Maldon Open Landcare Day: Boneseed and birds
Posted on 19 September, 2016 by Tanya Loos
As part of the Landcare Open Day events on 11 September 2016, the Nuggetty Land Protection Group and Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA) joined with Connecting Country for a woodland bird walk and boneseed pull.
Despite the grey and glary day, we were treated to views of some thirty bird species as we walked from the Maldon Cemetery to the rock covered hillside known as The Common. We had some very experienced birdwatchers in attendance who spotted for the group some usually hard-to-see birds such as the Fan-tailed Cuckoo and the Shining Bronze-cuckoo. Small birds such as Striated Pardalotes, Thornbills and Grey Fantails were in great numbers, and the Scarlet Robin pairs we saw gave everyone great views, with or without binoculars. A Little Eagle soaring overhead went into a dramatic hunting dive at one point! Whilst walking the Common, many young Boneseed plants were located and pulled out, as were small Wheel Cactus. Luckily, staff from Parks Victoria have recently pulled out many of the larger Boneseed plants, as the flowering period has begun.
Jane Mitchell from Nuggetty Landcare shared some of the history of the Common, and Ian Grenda from MULGA gave a short talk on the weed known as Boneseed, and how to recognise its distinctive leaf. Ian also provided some samples of Bridal Creeper with a biological control known as ‘rust’ to take home for any home infestations.
Tanya, the Woodland Bird Project Coordinator from Connecting Country, explained that weeds such as Boneseed and Bridal Creeper grow prolifically and smother the leaf litter and branches where small birds such as Hooded Robins and Painted Button-quails nest and feed. This is one of the reasons why weed control is so very important for protecting Woodland Birds.
After our walk we were treated to a fantastic barbecue and sandwiches – thanks to Ian and Bev for cooking! Tanya then distributed a short survey about the values and threats of the bird habitats in the region. These surveys will be used to generate some project ideas for future funding opportunities in the region.
Thirty-five people attended, and many of these people had not previously been to a Landcare event. Many thanks to all those that helped organise this enjoyable and informative event!