News [ 23 items ]

Bird Field Trip to Newland Head Conservation Park

22 different species were seen on Monday 22nd May 2017
Carrawong Pacific Gull Silver Gull
Singing Honeyeater Crescent Honeyeater Whiskered Tern
Masked Lapwing Chestnut Teal Black Duck
Intermediate Egret Australasian Pipit Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail Superb Blue Fairy Wren Welcome Swallow
Raven Magpie Nankeen Kestrel
New Holland Honeyeater Little Pied Cormorant Silvereye
White-faced Heron
Pacific Gull
Pacific Gull
Singing Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater

OliBel Bird Watching Field Trip

Trip to OliBel (an area which links areas of significant native vegetation between Belair National Park and Mark Oliphant Conservation Park at Ironbank) on 27th March 2017 - 18 different species were seen.
Blackbird Crimson Rosella Little Raven
Buff-rumped Thornbill Crescent Honeyeater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Eastern Spinebill Grey Currawong Grey Fantail
Magpie New Holland Honeyeater Red-browed Finch
Red Wattlebird Silvereye Superb fariy-wren
White-naped Honeyeater White-throated Tree Creeper Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Crescent Honeyeater OliBel
Crescent Honeyeater The Group
New holland OliBel
New Holland Honeyeater White-throated Tree Creeper

Bird Field Trip to Mundoo Island

41 different species were seen on Thursday 2nd February 2017
Magpie Starling Galah
Australian Pipit Australian Reed Warbler Little Raven
Crested Pigeon Magpie Lark Willie Wagtail
Red Wattlebird Kestrel Australian Magpie
White-fronted Chat Silver Gull Crested Tern
Fairy Tern Caspian Tern Whiskered Tern
Common Greenshank Red-necked Stint Banded Lapwing
Masked Lapwing Purple Swamphen Whistling Kite
Swamp Harrier Australasian Darter Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant Great Cormorant Australian Pelican
White-faced Heron Little Egret Great Egret
Straw-necked Ibis Australian White Ibis Royal Spoonbill
Australasian Grebe Black Swan Cape Barren Goose
Musk Duck Pacific Black Duck Grey Teal
Female Golden Whistler
Cape Barren Geese
Rainbow Bee-eater

Bird Field Trip to Bullock Hill

25 different species were seen on Monday 24th October 2016
Magpie Crimson Rosella Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Tree Martin Golden Whistler
New Holland Honeyeater Grey Fantail Willie Wagtail
Rainbow Bee-eater Hooded Robin Silvereye
Red Wattlebird Kestrel European Goldfinch
Eastern Spinebill Red-browed Finch Little Raven
Superb Fairy-wren Red-rumped Parrot Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo
White-browed Babbler Striated Thornbill Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Varied Sittella
Female Golden Whistler
Female Golden Whistler
Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater

Bird Camp Out to the Riverland September 2016

96 different species were seen on 18th - 21st September 2016.
Grey Teal Pacific Black Duck Hardhead
Pelican Hoary-headed Grebe Singing Bushlark
Red-necked Avocet Australian White Ibis Australasian Shoveler
Musk Duck Australian Shelduck Australian Wood Duck
Black Swan Emu Eurasian Coot
Purple SwamphenFeral Pigeon Crested Pigeon
Galah Little Corella Chestnut Teal
Great Egret Crimson (Yellow) Rosella Welcome Swallow
Tree Martin Grey Shrike-thrush Willie Wagtail
White-plumed Honeyeater Yellow-plumed Honeyeater Singing Honeyeater
Red Wattlebird Common Starling Australian Magpie
Noisy Miner Magpielark Little Raven
Superb Fairy-wren Variegated Fairy-wren Little Grassbird
White-winged Fairy-wren Clamorous Red Warbler Chestnut-crowned Babbler
White-browed Babbler Hooded Robin House Sparrow
Blackbird Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Grey Fantail
Fairy Martin Sacred Kingfisher Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo
Mulga Parrot Red-rumped Parrot Australian Ringneck
Regent Parrot Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Little Corella
Common Bronzewing Peaceful Dove Brown Treecreeper
Caspian Tern Silver Gull Darter
Pied Cormorant Little Pied Cormorant Great Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant Royal Spoonbill Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Straw-necked Ibis Black-shouldered Kite Black Kite
Whistling Kite Sparrowhawk Little Eagle
Australian Hobby Nankeen Kestrel Masked Lapwing
Kookaburra Pied Butcherbird Grey Butcherbird
Southern Whiteface Weebill Chestnut-rumped Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Yellow-throated Miner
Striated Pardalote Silvereye Zebra Finch
Starling White-winged Chough Dusky Woodswallow
White-breasted Woodswallow Magpie Black-fronted Dotterel
Redrumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot
White-breasted Woodswallow
Striated Pardalote
Juvenile Pied Burcherbird

