BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch eNews November 2023

Wednesday, 1 November 2023

  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Welcome to Castlemaine District eNews!

Dear Supporter,

Welcome to our eNews for November 2023.

This month’s issue includes details of our upcoming November walk in Clydesdale and Nature Journaling, a wrap up of October’s superb walk at Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant, and news on the Feathered Five. And, don’t forget to test your bird knowledge with the quiz!

November Bird Walk – Drury Lane, Clydesdale

We are delighted to announce that our next BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch bird walk will be held on Saturday 4 November at Drury Lane, Clydesdale. This is part of the Rise and Shine Nature Conservation Reserve, known as Pickpocket Diggings. The area is rich in natural and human history. Well over 100 bird species have been recorded in the area, which has three distinct plant communities. Notable species recently seen include Peaceful Dove, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Hooded Robin, Painted Buttonquail, White-winged Triller, and Dusky, Masked and White-browed Woodswallow.

Your walk leader is Damian Kelly. ALL WELCOME!

Where:  Drury Lane is located off Zumpes Road, Clydesdale. From Castlemaine, take the Pyrenees Hwy (B180) to Newstead, continue through Newstead, crossing the Loddon River and then turn left onto the Hepburn-Newstead Road (C285) / Newstead-Guildford Rd (C283). Travel approx. 3.5KM then turn right and continue on the Hepburn-Newstead Road (C285). Travel approx. 4.1KM then turn right onto Zumpes Road. You will see the BirdLife Castlemaine sign about 650mtrs along at the junction of Drury Lane.

GPS -37.167189, 144.080198

When: Meet at the corner of Drury Lane and Zumpes Road at 9:00am.

Bring: Water, snacks, binoculars, sunscreen, hat, sturdy closed-in shoes. We also recommend that you wear long trousers as there may be snakes about.

More info: Jane Rusden, 0448 900 896, Judy Hopley 0425 768 559 or Bob Dawson 0419 621 691.

Please note there are no toilets at the site.

BirdLife Castlemaine acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we will walk, the Dja Dja Wurrung people, and we pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We recognise and are grateful for the immense contribution of Indigenous people to the knowledge and conservation of Australia’s birds.

Please note that walks will be cancelled if severe weather warnings are in place, persistent rain is forecast, the temperature is forecast to be 35C or above during the walk period, and/or a Total Fire Ban is declared. Please check our Facebook page or web page the day before the event in case there is a cancellation.

Nature Journaling with BirdLife Castlemaine District

November’s nature journaling takes place at Pennyweight Children’s Cemetery, Moonlight Flat, Castlemaine.

Sit in a picturesque spot and create, finding inspiration from nature. There are some beautiful old trees to sit under and photograph or draw, and plenty of bird life.

No experience necessary.

Please note there are no toilets at the site.

What to bring / wear:

– Wear long sleeve shirt and long trousers, sunhat, and sturdy shoes.

– A small selection of art materials such as paints, pencils, pens, coloured pencils, pastels, paper, water container if applicable, camera or phone and binoculars if you have them. A bag to put it all in.

– Something to sit on, such as a camp chair or rug.

– Your sense of curiosity.

When and where: Sunday 5 November from 9:30am – 11:30am. Pennyweight Children’s Cemetery, Colles Road Moonlight Flat, Castlemaine. Location on Google Maps.

Watercolour pencil study of the Glenelg River, made on last weekend’s BirdLife Castlemaine District Campout, by Jane Rusden.

October Walk Wrap-up – Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant, Epsom

There was a great turnout for our third visit to the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant at Epsom on 7 October. It was a beautiful, clear morning and many species were seen or heard. The variety of habitat provided many sightings of both water and land birds including a pair of Black Kites and a Black-shouldered Kite! Here is the link to the list of birds recorded.

Many thanks to Coliban Water for hosting our visit, and also to Ash Vigus for this photo of a Black Kite which kept its eye on us for a while.

Community for Creatures 30 October – 5 November

This week, join BirdLife Australia and other environmental charities in celebrating Australia’s natural splendour and the unique birds that we love through creating a Community for Creatures.

From Monday 30 October to Sunday 5 November, take a simple action to show your support for wildlife, and help get the message out there: nature needs us, now.

