Counting the birds » Landcarer

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Pauline Sykes
by Published on February 25, 2020

MCCL Partners with HBOC to undertake ongoing seasonal surveys of bird species.

Martindale in NSW, and particularly Medhurst Bridge in Martindale, is a renowned hotspot for bird watchers. Well-known as a particular habitat for the Painted Honeyeater in NSW each summer, local residents keenly watch for the first birdos to arrive in mid-late September each year. This annual migration flows sporadic sightings throughout the annual cycle of bird migration. Often seen on the verge of the narrow one-lane local road (and even the middle of the road), bird watchers with their incredibly long lenses and tripods are a known hazard at key times. 

Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare (MCCL), following their tag line of #dosomethingreal, has negotiated with several local landholders to gain access to the properties rather than the roadsides for these avid bird watchers. Hunter Bird Observers Club (HBOC), in return, are taking the opportunity to come to this beautiful area on a regular basis and conduct quarterly surveys. This data is then fed into the system via Birdata, and is building up a valuable record of species and seasonal migrations of many common and not-so-common bird species to be reliably found here.

MCCL and HBOC plan to produce a small publication as a guide to local bird species from this data. This would be available from both our organisations and we also hope to place it in the local Denman Information Centre. We will be seeking funding to publish this guide.

A select team of HBOC members are our regular surveyors. They arrive every three months and enjoy camping for a few nights each season. Recently they have seen increased numbers in spite of lengthy drought, possibly birds moving out to safer areas ahead of the Kerry Ridge fire, which burnt within a very short distance of some of the survey points.

Following are some pictures as eye candy for the bird watchers amongst you – no guarantee on the quality, my camera and lens fits in my pocket!

Have you been to Martindale? 

#landcare #dosomethingreal


Above: Bird watchers in Martindale at a bushland survey site



Above: Eastern spinebill



Above: What can you see, Dennis?



Above: Who's looking at who? Grey-crowned babbler



Above: Spotted pardalote



Above: Scarlet honeyeaters are tiny birds but most colourful


MCCL7.jpgAbove: Rock warbler



Above: Fan-tailed cuckoo



Above: Glossy black cockatoo



Above: Yellow-tailed black cockatoo



Above: Mrs Gang gang

Below: Mr Gang gang and baby at feeding time. This family raised their baby quite close to our house and were around for some time. What a privilege !



Above: Spiny-cheeked honeyeater serenading the world



Above: There they are again! No bird can hide from these fellows!



Above: Our local spring-fed wetlands




MCCL17.jpgAbove: Diamond firetail, one of five finch species which can be seen at Medhurst Bridge



Above: Another finch, baby Plum-headed finches



Above: Mr Hooded robin

Below: Painted honeyeater in full song. This is not bad considering I don't have the enormous lens and camera on a tripod. Very pleased to have snapped this.



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