Field Trip to Laratinga Wetlands on 19th July 2016

38 different species were seen on 19th July 2016.
Grey Teal Pacific Black Duck Hardhead
Chestnut Teal Hoary-headed Grebe Australasian Grebe
White-faced Heron Australian Ibis Australian Shoveler
Blue-billed Duck Mallard Australian Wood Duck
Australian Spotted Crake Dusky Moorhen Eurasian Coot
Purple SwamphenFeral Pigeon Crested Pigeon
Galah Little Corella Rainbow Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet Adelaide Rosella Welcome Swallow
Tree Martin Grey shrike-thrush Willie Wagtail
White-plumed Honeyeater New Holland Honeyeater European Goldfinch
Red Wattlebird Common Starling Australian Magpie
Willie Wagtail Magpielark Little Raven
Superb Fairy-wren Little Grassbird
Chestnut Teal
Grey Teal
Pacific Black Duck

Field Trip to Scott Conservation Park on 11th April 2016

27 different species were seen on 11th April 2016.
White-winged Chough Purple-crowned Lorikeet Rainbow Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet Elegant Parrot Blackbird
Sparrow Starling Yellow-faced Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater Striated Pardalote Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail Nankeen Kestrel Australian Ibis
Galah Rosella Welcome Swallow
Tree MartinDusky Woodswallow Brown Treecreeper
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Kookaburra Red Wattlebird
Grey Strike-thrush Magpie
Elegant Parrot
Musk Lorikeet

Field Trip to Goolwa Barrages on 1st February 2016

44 different species were seen on 1st February 2016.
Grey Teal Pacific Black Duck Hardhead
Black Swan Hoary-headed Grebe Royal Spoonbill
Australian White Ibis Great Egret Little Egret
White-faced Heron Australian Pelican Little Pied Cormorant
Great Cormorant Little Black Cormorant Black-shouldered Kite
Whistling Kite Nankeen Kestrel Eurasian Coot
Purple SwamphenWhite-headed Stilt Red-necked Avocet
Common Sandpiper Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Curlew Sandpiper
Red-necked Stint Common Greenshank Whiskered Tern
Caspian Tern Crested Tern Silver Gull
Pacific Gull Rock Dove Crested Pigeon
Red Wattlebird Singing Honeyeater Australian Magpie
Willie Wagtail Magpielark Little Raven
Welcome Swallow Little Grassbird Common Blackbird
Common Starling House Sparrow
White_faced Heron
Welcome Swallow
Pelican, Avocets, Caspian Tern

Field Trip to Aldinga Scrub on 23rd November 2015

Trip to Aldinga Scrub on 23rd November 2015 48 different species were seen on 23rd November 2015.
Dusky Woodswallow Austral Magpie Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail Little Raven Magpielark
Welcome Swallow Tree Martin Blackbird
Common Starling Mistletoebird Red-browed Finch
House Sparrow European Goldfinch Musk Duck
Pink-eared Duck Chestnut Teal Mallard
Pacific Black Duck Hardhead Australasian Grebe
Hoary-headed Gebe Common Bronzewing Crested Pigeon
Tawny Frogmouth Little Pied Cormorant Little Black Cormorant
Pied Cormorant White-faced Heron Australian White Ibis
Wedge-tailed Eagle Nankeen Kestrel Purple Swamphen
Black-tailed Native-hen Eurasian Coot Black-fronted Dotterel
Masked Lapwing Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Galah
Rainbow Lorikeet Immature Black-winged Stilt Eastern Great Egret
Eastern Rosella Elegant Parrot Superb Fairywren
White-plumed Honeyeater Red Wattlebird New Holland Honeyeater
Golden Whistler Grey Shrikethrush
Gull Gull
Pink-eared Duck Nankeen Kestrel
Gull Gull
Dusky Woodswallow Tawny Frogmouth

