By Dani Loyd-Prichard
It was all about birds (and bees) at the recent Birdlife Australia’s Woodland Bird Identification and Survey Methods Workshop held at Colin and Pamela Fitzsimons property in Mt Vincent. Twenty participants were treated to inspiring images and stories about the importance of temperate woodlands and the birds that rely on them.
Ornithologist Mick Roderick from Birdlife Australia presented the workshop and took participants through the basics of bird identification focussing on size, shape, colour, behaviour, and habitat. He stressed the importance of learning the ‘Jizz’ (General Impression of Shape and Size) of familiar birds and their calls. The standard 20-minute 2-hectare bird survey method was explained and then the fun began outside as participants practised their newly learned skills.
Over 30 birds were seen and/or heard during a one-hour walk around some woodland bird habitat on the property. The birds included; grey strike thrush, yellow faced honeyeater, white napped honeyeater, lewins honeyeater, scarlet honeyeater, mistletoe bird, noisy minor, noisy friarbird, willie wagtail, brown gerygone, brown thornbill, grey butcherbird, pied butcherbird, bassian thrush, wonga pigeon, brown cuckoo dove, superb fairy wren, eastern rosella, azure kingfisher, purple swamphen, grey goshawk, kookaburra, white throated treecreeper, bell minor, eastern spinebill, silvereye, straw necked ibis, king parrot, little wattlebird, currawong, raven, and golden whistler. An aggregation of Australian native bees, Lipotriches sp. were spotted hanging out on a blade of barbed wire grass in a paddock (see photo).
Gabe Anderson, the Facilitator of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER), gave an update on the Stepping Stones project in the Lower Hunter. This was Gabe’s last official duty in his GER role as he is heading north in April to take up a position with the Nature Conservation Trust based out of Lismore. Good luck Gabe you’ll be greatly missed in the Hunter but your legacy of stepping stones and green corridor reconnections will live on forever – Thank you.