Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

April bird walks – Birdlife Castlemaine District

Posted on 2 April, 2019 by Asha

Birdlife Castlemaine District have two great walks coming up in April 2019:

Saturday 6 April – Coliban Main Channel, Tyquins Road, Taradale

This walk follows the Coliban water channel. With a reliable water supply, plenty of edge habitat and open forest, this track often produces good lists of birds. It is a flat walk mostly, as it follows the contour alongside the water channel. Access is via a stile over the fence. The walk will be led by Damian Kelly, local bird expert, photographer and author of Castlemaine Bird Walks: A guide to walks and birds in the Castlemaine District.

Location and directions: Coliban Main Channel, Tyquins Road. From Taradale take the Old Calder Highway towards Malmsbury. About 1.9km from Taradale turn right into Conlans Road and follow this about 700m to a T-intersection. Turn left here, which is the continuation of Conlans Road, for about 1.2km until you reach Tyquins Road. Turn left into Tyquins Road and continue for about 1.6km until you reach Channel Track on your right. The old Tyquins Cottage is situated here. You can park here or go up the rough track another 150m and park near the gate.

Time: Meet at Tyquins Cottage at 9:00am, or to carpool from Castlemaine meet at 8:30am outside Castlemaine Community House (formerly Continuing Ed), Templeton Street.

Sunday 14 April – Bald Hill Reserve, Kyneton (rescheduled from March)

This is a very special bird walk at Bald Hill Reserve, Kyneton, jointly led by Friends of Bald Hill Reserve and BirdLife Castlemaine District. The Reserve is a very beautiful and special place, with 3 distinct habitat types. The Friends group has achieved so much in helping the public appreciate its significance and, with Carolyn Robb from the Friends group bringing her incredible local knowledge, this is a walk not to be missed. To discover more about Bald Hill Reserve click here.

Location and directions: Bald Hill Reserve, Mount St Mary’s Lane, Kyneton. Approach Mount St Mary’s Lane from the south, off Pipers Creek Street – the Reserve is well signposted on your left.

Time: Meet at Bald Hill Reserve at 9:00am, or to carpool from Castlemaine meet at 8:15am outside Castlemaine Community House (formerly Continuing Ed), Templeton Street.

Important information about walks: Bring water, snacks, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, long pants during snake season, and other weather-appropriate gear.

Walks will be cancelled if the temperature is forecast to be 35 degrees or more during the walk period, severe weather warnings are forecast, and/or if the day has been declared a Total Fire Ban.

Questions? If you have questions about the bird walks program, you can email castlemaine@birdlife.org.au, or call Judy Hopley (0425 768 559) or Asha Bannon (0418 428 721).

The adorable Jacky Winter. Source: Peter Turner

 

 

A recent visit from a pie eater

Posted on 28 March, 2019 by Ivan

We received an exciting and amusing email this week from Saide and Gary, regarding a pie-eating guest she had visiting her home. Below is a copy of the email and some great photos. Thanks, Saide!

 

We found this tail …. And waited

Next there was a body attached to the tail

Bottoms Up!

Is it a possum, very determined to get into that nook?

Then it fully appeared. The creature spent some time exploring the scientific data sheets then, finding a cosy nook, among the papers, tuan curled up and went to sleep, but only after eating a morsel of warmed meat pie.

I swear the dear creature whispered ‘thank-you’, before nodding off for the rest of the day.

By 6pm tuan was off into the world of Connecting Country’s nestboxes, eucalyptus and wildflowers to be, in the Heathy Dry Forest ridgetop adjacent to this house!

 

The Dead Tree Detective- Scientists need your help spotting dead trees

Posted on 28 March, 2019 by Ivan

Have you seen dead or dying trees in your area? No doubt with the current hot and dry conditions, many of us have seen trees under severe moisture and heat stress.

A collective of concerned scientists have launched a new citizen science project, The Dead Tree Detective, which aims to record where and when trees have died in Australia. Unfortunately, the current drought across many regions of Australia has been so severe that some native trees have died or are under severe stress. It is important to document these occurrences, which will assist  scientists in understanding and predicting how native forests and woodlands are vulnerable to climate extremes.

This project will allow people Australia-wide to report observations of tree death. In the past, there have been many occurrences of large-scale tree death that were initially identified by concerned members of the public such as farmers, bushwalkers, bird watchers or landholders. Collecting these observations is an important way to monitor the health of trees and ecosystems.

Climate extremes have pushed some of our local iconic native trees to their limits of survival, so it is essential to document which species are surviving better than others under these conditions. This project allows you to upload photos of your trees and answer a few questions to help identify the possible causes. You will find some information about each of these causes in the ‘Resources’ section. You can even revisit the locations in following months to document whether trees recover or not. To see what other records there are in your area, go to the ‘Data’ section. See the ‘Blog’ for details of any new major tree death events that we have become aware of.

Please click here to upload photos regarding this project and to read the full project description, which is hosted on the Atlas of Living Australia.

Red Box at St Brigid’s Catholic Church Maldon photo by Bev Phillips of Maldon Urban Landcare Group)