Perfect conditions this year for our annual Lyrebird count, with a beautiful still and mild morning. Another bonus was thirty keen volunteers fronting up for the 6.15 am, which meant we could cover all our 16 monitoring points. Thank you so much everyone for turning up, with many coming from far and wide to participate.
From our mapping we identified at least 10 male birds calling, which in memory is one of our best results. At several stations tracing birds was easy because they were observed calling from trees directly overhead the post. The folk monitoring the Bulga Car Park also reported a male and female (or juvenile male) bird running through their site.
It was hard for many of us to drag ourselves away from the calling birds and across to the guest house for breakfast. The last group back had been lucky enough toc come across a male in full display next to his mound. It wasn’t only Lyrebirds that were vocal on such a nice morning with Whip Birds, Tree Creepers Kookaburras and others adding to the morning chorus.
Volunteers receiving instructions on our survey method.
Eager volunteers working out how to get to their monitoring stations.
All action at one of the sites with plenty of Lyrebird calls to record.
One of our most popular volunteer activities is coming up on Saturday May 31st. The survey, which monitors trends in the Lyrebird population involves an early start. The meeting place is at the Tarra Bulga National Park Visitors Centre at 6.15 am. On arrival the recording process is explained and people are allocated to various monitoring points around the Bulga Park area.
The survey begins at sunrise with the first Lyrebird calls and only takes half an hour. Following the morning chorus, a free cooked breakfast is on offer at the Tarra-Bulga Guest House. If you would like to come along you need to contact ranger Craig Campbell (by Wednesday May the 28th on 5172 2508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wear warm clothing, a parka, bring a watch, a torch and compass (optional).
Less than ideal conditions beckoned for this years count, indeed when I woke up at 5.15 am and heard the rain pelting down on the roof, I fired up the computer and checked the rain radar and saw that it was going to continue to bucket down, (especially at Balook) for the foreseeable future. I put the text through to Ranger Craig, who soon phoned back and told me the decision had been made given the weather to postpone. He said he would go up anyway just in case anyone turned up, and I returned to bed.
Much to my surprise, 2 days later I heard the news, that when Craig arrived at the Visitors Centre there was quite a crowd, who despite the weather were raring to go (much kudos to those hardy souls).
Reports suggest that the inclement weather may have influenced the survey, with several sites unusually recording no calls whatsoever. There were however Lyrebirds around with reports of a group foraging directly in front of the Visitors Centre. Possibly the much needed rain produced ideal conditions for the birds to feed, so inconveniently the boys were more focused on filling their stomachs, rather than attracting the ladies with their fancy calls. Despite the visual sightings, only two male birds within the survey area could be properly counted using our call based technique. Hopefully the drop in numbers can be attributable to the conditions, rather than more sinister reasons such as increased fox numbers. In any case I am sure we will be back next year with hopefully more favourable conditions to do it all again. I also hope that despite the conditions that the hardy survey team had a great morning and the usual scrumptious breakfast at the guest house.
PS. To any of the attendees that braved the conditions and got a good photo of any aspect of the morning, it would be great if you could forward it on, so we could add it to this report.
It’s on again. The Friends of Tarra Bulga are looking for interested volunteers to participate in our Annual Lyrebird Survey on Saturday June the 1st. The survey, which aims to help to monitor the health of the local Lyrebird population involves an early start. People need to be at the Tarra Bulga National Park Visitors Centre at 6am so we can get organised to get everyone to their monitoring positions before sunrise when the Lyrebirds will (hopefully) burst into song. The survey itself only takes about half an hour and following that as a reward for your support and the early start, a cooked breakfast is on the menu. If you would like to come along you need to contact ranger Craig Campbell (by Wednesday May the 29th on 5172 2508 or email email@example.com. Wear warm clothing, bring a watch, a torch and a compass (if you have one).
To all of those people who did the Lyrebird Survey this map can give an indication of what was going on this year.Geographic Information System (GIS) software was used to plot the location of all of the monitoring sites. Then the lines coming out from each site were drawn using the information that all the volunteers recorded during the survey. Once all the lines have been drawn we can then find points where several lines from different monitoring points intersect. At these points we can be confident that there was a Male Lyrebird calling during the survey period.
It’s on again. The Friends of Tarra Bulga are looking for interested volunteers to participate in our Annual Lyrebird Survey on Saturday June the 2nd. It involves an early start, people need to be at the Tarra Bulga National Park at 6am so we can get organised to get to our monitoring positions before sunrise. The survey itself only takes half an hour and after that a cooked breakfast is on the menu. If you would like to come along you need to contact ranger Craig Campbell on 5172 2508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wear warm clothing, bring a watch, a torch and a compass (if you have one).
We had a great turn out for the annual lyrebird survey on June 4thwith 28 volunteers turning up. This included 8 scouts from Sale and their leaders and it was great to see a number of new volunteers.
Fortunately the rain held off but windy conditions meant that listening out for Lyrebird calls was a little tricky. People in more sheltered positions were lucky to hear good numbers of birds calling but people in the outlying areas e.g. Ranger Craig (stationed at the depot) did not hear as much of a chorus of calls as he would have hoped. A number of the scouts were very excited at the number of birds they heard and did extremely well to locate their stations in thedark given at least one marker post had been pulled out of the ground and hidden in the scrub prior to the survey. Evidently the scouts had a great time as they indicated they would be back next year to have another go.
A superb first up breakfast was provided by the new proprietors of the guest house (Nic and Steve) as a follow up to their great effort for the annual friend’s dinner. Thank you to Loy Yang Power for donating some funds to support the breakfast. It is probably a good thing that the count only happens once a year given the early start but it is certainly a great event, with the highlight certainly being the experience of hearing the wake up calls of the birds as the sun rises in the rainforest.
If you would like to hear about upcoming activities such as the upcoming 2012 Lyrebird Count – please submit your details in the form below.