BirdLife Nhill were hosts to a very successful 2018 Cross Border Campout at Little Desert Lodge Nhill on Friday September 28th to October 1st
BirdLife Nhill members welcomed 67 birders to the area from Melbourne, Adelaide, South East South Australia and western Victoria.
While the weather was windy and cold on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were excellent days for birding.
Areas visited included Winiam East/Kiata area, Glenlea Reserve, Lake Hindmarsh along with privately owned property and a trip the the Mallee Fowl Breeding program property.
Graeme, who has been the Lodges resident Mallee Fowl breeding guru for around 20 years gave a very in-depth talk on the Mallee fowl and their breeding habits. With an active mound at the Lodge, some were lucky to see the bird wandering around the track near the mound.
126 species were recorded with a rare sighting being the Striped honeyeater not normally seen in this area and a large number of Black honey eaters
The Black-eared cuckoo was in residence at both the lodge and Kiata areas with at least 3 different birds being seen.
Luv A Duck donated the duck for a beautiful ” Duck” meal on Saturday night in the camp kitchen for everyone. Andrew McBride and his wife Mary-Anne and 2 boys did a fantastic job cooking. Andrew also gave an informative talk on the company practices regarding their breeding and growing practices along with their conservation efforts and tree planting.
Sunday nights guest speaker was Simon Verdon.
Simon is a PhD student at La Trobe University, studying the effect of fire on the mallee emu-wren. For the last three years he has been working to improve fire management for the mallee emu-wren in Victoria, and more recently he has been involved in the efforts to re-introduce mallee emu-wrens to Ngarkat Conservation Park in South Australia. As part of the Threatened Mallee Birds team convened by Birdlife, he is also working to recover the mallee striated grasswren and the white-bellied whipbird.
Birdlife Nhill will be keeping in contact with Simon and are going to help monitor the population of Mallee Emu Wren that Simon found on his trip up to Little Desert.
Thank you to BirdLife Australia who supplied a large amount of printed material for the weekend and recommended Simon as guest speaker.
BirdLife South East SA will be the hosts for the Cross Border campout in 2020