Working Bees Switching to Sundays

This year we are switching to hold most of our on-ground activities on Sundays. The first one is coming up this Sunday morning (March 31st). We will be meeting at the Tarra Valley Carpark at 9.30am and then heading down to our project site a bit further down the road where we will spend a couple of hours hand weeding sycamore maple, ivy and tutsan.
BYO, gloves etc but please let us know via friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com or phone 0488 035 314  if you intend to come along in case any plans need to change on the day.
Photo of Tutsan
Tutsan with some fruit ready to spread more seed into the park.

Activity Coming up this Saturday

Fire damaged re-vegetation.
Project Site in 2010, previous re-vegetation efforts were destroyed in the Black Saturday fires.

 

This Saturday July 28th, we are inviting people to join us

New Seedling
Newly planted seedling in a wire tree-guard

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: friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

 

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Project Site Showing Progress June 2018

Lyrebird Survey 2018 Results

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

 

 

Year

 

Number of Males Calling

Monitoring

Points

Covered

(out of 16)

 

 

Weather Conditions

2010 4 9
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
2015 6 12 Windy
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.

Lyrebird Count 2018 150 dpi

Tree Guard Removal – Working Bees

Friends of Tarra-Bulga have a couple of days coming up where we plan to remove wire mesh guards from successfully established trees, if we have enough volunteers we might even re-use the guards to plant some more.
Both sessions will target the area we are replanting after the 2009 fires. Parks Victoria have kindly re-cleared some access tracks to make the task a bit easier.
The first planned date is Saturday July 29th (was originally planned for the 22nd on our calendar) and the second date is Saturday, August 26th. Meeting point for both days is the visitors centre at 9.30am
If you are keen to lend a hand at either or both of these sessions please either register via email to friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com or telephone 0488 035 314. There is also an exciting new option to register for our events via www.parkconnect.vic.gov.au
Successfully grown tree
A successfully grown Mountain Ash freshly liberated from its wire tree-guard.

2017 Lyrebird Survey Results

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A bumper crew  for this years survey.
  • 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.

 

  • Results Tablea

Summary of results for the last 8 years.

Lyrebird Count 2017 150dpi

Sycamore Maple Removal

First Working Bee for 2017

Volunteer help is needed again on the first of our hands on work days for 2017. Environmental weeds are a menace and without extra help from passionate people they can quickly degrade precious habitats. On Saturday March 18th we will be continuing our ongoing efforts to keep Tutsan, Sycamore Maple, Blackberries and Ivy under control at a vulnerable site in the picturesque Tarra Valley.

No experience or prior knowledge necessary (help with weed id provided).

Meet at the Tarra Valley Picnic Area Car Park at 9.30am (finish at 12.30pm)

Tools provided (but you might like to bring along your own gloves.

For further details or to let us know you intend to come along contact us at friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com or phone David on 0488 035 314.

 

Cyathea australis - Rough tree-fern
Cyathea australis – Rough tree-fern, the broken of scaly frond bases (Stipes) on the upper part of the trunk of these ferns are a quick aid to their identification.

 

2016 Lyrebird Survey Results

In the pre-dawn darkness on Saturday the 18th of June, twenty-five volunteers and one Park Ranger were greeted with perfectly calm conditions for Tarra-Bulga National Park’s Annual  Lyrebird Survey. Overnight showers had passed by leaving moist dripping foliage in their wake.

The survey is designed to monitor the density of Lyrebirds living in 60ha comprising of wet sclerophyll and cool temperate rainforest immediately to the east of the Tarra-Bulga National Park Visitors Centre. There are sixteen monitoring points strategically placed throughout the site and volunteers move to each site before adult male Lyrebirds start their morning calls at dawn. Volunteers then use a compass to record the direction and proximity of the Lyrebird calls. This year we had enough volunteers to cover all but one of the monitoring points.

2016 Lyrebird Survey
2016 Lyrebird Survey crew ready for action.

Following the survey, lines representing the direction of the calls are plotted onto a map, and triangulation is used to establish the spots where birds were calling from. This year the results indicate we had at least nine (male) Lyrebirds calling in our 60ha zone. This corresponds to a density of one adult male Lyrebird per 6.7 ha. You can also assume that there will be female lyrebirds and immature males or non-calling males within our target area. To account for this to get our overall population of Lyrebirds we multiply the number of calling males by a factor of 2.5. It is believed that male Lyrebirds do not begin to breed until they are around 6 or 7 years old.

Summary of Tarra-Bulga National Park Lyrebird Surveys

Summary of Tarra-Bulga National Park Lyrebird Surveys

2016 Survey Map
Map showing bearings taken from monitoring points and the estimated location of calling male Lyrebirds from the 2016 survey.