Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Dams to Wetlands Workshop – Muckleford Catchment Landcare

Posted on 17 July, 2017 by Asha

Workshop attendees will visit dams like this one in Muckleford (photo by Beth Mellick).

Join Muckleford Landcare to visit two dams and discuss ways in which to improve their function for biodiversity. Everyone is welcome to come along and learn how to turn your dam into a thriving wetland.

The workshop is on this Sunday 23rd July, from 9.30am to 12 noon. Meet at the end of Lyndham Road (off Golf Links Road).  For any questions, contact Beth on 0431 219 980 or


Enjoying birds in frosty July – two events to come

Posted on 11 July, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Any bird lover knows that a wintery day is no barrier to birdwatching! The birds go about their business undaunted by the cold; well-wrapped in their feathery coats. If we rug up well, and there is no wind, then winter birding can be a lovely change from huddling by the fire!

This Jacky Winter is well insulated!      Photographed by Peter Turner

There are two events coming up soon for those that are interested in their local birds and their habitats. Both events involve a bird walk followed by a presentation about the birds of the local area.

Sunday July 16, 2017 – Bird walk and Landcare workshop for Guildford area

Bird Walk: Local bird and habitat walk along Casley Lane, near Guildford.  9:15am – 11:00am. Meeting point map sent with your RSVP.

Presentation: Guildford birds and how you can care for them, by Connecting Country’s bird enthusiast, Tanya Loos.  Also hear from Maurie Dynon, Guildford and Upper Loddon Landcare. Morning tea and presentation:  Guildford Hall 11:00am – 12:30pm

Please RSVP (with any dietary requirements) to Tanya Loos on 03 5472 1594 or by email

This section of Campbells Creek has been surveyed for birds since 2010. The birdlife is amazing!

Saturday July 22, 2017 – Feathered Friends of Campbells Creek (part of Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Sustainable Living Workshop series)

Castlemaine and Chewton now have beautifully revegetated waterways thanks to the tireless work of local community groups. This has benefited our local birdlife greatly. Connecting Country has surveyed the birds of Campbells Creek for 7 years – and is keen to present a portrait of the creek’s burgeoning birdlife. Dress warmly for a mid-winter presentation, morning tea and bird walk at nearby Honeycomb Rd if weather permits.

The details: From 10.30am to 12.30pm.  Presented by Tanya Loos from Connecting Country.  In Campbells Creek area (the address/location will be provided to registered attendees closer to the date).  To reserve your place for the Feathered Friends walk contact Council’s Healthy Environments team on 5471 1700 or

These two events are generously supported by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. 



Fryerstown bird walk and workshop

Posted on 3 July, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Last Sunday, June 25 2017, Fryerstown residents and bird lovers from as far afield as Woodend and Shepherds Flat enjoyed a bird walk and gathering at the old Fryerstown School.  We were pleasantly surprised by the mild weather and yes – even sunshine!
Our group of twenty spotted 18 bird species , with Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters most definitely “bird of the day” as they were present in large numbers feeding on the flowering Yellow Gums.  Another highlight was some very good views of one of our target species, the Brown Treecreeper.  Nina Tsilikas took this lovely photograph of a Brown Treecreeper hopping about on the moss-covered ground. Out of shot is a large group of Long-billed Corellas who were digging for a bulb of some kind – the two species made quite a contrast.  They were foraging on a site known as Blue Duck Mine – soon to be the site of an exciting new project, but more on this later!


They appear to be plain brown – but the Brown Treecreeper is very beautifully patterned when seen at close quarters.

We walked along Turners Road to the Fryerstown Cemetery. Sadly the Eastern Yellow Robins who are usually there were absent, but we did get some lovely views of a male and female Galah. Nina was there again with her trusty camera – and these shots show the subtle difference between the sexes – the male has a dark brown coloured eye, and the female a pinkish red eye.

Male Galah

Female Galah

After the walk we all enjoyed sandwiches, cake and tea and coffee served by the School committee – and I gave a short presentation on woodland birds and how to help them thrive in the Fryerstown area.

Maurie Dynon from Guildford and Upper Loddon Landcare kindly stood up and gave the group an update on an exciting proposed restoration project in the Fryerstown township – the weed removal and revegetation of a patch of land known as the Blue Duck Mine. The funding is yet to be confirmed, but the land managers (Department of Environment Land Water and Planning) are  on board and so is the Fryerstown CFA, whose fire shed abuts the reserve. Fryerstown locals such as Clodagh Norwood, Helen Martin and  Bill Burris are thrilled that the Blue Duck Mine project, auspiced by the landcare group, could set in motion a number of habitat restoration projects locally.

Many thanks to the wonderful residents of Fryerstown for their generosity and enthusiasm – it was a really fun morning!

Finally, Connecting Country is  calling out for landholders who are interested in helping protect and enhance bird habitat on their property – if you are in the Fryerstown, Tarilta, Glenluce area and have remnant vegetation on your land – please fill in an expression of interest form – see Expression-Of-Interest-Form-July-2017-Connecting-Country and get in touch!

This event was generously supported by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. 

Watching the Brown Treecreeper