Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Yandoit bird outing – some fine birds

Posted on 13 August, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Landholder John Carruthers recently requested a visit from some experienced birdos to conduct some benchmark bird surveys on his property off Limestone Rd, Yandoit, Victoria. Being a very fine part of the world for birding, this is where we decided to have Connecting Country’s mid-week bird walk.

At 9 am on Wednesday 18 July 2018, our small group met with John at his property. The land is a mix of open country and bush, with Kennedys Gully coursing through open paddocks, and two patches of remnant vegetation with some lovely large old trees. We conducted a 20 minute – 2 ha search, which recorded eight bird species. An area search for the rest of the morning recorded 25 species.

The links to the surveys in Birdata are:

Our intrepid bird survey group walks along Kennedy Gully

The highlights were a flock of Brown-headed Honeyeaters, a pair of Restless Flycatchers and a pair of Jacky Winters. The Restless Flycatchers and Jacky Winters are birds of open woodlands, so John’s plan to keep some areas open for grazing will be good for these birds.

A lone Yellow-tufted honeyeater was a surprise. Perhaps more of these would be present when the eucalypts are in flower. The Noisy Miners we saw are a concern. Any shrub plantings in the remnants will help discourage these bushland bullies.

While we did not see Brown Treecreepers on the survey, they have been observed at the property previously. The requirements for Brown Treecreepers include lots and lots of fallen timber, so leaving habitat woody debris on the ground will take care of them.

The presence of large old trees on the property, and the extensive native vegetation along Limestone Rd, meant the bird survey recorded a mix of open country and very valuable, threatened Box-Ironbark birds. As a baseline survey, John is starting with the bar set high!

If you already have woodland birds on your property, your restoration plan might include a goal to retain these birds, and provide them with even better habitat by planting shrubs for nesting and food resources.

Thank you, John for showing us your beautiful property, and for your very generous donation to Connecting Country.

A Restless Flycatcher calling its distinctive scissors grinder call – photo by Geoff Park.



A watery Landcare Link-up

Posted on 8 August, 2018 by Asha

It was a dark and stormy night when Landcarers from around the region gathered in Campbells Creek. Our guest speakers included Trent Gibson (North Central Catchment Management Authority), Barry Floyd (Coliban Water), Brett Thompson (Coliban Water) and Mark Bailey (Goulburn Murray Water).

Trent started us off by talking about some of North Central CMA‘s current local projects. You can CLICK HERE to download his full presentation (2 Mb). Among other things, he talked about the new Castlemaine Creekways Management Plan developed by Mount Alexander Shire in partnership with Friends of Campbells Creek and Castlemaine Landcare Group.

Next we heard from Barry and Brent from Coliban Water, each covering different aspects of their work. They encouraged groups to keep an open mind about where partnerships can come from, and to consider the public health benefits of Landcare work and ways to partner with Coliban Water-funded projects.

Mark from Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) finished the event. He explained that GMW covers an area the size of Tasmania, and encouraged groups to have a look at the plans on the GMW website. During question time, Mark also directed us to the interactive map on the Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater website.

One of the big takeaways from the night was that water management is a complex issue, and we merely scraped the surface in this jam-packed evening. All four speakers stressed their support for government-community partnerships, and an interest in working with more Landcare groups. Speakers emphasised that the way our waterways are managed has changed significantly in the last 30 years, and we need to continue to adapt with the changing climate.

Thank you to all of our guest speakers, and to the representatives from eleven Landcare and Friends groups who came along and contributed to the discussion. Thanks also to the volunteers who helped plan and implement the Link-up, included the Landcare Steering Group, and Daryl for picking up our soup!

Beautiful Baker’s Swamp, by Geoff Park



‘Future-proof your restoration’ seminars

Posted on 7 August, 2018 by Asha

Golden Wattle, by Tanya Loos

Come along and learn about how we can prepare our environment for a changing climate at two upcoming seminars. This is a chance to hear from experts in the field, share ideas, and browse through useful resources.

We have some truly amazing guest speakers lined up to talk about topics that are relevant to Landcare groups and landholders working to restore their land for the environment.


Guest speakers:

  • David Cheal – ‘Weed attack strategies and plans’
  • John Morgan (LaTrobe University) – ‘Perennial grass weeds that will threaten nature’

When: Friday 24 August 2018, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Campbells Creek Community Centre, 45 Elizabeth St, Campbells Creek VIC

RSVP: by Monday 20 August for catering purposes to


Guest speakers:

  • Jeroen VanVeen (Bush Heritage) – ‘Woodland stress: signs of times to come?’
  • Sacha Jellinek (Greening Australia) – ‘Developing guidelines for Climate Future Plots in Victoria’
  • Brian Bainbridge – ‘Taking actions from modelling to reality’

When: Friday 31 August 2018, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Campbells Creek Community Centre, 45 Elizabeth St, Campbells Creek VIC

RSVP: by Monday 27 August for catering purposes to

CLICK HERE to download the flier, or contact Asha on (03) 5472 1594 or at for more information.

This event is funded by the North Central Catchment Management Authority, through the Victorian Landcare Program.