Field Trip to Naracoorte, Bool Lagoon, Port MacDonnell and Nelson

Trip to the South East on 20th - 23rd September 2015 95 different species were seen on this trip
Aust. Magpie Magpie lark Eastern Yellow Robin
Willie Wagtail Silvereye Welcome Swallow
Little Raven Common Starling European Goldfinch
Black Swan Aust. Shelduck Chestnut Teal
Pacific Black Duck Great Crested Grebe Australasian Grebe
Hoary-Headed Grebe Common Bronzewing Spotted Dove
Crested Pigeon Australian Pied Cormorant Australian White Ibis
Grey Shrike Thrush Black Shouldered Kite Black Kite
Nankeen Kestrel Purple Swamphen Eurasian Coot
House Sparrow Red-browed Finch Tree Martin
Masked Lapwing Silver Gull Rainbow Lorikeet
Superb Fairywren Yellow-rumped Thornbill Singing Honeyeater
Red Wattlebird New Holland Honeyeater Little Wattlebird
Spotted Pardalote Australian Pelican Emu
Musk Duck Pink-eared Duck Australian Shoveler
Australasian Gannet Blackbird Great Cormorant
Eastern Great Egret White-faced Heron Intermediate Egret
Black-faced Cormorant Australian Bittern Straw-necked Ibis
Swamp Harrier Spotted Harrier Wedge-tailed Eagle
Brown Falcon Red-necked Avocet Red-capped Plover
Pied Oystercatcher Sooty Oystercatcher Brolga
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Caspian Tern Whiskered Tern
Crested Tern Ruddy TurnstoneCommon Greenshank
Hooded Plover Red-necked stint Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Long-billed Corella Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Musk Lorikeet
Crimson Rosella Horsefield's Bronze Cuckoo Kookaburra
White-throated Tree-creeper White-browed Scrubwren Striated Thornbill
Brown Thornbill Eastern Spinebill Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater Noisy Miner Rufous Whistler
Fairy Martin Little Grassbird Eurasian Skylark
White-winged Chough Grey Fantail Grey Currawong
Feral Pigeon Galah
Cuckoo Gull
Eastern Yellow Robin European Goldfinch

Field Trip to Cape Jervis

33 different species were seen on 30th March 2015.
Australian Magpie Grey Currawong Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail Little Raven Scarlet Robin
SilvereyeWelco SwallowBlackbird
Common StarlingRed-browed FinchHouse Sparrow
Rock DoveCrested PigeonPied Cormorant
Masked LapwingCrested TernSilver Gull
Yellow-tailed Black-CockatooGalahSulphur-crested Cockatoo
Crimson RosellaWhite-throated TreecreeperSuperb Fairywren
Striated ThornbillBuff-rumped ThornbillBrown Thornbill
Easter SpinebillYellow-faced HoneyeaterSinging Honeyeater
Red WattlebirdCrescent HoneyeaterNew Holland Honeyeater
Grey Shrikethrush
g s dotterel
Grey Shrikethrush Galah

Field Trip to St Kilda Saltfields

53 different species were seen on 24th November 2014.
Australian Magpie Magpie-lark Brown Quail
Musk Duck Black Swan Australian Shelduck
Pink-eared Duck Common Starling Grey Teal
Chestnut TealPac Black DuckBlue-billed Duck
Great Crested Grebe Hardhead Australasian Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe Rock Dove Spotted Dove
Crested Pigeon Little Pied Cormorant Little Black Cormorant
Pied CormorantAustralian Pelican Whistling Kite
Nankeen KestrelGreat Egret Black Native Hen
White-faced Heron Black-winged StiltLittle Egret
Masked Lapwing Silver GullAustralian White Ibis
Superb FairywrenRoyal SpoonbillSinging Honeyeater
Swamp HarrierBlack-winged StiltRed-necked Avocet
Banded StiltRed-capped PloverRed-kneed Dotterel
Common GreenshankRed-necked Stint Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Caspian TernWhiskered TernAustralian Pelican
Red-rumped ParrotSpiny-cheeked HoneyeaterWhite-fronted Chat
Grey ShrikethrushWillie WagtailBrown Songlark
Welcome Swallow House Sparrow
dotterel dotterel
Red-kneed Dotterel Royal Spoonbill

