We had a fantastic turnout of volunteers, which meant that all 16 sites could be covered with at least 2 volunteers at each site. (This is the first time we have covered all 16 sites since at least 2010).
Weather conditions were ideal (2nd year running) with little or no wind to muffle the sound of calls and it was not really all that cold!
Everyone got out to their respective positions in time; the earliest call was heard at 6.49am and by 6.55am every monitoring station had Lyrebirds calling.
The official sunrise time for Saturday Jun 3rd at Balook was 7.23am and first light was scheduled to appear at 6.53am. So, it seems Lyrebirds are fairly well tuned to begin calling at first light.
From our results, we detected 11 male birds calling, (not sure if it would be possibly with our method to detect two birds calling in close proximity to each other, but a couple of stations noted the possibility that they could possibly hear multiple birds calling from around the same direction.
Note: we only count birds that are detected by at least 2 monitoring stations.
This is our second highest number of birds recorded since at least 2010.
Thanks to AGL who helped to pay for the breakfast.
Snow photos from this afternoon. Got up there just in time to see the snow come in. Not sure if there will still be any around tomorrow morning, might depend on conditions overnight. There are a couple of large trees down one near the suspension bridge and another along the Ash Track so access is a little bit difficult, hopefully they will be cleaned up soon.
Looking off the Suspension Bridge after light dusting of snow.
The Annual Lyrebird Survey at Tarra-Bulga National Park has been carried out for the last 20 years as a means of detecting any changes of the population of the birds, within an area of the park covering from around the visitors centre area to the rainforest gully at the headwaters of Macks Ck. Although Lyrebirds are not considered endangered, they are at risk from natural disasters such as bushfires, habitat decline and attack from foxes, feral animals and domestic cats and dogs. The annual survey contributes to long term data on the density of the local population and helps park management plan their future management actions.
The Lyrebirds are counted not by attempting to spot them visually, but by listening out for their song. (Sometimes you may be lucky enough to see a bird but often they are out of sight perched in a tree canopy or in ferny understorey). The survey is undertaken during the Lyrebirds’ breeding season. At this time mature male Lyrebirds are all actively searching for females to mate with and it is during this time when they are reliably singing for much of the day. The survey is consistently undertaken at dawn (when the wind is often calmer and the Lyrebirds begin their morning calls, usually while perched up in a tree).
The count is carried out by distributing groups of volunteers across the survey area at
established monitoring points. Each of these points is marked with a numbered sign so that they can be found in the pre-dawn light. As the sun rises and the Lyrebirds start singing their varied repertoire, the volunteers use a compass to establish the direction the calls are coming from and estimate the distance (close, medium or far) that the call is coming from. The survey lasts for approximately 30 minutes, after which the volunteers generally go off and enjoy breakfast at the aptly named Lyrebird Cafe.
Once the survey is completed survey sheets are collected and the direction the calls were coming from are plotted as lines onto a map, where lines coming from several surrounding monitoring points meet, we can be confident that it is a location where a male Lyrebird was calling from.
Special guided walks led by Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park will be held this Saturday March the 19th.
The morning’s guided walk will be is the Tarra Valley Rainforest walk – 10am Meet at the Tarra Valley car park (30 min)
The afternoon guided walk will be Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge circuit – 2pm Meet at the Visitor Centre (60 min)
The park visitors centre will be open from 10am to 4pm and along with the usual displays and information there will be a special screening in the theatrette featuring images from our fauna monitoring program.
To register for either walk (or both) go to www.walking.heartfoundation.org.au/events/event/ or phone Nikki or Stacey, local coordinators Heart Foundation Walking, on 1800 242 696.
The Green Walks in the Park program is sponsored by the Heart Foundation and every month there is a guided walk held at Tarra-Bulga National Park. The walks are a great way to explore the park as well as learn more about Tarra-Bulga from members of the Friends group or a Park Ranger along the way. The next two walks will be held on Tuesday November the 4th (Cup Day) and Monday December 1st. Both departing from the visitors centre carpark at 10am. To register contact Bonnie, Local Coordinator Heart Foundation Walking on 1800 242 696 further details here Green Walks Nov and Dec 2014
These photos supplied by a follower of our Facebook page were taken yesterday morning, when we had a nice dusting of snow. Beautiful conditions for sight seeing and not too much snow (which can damage the vegetation that is not used to snow).
Welcome to Balook
Snow Covered Ferns
Also check out the photos from a similar event 12 months ago.
After some very windy and cold weather at the end of winter including the snow of only a week and a half ago, the last day of winter was almost perfect. The first day of Spring tomorrow also promises to be just as good. Calm winds and blue skies made today a gem of a day to be at Tarra Bulga. Birds were all around, and spring flowers were starting to bloom. The Silver Wattles were bright yellow and sections of the walking tracks were covered in fallen Sassafras flowers. A Male Lyrebird landing on a tree just above my head was a breathtaking moment on such an ideal day to be in such a magnificent place.