hepburn Regional Park
  • Paddys Ranges State Park
  • Kara Kara National Park
  • Kooyoora State Park
  • Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve

Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners meeting on Country in 2017 to participate in the planning for the Dja Dja Wurrung Parks

It is expected that this joint planning process will extend to other parks within the Mount Alexander Shire in the future.

To read the plan, make a submission, or access an online survey about the plan, click here: Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board

All submissions must be made by 19 June 2018.