Field trip to Gluepot

32 different species were seen on 21st - 24th September 2014.
Striated Pardalote Emu Crested Pigeon
Hooded Robin Jacky Winter White Winged Chough
Galah Australian Raven Grey Butcherbird
White-browed Woodswallow Masked Woodswallow Splendid Fairy Wren
Crested Bellbird Grey Shrike-thrushy White-fronted Honeyeater
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater Gilbert Whistler Varied Sittella
White-browed Babbler Red Wattlebird Striped Honeyeater
Brown-headed Honeyeater Spiney-cheek Honeyeater Yellow-throated Miner
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill Weebill White-winged Fairywren
Pallid Cuckoo Horsefield's Bronze CuckooMulga Parrot
Australian Ringneck Brown Falcon
Cuckoo Gull
Pallid Cuckoo Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Field trip to Inman River and Nangawooka

24 different species were seen on 28th July 2014.
Striated Pardalote Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Blackbird
Starling Australian Magpie Magpie Lark
Galah Crimson Rosella Wedge-tailed Eagle
White-faced Heron Crested Pidgeon Splendid Fairy Wren
New Holland Honeyeater Willy Wagtail White-naped Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater RavenWood Duck
Female Golden Whistler Red Wattlebird Little Wattlebird
Shrike Thrush Rainbow Lorikeet Musk lorikeet
Gull Gull
New Holland Honeyeater Crimson Rosella

Field trip to Cox's Scrub and Mt Compass

40 different species were seen on 2nd June 2014.
Birds seen at Cox Scrub
Austral Magpie Grey Currawong Grey Fantail
A Reed-Warbler Little Grassbird Welcome Swallow
Willie Wagtail Little Raven Silvereye
Red-browed Finch Peaceful Dove White-faced Heron
Rainbow Lorikeet Musk Lorikeet Crimson Rosella
Elegant Parrot Superb Fairywren White-browed Scrubwren
Yellow-rumped Thornbill Buff-rumped Thornbill Spotted Pardalote
Little Wattlebird Red Wattlebird Crescent Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater Brown-headed Honeyeater Golden Whistler
Grey Shrikethrush
Birds seen at Mt Compass
Magpielark Welcome Swallow Eur Blackbird
Common Starling Eur Goldfinch Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck Crested Pigeon Australian Grebe
Australian White Ibis Nankeen Kestrel Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Striated Thornbill Yellow-faced Honeyeater
40 different species seen on 2nd June 2014
Gull Gull
Red Wattlebird Nankeen Kestrel

Field trip to Laratinga Wetlands, Mt. Barker

51 different species were seen on 7th April 2014.
Birds seen at Laratinga Wetlands, Mt. Barker
Magpie Grey Fantail Magpielark
A Reed-Warbler Little Grassbird Welcome Swallow
Tree Martin Blackbird Red-browned Finch
Freckled Duck Aust. Shoveler Grey Teal
Mallard hybrid Pac Black Duck Australasian Grebe
Hoary-Headed Grebe Rock DoveWhite-plumed Honeyeater
Crested Pigeon Little Pied Cormorant Australian Pelican
White-faced Heron Royal Spoonbill Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Brown Falcon Purple Swamphen Australian Spotted Crake
Eurasian Coot Dusky Moorhen Black-fronted Dotterel
Red-knee Dotterel Galah Long-billed Corella
Little Corella Crimson RosellaRed-rump Parrot
Superb FairywrenNew Holland Honeyeater
Birds seen at Browns Road, Monarto
Austral Magpie Grey Fantail Magpielark
Crimson Rosella Dusky Woodswallow Grey Currawong
Willie Wagtail Australian Raven Little Raven
White-winged Chough Red-capped Robin Wedge-tailed Eagle
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater White-browed Babbler Rufous Whistler
Grey Shrikethrush
Birds in red had already been seen at previous location.
51 different species seen on 7th April 2014
Gull Gull
Yellow Billed Spoonbill Australian Spotted Crake

