Sunday, 28 September 2014

Toorbul Teaser

Mangrove Kingfisher
I've spent much of the morning at Toorbul taking some guests, Max O'Sullivan from Leeton and Martin Odino from Kenya, on a little search for birds!

We arrived a couple of hours before the official high tide and travelled to the north end of the esplanade first for Mangrove Kingfisher and Mangrove Gerygone. Both were obliging as were a numer of honeyeater species in the flowering bottlebrush.

Then south, past the street lights with their Pelican ornaments, past the Kangaroo mob lazing in eucalypt shade to the waders that had already begun to obediently assemble. Residents, Black-winged Stilts and Pied Oystercatchers, stood out among the grey brown flocks as did the two Terns; Caspian and Gull-billed.
Waders in flight at Toorbul

Then the waders were sorted via size; Red-necked Stints out in front with some Curlew and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers. Grey tailed Tattlers were numerous as were Great Knots. Two still so slightly Red Knots hid among the Greats. Whimbrels and hundreds of Bar-tailed Godwits shielded a single Black-tailed Godwit and, perhaps more impressively, an Asian Dowitcher.  Finally some Curlews came in.
Asian Dowitcher surrounded by Bar-tailed Godwits
* all photos by Martin Odino.
For more information about Martin and his campaign to help stop bird poisoning in Western Kenya please read

Thursday, 25 September 2014

October Outing to Toorbul

Afternoon Outing!!
Our next outing is on Saturday afternoon at 4pm on the 4th October at Toorbul. [Currently we have outings on the first Saturday of every month save January.] Toorbul is an excellent birding location on the east coast looking towards Bribie Island. There is a mix of woodland species but it is best known for migratory waders and a mix of mangrove species. Drive slowly around the town as there are large numbers of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

Meet at 4pm at park opposite general store. Please remember to plan extra travel time to visit the Lagoon on the way in for Brolgas and perhaps other waders. We may travel to the north end first for Mangrove Kingfisher, Mangrove Gerygone etc before heading to the southern end for the waders. High tide is c 6pm so we should get good views of migratory waders as the tide rises with the light behind us. 

Please consider bringing food for a BBQ as there are Electric BBQ's at the northern end of the esplanade or you can get basic takeaways from the general store. There is also camping at a Caravan Park if anyone would like to make a night of it.  


Help save Cockatoos!

Care2 Petitions Action Alert
action alert!
The Western Australian government is chopping down the pine plantations where Carnaby's black cockatoo make their homes -- a catastrophe for these endangered birds.
Please sign the petition today!

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Dear Bruce,

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo is an iconic species beloved by Perth people. Cockatoos form strong bonds with their partners for their whole lives (males often fly over 12 kilometres to find food for nesting females) and can live for 50 years in the wild.

But in just 20 years these intelligent, affectionate birds could be extinct.

Like many woodland species, Carnaby's have seen their homes destroyed as native forests are felled to make way for timber plantations. Cockies have proved more flexible than many; in the 1950s, they started moving into the Gnangara pine plantation north of Perth and have settled there.

Now the pines the birds rely upon for food and nesting are to be cut down. The trees require a great deal of water and the Western Australian government has been clearing the 23,000 hectare plantation to protect the region's water cachement area. But the government has failed to replace the razed trees with native forest where Carnaby's could live.

Swaths of native bush that provide food for the birds are also being eliminated. No wonder that cockatoos' numbers are falling by 15 percent every year.

About 10 percent of the world's population of Carnaby's lives in the Swan River Region. The Western Australian government must stop clearing the area's bushland until trees where cockatoos can live are planted and have matured. We can stop the loss of these birds before they disappear for good.

Tell Australia, save Carnaby's black cockatoo!

Thank you for taking action,

Kristina C.
The Care2 Petitions Team

Monday, 8 September 2014

September Outing Report - Maroochy Bush Botanical Gardens

Hovia acultifolia [J. Thompson]
Another excellent turn out with some forty members and guests enjoying a pleasant hike through a mix of rainforest, wet schlerophyll and drier eucalypt forest and planned garden spaces. Just over fifty species recorded with the highlights being Rose crowned Fruit Dove , which afforded great views,  a single call of  a Noisy Pitta announcing its presence, great numbers of vocal Golden Whistlers, and an excellent range of common bush species.

Olive-backed Oriole [J. Thompson]
I had visited the gardens before but was surprised, pleasantly, by the large amount of bush adjacent that had tracks working their way through. We could have explored much more than we did! In addition the prepared gardens had an interesting variety of sculptures and displays - many on a natural history theme. And some were especially designed for children. Many members - visiting for the first time expressed an interest to revisit with their [non-birding?] famililies.
to be continued....
Rose crowned Fruit-dove [K. Cross]

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Reserves and parks not enough to protect nature – David Attenborough

Reserves and parks not enough to protect nature – David Attenborough

Broadcaster calls for radical new approach to conservation, urging people to use all spaces from gardens to roadside verges to help wildlife
Sir David Attenborough

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Project Wild Thing

I think we need something like this in Australia.....

About Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing is a film led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnecting with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature.
And Project Wild Thing is much more than a film, this is a growing movement of organisations and individuals who care deeply about the need for nature connected, free-range, roaming and outdoor playing kids in the 21st century. Hundreds of people have already committed huge amounts of time, energy, resources and money to help get the project where it is today. Which is really just the beginning.
The journey started in late 2010 with film-makers Green Lions exploring a film approach to an emerging issue coined ‘nature deficit disorder’ in kids. A collaboration formed with the National Trust who were also looking at the issue and through the Britdoc Foundation support for the development of the film and movement has gathered along the way from RSPBPlay EnglandPlay ScotlandPlay WalesNHS Sustainable Development UnitTFTWoodland TrustsAMV BBDO and Arla foods.
In summer 2012 Greenlions formed a collaboration with Good for Nothing, helping co-create the foundation of David Bond's nature marketing program, this was supported by generous contributions from the Do LecturesTYF AdventuresEden Project and Al Kennedy.
In the autumn of 2012 the Natural Childhood Summit hosted by the National Trust brought together hundreds of organisations to explore the challenges and issues more widely and collaboratively.
Project Wild Thing emerged and thousands of people have pledged to support the project a year before the film has launched. A Kickstarter campaign raised further funding from hundreds of awesome individuals around the world to finish the film production.
In January 2013 Swarm Partnership came on board with support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The Wild Network was hatched. The network is an open, growing collaborative group of organisations big and small seeking to tackle the many issues raised in the film and champion the wonders of being outside. An advisory group was established with the WildLife Trusts currently heading that up.
Project Wild Thing and The Wild Network is a people powered movement, it's success will be down to the actions and the energy of this growing community.
If you want nature, wildness and free-range living for kids and adults to exist alongside an increasingly industrialised and technological society then join us and get involved in making that happen.
See you on the outside.
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