Our Victoria branches in 2018
17 branches; Clarkesdale Reserve; Victoria Conservation Committee. A new branch—BirdLife Castlemaine District—joined the flock. In East Gippsland our branch monitored waterbirds in the Gippsland Lakes; Birds on Farms was successfully reinvigorated; Hooded Plovers and other beach-nesting bird surveys continued as a focus along the coastline; branches in western Victoria continued to contribute to the Birds in Plantations project; and the biannual Western Vic Cross-border campout kicked off in Nhill, reporting on the Mallee Birds Project. Fro more detail on some of our Victoria branches, see below.
BirdLife Echuca had 15 outings during 2018. Some members assisted with bird surveys for the Loddon Plains Landcare Network and some members assisted with the annual Superb Parrot Count. Wetland surveys of endangered bird species were conducted prior to the duck shooting season.
We enjoy helping new members learn about birds and birdwatching through our regular outings. We have 25 outings each year to a variety of habitats in the Bass Coast region, and we usually have between 10 and 25 participants. All bird lists are recorded in Birdata. Several of our committee members do surveys for the Birds on Farms program, and members help with Hooded Plover monitoring.
Our focus is on community education with our local members visiting Care Groups, School Children and those studying VET courses.
We were proud to launch our new branch at the nature Laws Act for Birds forum. After our recent Special meeting, we now have a full committee of 7 people. Being in Central Vic we are mostly woodland birds and use 2Ha 20min area count on Birdata. On our monthly bird walks at least 1 survey will be done as a teaching and monitoring tool, in 2019 we will have regular transects to monitor quarterly.
100’s of volunteer hours have been contributed to a variety of conservation projects. Surveys at 23 sites across the Gippsland Lakes continued and Chris Healey’ report summarising this large body of work has been posted to our webpages. Members have also volunteered for additional monthly surveys for the funded Gippsland Lakes projects. Latham’s Snipe surveys, ongoing monitoring of breeding of small terns and pelicans and Regent Honeyeater searching have all continued in 2018. Community engagement includes partnering with the ALT at Strathfieldsaye Estate for Birds on Farms surveys and production of regional Birding Guides and Bird Checklist Brochures for the Shire. Member engagement includes camps, regular Monday outings and a quarterly newsletter .
Birdata Surveys are logged every Monday Outing and at our two 5 day camps in a great variety of habitats. So far in 2018, 195 General Birdata and Birds on Farms Surveys have been contributed. This does not yet include the surveys completed for the Gippsland Lakes KBA monitoring project in June 2018 when teams again conducted standardized 20 minute surveys at established survey points at 23 sites from Lake Tyers in the east to Lake Reeve at Honeysuckles in the west. Many of these sites are also Shorebirds 2020 sites. Volunteer time has also been contributed to some extra Gippsland Lakes IBA surveys plus analysis of data as a preliminary assessment of the statistical validity of the program. At Strathfieldsaye there have been 59 Birds on Farms surveys done so far — a mix of 20 minute/2ha and 500m surveys (140 volunteer hours, plus approximately 10 admin hours). In 2017, 176 surveys were logged, so this year we have already shown a marked increase in our contribution to Birdata.
Lots of community engagement opportunities- community days, presentations for community groups and schools. Achieving regular high attendendences at our birdwatching activities Communituy engagement and regular survey’s for Birds on farms. Seasonal monitoring on private properties and local reserves. Birds in backyards. We also are doing surveys for a Biolink project in Rosebud, and I think a couple of others
Probably the biggest achievements have been supporting the production of bird brochures for two local reserves. regular wetland and woodland surveys Surveys Outings 12 (habitats range from wetland to woodland) Winton Wetlands 4 - wetland and woodland U3A outings (habitats range from wetland to woodland) Shepparton Gardens - wetland.
Ovens and Murray
We have been atlassing the Table Top and Thurgoona birds since we came to this area since mid 2016. We are also on the Committee of the Woolshed Thurgoona Landcare Group and we have started reporting on the decline in threatened species in this area as a consequence of winding back the plans from the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation by Albury City Council. We intend to compile a report shortly for the ACC with copies to Sewpac and Birdlife Melbourne. We use Birdata for the woodland and water birds in this Murray River area. We use mainly 2ha blocks. Currently we are putting on about 5 surveys per week.
We represent BirdLife Warrnambool at all Wannon Water Treatment Plant community meetings. We do surveys for Basalt to Bay Landcare Group. We are active with local outings resulting in increased participation and organises two Branch Expeditions - the first to Norfolk Island was a huge success and the second to Christmas & Cocos Keeling Islands is about to happen
Alignment with Greening Australia in the redevelopment of Hainings Farm, Don Valley whereby our branch has committed to do an initial bird survey when the project work is completed, and thereafter will do bi-annual surveys to monitor the impact of changes to the wetlands and adjacent indigenous vegetation.
Provided a range of activities for our large branch of over 2500 members. Several birdwatching outings and an indoor talk every month. Participation in Melbourne Water surveys at 11 sites along Dandenong Creek with the opportunity for members to assist. Engagement with the public through talks and assistance with local council events.
Image: Susan, with kookaburra friend and bird nest box made by Dromana Men’s Shed, at Bunnings Mornington Sustainability Day. Photo by Liz Thomas