Field Trip to Goolwa Ponds & Goolwa Barrages on 24th February 2014

Trip to Goolwa Ponds & Goolwa Barrages on 24th February 2014 59 different species were seen on 24th February 2014.
Birds seen at Goolwa Ponds
Aust. Magpie Magpie lark Aust. Reed Warbler
Willie Wagtail Silvereye Welcome Swallow
Little Raven Common Starling European Goldfinch
Black Swan Aust. Shelduck Grey Teal
Pacific Black Duck Hardhead Australasian Grebe
Hoary-Headed Grebe Rock Dove Spotted Dove
Crested Pigeon Little Pied Cormorant Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis Black Shouldered Kite Whistling Kite
Nankeen Kestrel Purple Swamphen Black Native Hen
Eurasian Coot Black-winged Stilt Black-fronted Dotterel
Masked Lapwing Silver Gull Rainbow Lorikeet
Superb Fairywren Yellow-rumped Thornbill Singing Honeyeater
Red Wattlebird New Holland Honeyeater White-browed Babbler
Straited Pardalote
Birds seen at Goolwa Barrages
Black Swan Grey Teal Pacific Black Duck
Hardhead Spotted Dove Crested Pigeon
Little Black Cormorant Australian Pelican Common starling
Australian Magpie Willie Wagtail Little Raven
Magpielark Blackbird Red Wattlebird
Eastern Great Egret White-faced Heron Little Egret
Australian White Ibis Royal Spoonbill Purple Swamphen
Buff-banded Rail Australian Spotted Crake Black-tailed Native Hen
Eurasian Coot Black-winged Stilt Pacific Golden Plover
Masked Lapwing Common Greenshank Red-necked Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Caspian Tern Whiskered Tern
Crested Tern Silver Gull Singing Honeyeater
Red-necked Avocet
Birds in red had already been seen at previous location.
59 different species seen on 24th February 2014
Gull Gull
Immature Black-winged Stilt Eastern Great Egret

Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)

Size: 37 - 41 cm

Wingspan: 7 - 80 cm

Male weight: 190 - 400g

Female weight: 260 - 630g

Habitat: Coastal mudflats and sandy intertidal zones

The Bar-tailed Godwit is a large wading bird with conspicuous blue-grey legs and a long, dark, slightly upturned bill with a pink base. The breeding and non-breeding plumages of the male Bar-tailed Godwit are noticeably different, changing from dull grey-brown in the winter to rich chestnut across the back and breast during the summer breeding season. The neck, breast and sides of the body are finely streaked with black ad there is a dark brown and grey streaking on the back and the wings. The breast returns to an off-white colour once the breeding season is over, while the rest of the plumage becomes duller with pale fringes to the back and wing feathers.

The female is generally larger than the male with a noticeably longer bill and has little red-brown colouration during the breeding season. Both the male and female Bar-tailed Godwit have a distinctive black and white barred tail.

The Bar-tailed Godwit is a non-breeding migrant in Australia. Breeding take place each year between late May and August in Scandinavia, eastern Siberia and Alaska. The nest is a shallow cup in moss sometimes lined with vegetation. Both sexes share incubation of the eggs and care for the young.

This bird has the record of any bird for undertaking the longest non-stop flight, flying over 11,000km in 9 day without taking a break.


Striated PardaloteA small bird 9-11 cm. with a widespread distribution often in the canopy of tall forests but also in low mallee woodlands it can be identified in the canopy by a loud chip chip call with a number of other similar calls, it has a short-tipped tail and relatively short rounded wings.

Mostly insectivorous, occasionally eating some plant material, they feed singly or in pairs although during the winter months they will join mixed feeding flocks. The favoured food source is the lerp which has a honeydew casing. The pardalote has to spend some time avoiding larger honeyeaters which also eat the lerps, they will occasionally eat some plant material.

Monogamous breeders with both partners sharing nest construction, incubation and chick rearing, they nest in deep horizontal tunnels with a very small entrance, mouse hole size, also can be found nesting in cracks in stone walls, tree hole, cliff faces and nest boxes.

Bird Field Trip to Ingalalla Falls on July 25th 2012

Bird watchers from our local Normanville group were fortunate to join Nick Tebneff and Keith Jones, members of the Fleurieu Bird Watchers group on a visit to Ingalalla Falls and Springs Road Native Forest A cold and blustery day was not ideal for seeing many birds but we were delighted upon our arrival at the falls to see a female scarlet robin which was feeding adjacent to the car park. We had some good sightings of her and she seemed quite unaware of us. When leaving we were graced by the appearance of the male scarlet robin, with his brilliant red breast and black back.

