It’s spring and here is your chance to get out and explore the avian wildlife of the Merri Creek catchment.
The Friends of Merri Creek runs bird surveys along the creek. The early spring bird surveys along Merri Creek are on 15 September and 22 September. Come along and enjoy a busy time of year for the birds!
Friends of Merri Creek: You’re invited to the November bird surveys along Merri Creek. See meeting points below.
On Sunday 20 November from 8:45am – 10:30am
at Galada Tamboore, Egan-Strettle Reserves Coburg East, CERES Blyth St-Moreland Rd, Kirkdale-Merri Parks, Clifton Hill, Edwardes Lake and Galgi Ngarrk/Craigieburn Grasslands.
On Sunday 27 November from 8:45am – 10:30am
at Bababi Djinanang and Coburg Lake.
Beginner-birders are welcome to Friends of Merri Creek surveys, as well as experienced birders. Bring binoculars if you have them, and closed-in footwear, sun-hat or raingear if necessary, and drinking water. No dogs, please.
Survey meeting points:
Galgi Ngarrk (Craigieburn Grasslands): Meet at the O’Herns Road gate off Hume Highway, Somerton (Melway 180 E6). Note this survey can take up to 12 noon to complete.
Galada Tamboore: Meet at the end of Hatty Court, Campbellfield (Melway 7 K6).
Egan Reserve-Harding St-Strettle Reserve: Meet at the steps at end of The Grove, East Coburg (Melway 30 A3).
Edwardes Lake: Meet at the playground adjacent to Griffiths Street, Reservoir (Melway 18 E5).
CERES to Moreland Road: Meet at the seats on the Merri Path at rear of CERES near Blyth Street, East Brunswick (Melway 30 B7).
Kirkdale Reserve & Merri Park: Meet at the end of Victoria Street, East Brunswick, at barbecue shelter (Melway 30 B8).
Hall Reserve Clifton Hill: Meet at the Rotunda, Hall Reserve, Clifton Hill (Melway 2D D1).
Coburg Lake Reserve: Meet near the car park, Lake Grove Coburg (Melway 17 H10).
Bababi Djinanang: Meet on the Merri Path at the end of Jukes Road, Fawkner (Melway 18 A2).
Red-capped Robin at Bababi Djinanang
The Merri Creek bird survey at Bababi Djinanang in Fawkner recorded 36 different bird species in the May survey. Last year the survey at the same time of year recorded a similar number: 37 species. Relatively still conditions, but overcast made for good birdwatching. For several birds we heard their song well before seeing them.
Some of the highlights of the survey include seeing a purple swamphen in the reeds where Central Creek meets Merri Creek. Though common elsewhere along Merri Creek and Edgars Creek it is not often seen in Fawkner.
Up in the open grasslands we flushed into flight some Brown Quail, saw Spotted Pardalotes in a mixed species feeding group, and even caught a sight of a Golden-headed Cisticola.
Right at the end in some re-vegetated woodland at the edge of the grasslands we came across a Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) mingling with a small flock of female Flame Robins. An exciting find, not having been seen before at this location. Red-capped robins favour perching on rocks and low branches and are subject to predation by domesticated and feral cats, and nests sometimes raided by larger bird species. Welcome to Fawkner, little Red-capped Robin!
Autumn is upon us and another bird survey is about to take place up and down Merri Creek. Bird surveys provide useful data for mapping the changing patterns and distribution of bird species. It is one small but significant way that anyone can contribute to science. (See Using Citizen Science in Urban Bird Studies)
In Fawkner the survey will be at Bababi Djinanang (Jukes Road grasslands), Fawkner. Meet on Merri Path at end of Jukes Road at 8.45am, Sunday 26 May 2013.
A bird of prey over Bababi Djinanang (Jukes Rd Grasslands)
Fancy yourself a budding scientist? Or just enjoy a walk along Merri Creek parklands identifying the numerous bird species that live or frequent the area?
The November Merri Creek Bird Survey, the 4th survey for the year, will take place next Sunday 11 November, 8.45-10.30am. The survey is undertaken at several locations up and down Merri Creek, and at Lake Edwardes including at Bababi Djinanang (Jukes Road grasslands), Fawkner.
Come along. No need to book. Just turn up at 8.45am. Bring binoculars if you have them, a sunhat and closed-in shoes. Leave dogs at home.