Parks Victoria have made the decision that non-essential volunteer activities are to be cancelled for at least 4 weeks. Tarra-Bulga National Park will still be open for visitors to enjoy, but the Visitors Centre will be closed. Also our weeding activity planned for tomorrow has been cancelled.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are planning to hold a special function at the Ship Inn in Yarram, on November the 23rd. They are hoping that as well as current volunteers getting together, former volunteers will also come along. For details about the upcoming anniversary event or if you would like to join the group and become a volunteer please contact David Akers on 0488 035 314 or email email@example.com
Conditions were fortunately very good after a wild week of strong winds, rain and even a dusting of snow on the Wednesday. As a result of the snow many fern fronds have been crushed down and were providing an obstacle along the walking tracks. The temperature was relatively mild and although you could hear the wind in the tree-tops it was not that strong. First Light was predicted at 6:52 am and the official sunrise time was 7:21.
We had 38 volunteers which was more the enough to cover all 16 monitoring locations. After meeting at 6.15 am everyone was briefed and out into the field by 6:40. Kookaburras were the first birds to start calling and were very active and noisy for quite a while. It seemed like quite a long wait until we heard our first Lyrebird at 6:58 am. Most volunteers had vacated their sites by around 7:15 am and people started filing into the Guest House for breakfast by about 7:25.
The results were collated this year during Google Earth. The bottom of Lyrebird Ridge seemed to be quite active as well as the points around the suspension bridge and the Bulga Carpark. other sites were much quieter with only one or two calls heard.
Using our call triangulation method there ended up being a couple of anomalies with the results that made the certainty of the existence of a couple of birds 100% certain. (e.g 2 monitoring sites heard it calling but a closer one did not). Overall though we came up with a total of 9 birds calling for 2019 (which is one more than last year).
This Saturday July 28th, we are inviting people to join us
for an activity at one of our on-going project sites. The aim is to remove wire tree-guards from successfully plantings which are part of the recovery from 2009 bushfires.
Meeting point is the Tarra-Bulga Visitors centre at 10am and the activity will finish around 1pm. Please let us know if you intend to come along in case there are any change of plans. Phone 0488 035 314 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another great turnout of 34 volunteers for this year’s survey, our annual Lyrebird Survey is by far our most popular activity and once again we were able to cover all 16 monitoring sites.
Weather conditions were quite good, at 5.30am heading up to Balook there was a substantial amount of moonlight with a clear sky and some cold air, At Balook however it was darker because of cloud cover blocking the moonlight and there was a slight breeze in the treetops.
Our full crew of volunteers arrived in good time and by 6.30am everyone had arrived and signed in and by 6.45am everyone had been briefed on their tasks and had headed out in the dark to their assigned monitoring stations.
Once in position there ended up being quite an unexpectedly long wait until Lyrebird calls were first heard, only a couple of locations recorded birds calling before 7am; which was when the majority of the sites started hearing birds, the latest any group had to wait to record any calls was 7.10am. Last year (2017) every site had birds calling by 6.55am.
The official sunrise time for Saturday June 2nd at Balook was 7.22am and first light was scheduled to appear at 6.52am which was almost identical to last year.
From our results we detected 8 birds calling in our search area, this figure was slightly down on recent years. It is hard to read too much into one years results but potentially the dry summer and autumn we have experience may be having an impact. Most birds appeared to be calling from forest areas with established Eucalyptus over-storey or rainforest. It would be great if some action can be taken to re-establish the original canopy species into areas of the park that have been degraded.
As usual we only count birds that are detected by at least 2 monitoring stations and some stations heard birds calling that were not in our survey area so are not included in the final tally.
Thanks again to AGL who generously supported the breakfast provided for the early rising volunteers.
Lyrebird Survey Results Summary Table 2010-2018
Number of Males Calling
(out of 16)
|2011||9||13||Windy making it hard to hear calls, especially in the more exposed sites.|
|2012||9||12||Still and Calm|
|2013||3||10||Wet, may have discouraged birds from calling. Several males sighted feeding but not calling.|
|2014||14||15||Perfect calm morning|
|2016||9||15||Ideal – slight wind, relatively warm|
|2017||11||16||Ideal – slight wind, relatively warm|
|2018||8||16||A little overcast with a slight breeze.|
Fantastic News that Parks Victoria are providing some holiday programs for Primary School age children at Tarra-Bulga this year. With opportunities coming up for kids to undertake a “Mini-beast Discovery” or a “Flora Explorer” activity and learn more about the awesome things that nature has to offer. For more info and bookings head to www.juniorrangers.com.au