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.


3 responses to “Yandoit bird outing – some fine birds”

  1. David Cheal says:

    Scissors Grinders are relatively often heard around here (Redesdale). Jacky Winters have been occasionally recorded, and yet most of this landscape is thoroughly cleared. Curiously, Noisy Miners are uncommon to rare in this district.
    Birds are a great monitoring subject – if the habitat is fine, they will find their way to the site; if the habitat’s unsuitable they cannot be forced to stay. Furthermore, they’re relatively easy to survey, as they utilize sound and sight as their main senses, just as humans do. We both (birds & humans) operate on the same wavelengths (so to speak).

  2. Eliza Tree says:

    Looks superb. Lovely diversity & Pairs!
    Looking forward to doing another survey at Walma.

  3. John Carruthers says:

    Thank you Tanya and crew. Your collective know-how, passion and rigorous method was deeply appreciated. I’d recommend this exercise to any landowner keen to get a fix on what’s on their property as well as expert guidance about what they can do to lift critical bird populations over the medium to long term.

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