As we descended to the creek and walked towards the falls we spotted several small birds in the undergrowth that Nick identified as striated thornbills. The speed at which they moved made recognition difficult. We were reminded that our knowledge of bird songs needs to improve.

The most beautiful bird sighted was a golden whistler which was spotted a distance away and then flew into a tree next to where we were standing and stayed in that tree for a few minutes so we were all able to enjoy his beautiful plumage.

Other birds seen in this location included a pair of wood ducks, a grey shrike thrush, a grey fantail, a scrub wren, a crescent honey eater , a little raven, and a group of Adelaide rosellas.

By mid morning we drove further up the Hay Flat Road, turning in the direction of Parawa and stopped at the entrance to Springs Road Native Forest. Nick led the way to a track which rises quite steeply with dense forest on our left. Before we had gone very far we came to a dam which is a haven for several types of water bird. A beautiful pair of shell ducks were preening themselves at the edge of the dam and their plumage was stunning. Swimming on the far side were some grey teal ducks.

Further along the track we saw a nankeen kestrel, which flew down for prey near a huge fallen gum tree. The kestrel retrieved its prey so quickly we were unable to see what it was, but hoped it wasn't a male scarlet robin previously seen near the fallen tree.

A huge flock of sulphur crested cockatoos seemed quite unsettled by our presence, screeching loudly overhead. Nick spotted a white throated tree creeper which kept evading our view by moving round the tree trunk but most of us caught a glimpse of it. There were several fairy wrens twittering nearby, their tails visible above the thick ground cover of ferns and grasses.

After a brisk walk and the onset of rain we decided to retrace our steps and drive back to Ingalalla Falls car park where we could enjoy our lunch under shelter. During lunch we discussed the birds we had seen and recorded the numbers of each species. Nick informed us of some other great bird watching sites for future trips.

We parted in good spirits and look forward to our next day out. Our thanks to Nick and Keith for sharing their knowledge and company with us and to Wendy from the Normanville Resource Centre for organising the day.

Diana Wallfried

Aldinga Scrub Bird Watching Field Trip

In spite of the sudden change in the weather our dedicated group enjoyed a great day bird watching at Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park on 23rd April 2012. Aldinga Scrub Bird Field Trip Equipped with cameras and binoculars and wearing several layers of clothing including hats and wet weather gear we were well prepared for anything.

Aldinga Scrub is located between Aldinga Beach and Sellicks Hill and contains the last major remnant of native coastal vegetation in the greater Adelaide region. This patch of scrub is of particular importance as it has been preserved as an example of the natural landscape which existed along the sea front prior to European settlement.

The scrub is used by many school groups and it is cared for by Friends of Aldinga Scrub, a group of volunteers who work hard to ensure the fragile ecosystem is not destabilized by the encroachment of suburbia. Invasive weeds are removed and indigenous vegetation encouraged to regenerate.

Our bird watching group found it a wonderful refuge for a variety of native birds, some observed for the first time by group members. All equipped with binoculars we were constantly on the look out for birds and helped each other locate them. Neville, our guide for the day and a Friend of the Scrub were familiar with the area and led us to particular locations where he had observed birds previously. He had very good recognition of bird songs which helped us to identify many birds.

Aldinga Scrub Bird Field Trip One of the birds seen by some for the first time was the crested shrite-tit, which we were able to locate and observe thrre of them stripping bark from a tree and then follow them to nearby bushes. The elegant parrot was seen several times, in flight and also perched on bare branches. Few of us had seen one before.

A dusky wood swallow was seen throughout the day, one of Wendy's favorites! Tree martins and welcome swallows were flying overhead during the afternoon, difficult to spot with binoculars but we were able to distinguish differences between them. We were really hoping to see the striated pardalotes, then one showed itself fleetingly during lunch, alomost coming down for crumbs. We were lucky enough to see a male hooded robin perched at the very top of a tree and it stayed there long enough for most of us to focus on it.

Of course all the more common birds were also seen but we still aim to seek out the rarer birds, such as wee bills which are so difficult to spot in dense foliage. We shared an absolutely wonderful lunch and discussed our forthcoming trips, with three already in the pipe line.