Joining the Community For Creatures is easy. The quickest way to get involved is to share your support on social media. Let your friends and followers know that you stand with Australia’s native birds, sharing what nature means to you. Some ideas worth sharing:

– Bird photo (and why they’re a favourite),

– Pictures from a hike, walk or place you explore (and why they need protecting)

– Write a poem for wildlife

– Share a drawing depicting what nature means to you

Make sure to use the hashtags so we can share them too: #loveitsaveit #actforbirds #naturelawsnow #protectnature

…and don’t forget to tag us:
Facebook: @BirdlifeAustralia • Instagram: @birdpicsoz • Twitter: @birdpicsoz

Feathered Five – Creeping Towards Extinction

No Bird of the Month in this eNews. Instead, we’ve teamed up with Connecting Country to promote their blog posts focusing on our region’s beloved Feathered Five, three of which are now listed as threatened.

To read more about the Brown Treecreeper and the actions you can take to support conservation, click here.

Photo by Geoff Park.

Birds in My Tree

Daylesford resident Vanessa Craven has recently published a book “Birds in My Tree”.

Aimed at 4-7 year olds (and older), the book combines photos of the birds which visit Vanessa’s garden and surrounding bushland with a song. Each verse is dedicated to a different bird, with music notation, chords and lyrics provided.

There is also a bonus YouTube recording of the song with videos and still photography of birds along with the actual bird sounds and bird calls. For more information, click here.

Know Your Birds Quiz

Test your bird knowledge in this month’s quiz with the questions below, then check the answers at the end of this eNews. Big thanks as always to quizmaster Ash Vigus.

Question 1 (Easy): Multiple Choice

Which species of bird won the recent Guardian Australia / BirdLife Australia, Bird of the Year poll? Choose from the list of six below.

1. Gang-gang Cockatoo
2. Peregrine Falcon
3. Tawny Frogmouth
4. Swift Parrot
5. Australian Magpie
6. Spotted Pardalote

Question 2 (Intermediate): Spot the Feathers

All four bird species pictured below are found in the Castlemaine district; what do you think these four birds are?

Question 3 (Advanced): Multiple Choice

Australia has one bird species from the Roller family; what species is it? Choose from the list of four below.

1. Rainbow Bee-eater
2. Dollarbird
3. Redthroat
4. Mistletoebird

Follow us on Facebook

We have a BirdLife Castlemaine District Facebook page. Follow us for all the latest bird news and events.

Become a Member

Membership of BirdLife Australia is a great way to support a bright future for Australia’s birds – and it would also make a perfect gift for a bird-lover! Learn more about membership or other ways to get involved here.

Kind regards,

The BirdLife Castlemaine Committee

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Walks Calendar 2023

1 April
: Jenny Rolland and Euan Moore
Location: Spring Gully, Fryerstown

6 May
Cheryl Taylor and Ron Wescott
Location: Black Hill Reserve, Kyneton

3 June
Andrew Skeogh
Location: Private Property, Strangways

1 July
Bill Sampson
Location: Cave Gully Walk, Guildford

5 August
Tanya Loos
Location: Bald Hill Reserve, Kyneton

2 September
Rosemary and Peter Turner
Location: Pennyweight Flat, Castlemaine

7 October
Bob Dawson and Coliban Water staff
Location: Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant, Epsom

27-29 October
Weekend Bird Camp – Lower Glenelg National Park and surrounding area

4 November
Leader: Damian Kelly
Location: Drury Lane, Clydesdale

2 December
Leader: David Hewitt
Location: Crusoe No.7 Park, Big Hill (followed by end-of-year morning tea)

Quiz Answers

Question 1: The Swift Parrot won the poll, with a total of 11,174 votes.

Question 2: Clockwise from top left – Eastern Yellow Robin, Striated Pardalote, Jacky Winter, Superb Fairy-wren (female).

Question 3: The Dollarbird (also known as the Oriental Dollarbird).
A migratory species that visits northern and eastern Australia to breed from September to March. The Dollarbird is the only species of Roller to reach Australia.

BirdLife Australia, BirdLife Victoria Group, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC 3053  | castlemaine@birdlife.org.au