BirdLife Castlemaine District eNews July 2023

Saturday, 1 July 2023

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Welcome to Castlemaine District eNews!

Dear Supporter,

Welcome to our eNews for July 2023.

In this issue we’ve got a wrap-up of our June walk at Strangways, details of our upcoming July walk in Guildford, and Nature Journaling. As always don’t forget to check out Bird of the Month and test your bird knowledge with the quiz!

June Walk Wrap-up

An intrepid group of 17 braved the wet weather and saw some wonderful birds, including Eastern Yellow Robin, Golden Whistler and Striated Thornbill, in addition to the birds listed on the survey which can be found here.

Many thanks to Andrew Skeoch for leading the walk at his lovely Strangways property.


July Bird Walk – Cave Gully Walk, Guildford

We are delighted to announce that our July BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch bird walk will be held on Saturday 1 July 2023 at the Cave Gully Walk, Guildford.

Guildford is a typical rural village and ex-gold mining town. The walk will head off from the Guilford Cemetery, passing through various different habitats. Possible sightings include Wedge-tailed Eagle, Whistling Kite, Red-browed Finch, Dusky Woodswallow, Scarlet, Flame and Yellow Robin, and the usual assortment of Honeyeaters, Thornbills etc. Your walk leader will be Bill Sampson.


Where: Guildford Cemetery carpark, Turner Street, Guildford. From Castlemaine, take the Midland Highway toward Daylesford, travel for approx. 11KM then once at Guildford turn left onto Turner Street (opposite the John Powell Reserve). Drive 1KM to the end of Turner Street and you will arrive at the carpark. (Note: Turner Street becomes gravel after about 150 metres from the Highway; do not follow the
bitumen as that is Franklin Street.)

GPS: -37.15783, 144.17046.

When: Meet at Guildford Cemetery carpark at 9:00am.

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

More info: Jane Rusden, 0448 900 896 or Judy Hopley 0425 768 559.

Toilets are not available at the Cemetery but there are public toilets in Guildford.

BirdLife Castlemaine acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we are holding our 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 the day before the event in case there is a cancellation.

Nature Journaling with BirdLife Castlemaine District

This month’s nature journaling takes place at Garfield Waterwheel, Chewton.

Be prepared to sit quietly in the bush, to observe the comings and goings of nature, and draw, paint, photograph, write about your experiences. No experience necessary, but you will need to be self-sufficient.

What to bring:

– Wear sturdy footwear and plenty of warm clothing. Bring water, snacks and perhaps a thermos.

– 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 – it is quite damp at the moment.

– Your sense of curiosity.

Contact Jane Rusden on 0448 900 896 with any questions.

When and where: Sunday 2 July from 9:30am – 11:30am. Meet at the Garfield Waterwheel, signposted off North Street, Chewton.

GPS-37.0726674, 144.2594324

Please note there are no toilets or shops available nearby.

Sketchbook watercolour and ink painting of Box Ironbark Forest at Smuttas Track, by Jane Rusden.

Bird of the Month – Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetails are a species in trouble, having just had their status upgraded to Endangered. This immature Diamond Firetail has its distinctive and striking red bill and red rump, but the black chest band and white spots on black flank are only just starting to appear.

Find out more here.

Photo of an immature Diamond Firetail, taken at Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve by Damian Kelly

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

From the six bird species listed below, which is native to Australia, not an introduced species?

1. Common Blackbird
2. Red-whiskered Bulbul
3. Common Starling
4. European Goldfinch
5. Welcome Swallow
6. Rock Dove

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 (Obscure)

From the four species of Duck listed below, which species is the sole member of the genus Biziura?

1. Pink-eared Duck
2. Blue-billed Duck
3. Freckled Duck
4. Musk Duck

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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, Fryerstown6 May
Cheryl Taylor and Ron Wescott
Location: Black Hill Reserve, Kyneton3 June
Andrew Skeogh
Location: Private Property, Strangways1 July
Bill Sampson
Location: Cave Gully Walk, Guildford5 August
Tanya Loos
Location: Bald Hill Reserve, Kyneton
2 September
Bob Dawson and Coliban Water staff
Location: Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant, Epsom (TBC)7 October
Rosemary and Peter Turner
Location: Pennyweight Flat, Castlemaine (TBC)27-29 October
Weekend Bird Camp – Lower Glenelg National Park and surrounding area
4 November
Leader: Damian Kelly
Location: Drury Lane, Clydesdale2 December
Leader: David Hewitt
Location: Crusoe No.7 Park, Big Hill (followed by end-of-year morning tea)

Quiz Answers

Question 1: Welcome Swallow – an endemic Australian species found in all states and Territories.

Question 2: Clockwise from top left – Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Yellow Robin, Australasian Grebe.

Question 3: Musk Duck (Biziura Lobata) – the only member of the Biziura genus.

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