Each day we have shared has been so interesting and there are always new things to learn both in relation to birds and also the plants which they need for their survival. It was really energizing to be in such a natural environment where plants, native birds and animals co-exist as they have for hundreds of years.

Diana Wallfried

Scott Creek Bird Watching Field Trip

On Monday 10th October five keen bird watchers set off for Scott Creek Conservation Park accompanied by Wendy White from Normanville Resource Centre.Scott Creek bird field trip

Scott Creek Conservation park is located 30km south of Adelaide and contains the ruins of an old silver mine as well as some of the most diverse natural vegetation and wildlife in the Adelaide Hills. In the 1850's the area was mined for both copper and silver and by 1887 the mine had produced 310kg of silver. The mine shafts are now sealed off and partly camouflaged by the scrub and native flora.

The park has many fire tracks which double as walking trails, some ridge tracks gave superb views of steep, heavily wooded slopes. The countryside is varied and provides examples of open scrub, swamps and bogs, gullies, and steep forested hillsides. Numerous creeks provide their own diverse habitats, the understorey including banksias, grevilleas and hakeas. It is hardly surprising that the area claims to have over 600 native plant species, many extremely rare as well as 128 species of birds.

We were fortunate to have Tom Hands as our guide. Tom has an intimate knowledge of the park having been a volunteer there for over ten years and was able to guide us along narrow tracks, pointing out rare orchids and other wild flowers on the way. Tom spent time describing different plants and how he strives to maintain the balance by removing any weeds which threaten the environment. He also took us to an area where the Southern brown bandicoot has been seen recently. These are an endangered species.

Tom's knowledge of bird calls alerted our attention to many birds before we saw them. At one point on a track which followed the creek he pointed out a spotted pardalote's nest which was a mere hole in the side of a bank. We waited nearby and saw the small bird both leaving the nest and later returning.White browed tree creeper

Other birds we observed included the golden whistler, grey fantail, silvereye, yellow faced honey eater, eastern spinebill, superb fairy wren, yellow tailed black cockatoo, grey shrike thrush and white throated tree creeper. We were able to see the tree creeper at quite close range as it moved up the trunk of a nearby tree searching for grubs.

In a clearing we were able to view at a distance, a wedge tailed eagle which was holding something in its talons. The kookaburra and grey currawong were also heard as well as the grunts of a koala which we later saw climbing a nearby tree.

The day went very quickly and although the weather was cool and rather overcast the sun did appear. There were many photographs taken by members of the group which are a good record of flower species seen.

Our thanks go to Wendy for organizing the trip and to Tom who made it such an interesting and informative day.

Report by Diana Wallfried

Hooded Plovers

The small Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) birds are found nesting and foraging on our local beaches. They are a Threatened species with less than 70 Hooded Plovers left in the Fleurieu, so protecting their beach habitat is extremely important. They attempt to breed by making a small nest on the beach to lay their eggs.

Hooded Plovers live on ocean beaches and on coastal dunes. The Hooded Plover's diet includes insects, sandhoppers (Orchestia sp.), small bivalves, and soldier crabs (Mictyris platycheles). It forages at all levels of the beach during all tide phases. It is most usually seen in pairs or small groups, darting about at the water's edge as waves recede, bobbing and pecking along the shore. They nest during late spring and summer which unfortunately is also the busiest time of year on our beaches. Their simple next-scrapes in the sand and well camouflaged eggs are very hard to see and therefore at great risk of being stepped on. The tiny chicks struggle to survive because they need to feed on the beach, but cannot fly from danger for the first five weeks after hatching.

The major threat to the success of these birds breeding are dogs who are left to run free on the beaches and people who are invading their space as well as vehicles and horses. The adult Hooded Plovers will abandon the nest to keep it hidden and will not return until the disturbance ends. If this is for a long period, the eggs can literally bake on the hot sand, or be eaten by predators such as ravens, gulls and foxes. The chicks are also easily frightened by people and dogs. Without time to run and hide in the dunes, they will crouch near seaweed making them easy to step on. If disturbed too often they may starve to death.

See following links for Hooded Plover distribution and what we are doing to help.

Hooded Plover Locations pdf
Protecting the Hooded Plover pdf
Monitoring the Hooded Plover 2011 to 2012 pdf

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