The 5th Macedon Ranges Bird Blitz!
Council’s bird monitoring program involves 80 bird monitoring sites across our reserves and roadsides. We are so fortunate to have volunteers assisting us, as these surveys help us assess the health of our local environment, and we could not do these surveys without the community’s help!
Twenty birding volunteers have successfully monitored almost all 80 sites – with some highlights including many nesting birds, abundant Sacred Kingfishers and a White-winged Triller at Bald Hill Reserve. A detailed report will be available once all surveys are completed, and posted here. We would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to all of our volunteers!
Enthusiastic birdwatchers attended the Birding for Beginners workshop on Sunday 15 October at the beautiful Woodend Five Mile Creek. To read more about it Click here for Birding for beginners report.(PDF, 496KB)
A series of Bird Walks for beginners ‘an hour along Jacksons Creek’ attracts 5-10 participants a month and is a great way to introduce people to the birds we share our lives with – magpies, herons, ducks and of course the smaller bush birds! These bird walks are ongoing – see here to book
A small but engaged group of birdwatchers attended the Bird Blitz Volunteer Workshop on Sunday 22 October 2023. The guest speaker was Dr Jess Lawton, Bird Monitoring Coordinator at Connecting Country who shared insights into the secrets of success for citizen science biodiversity monitoring. Click the link to see Bird Blitz for Volunteers report(PDF, 338KB).
All in all, this months’ Bird Blitz and Bird Month has had 64 participants – and that is not even including the Aussie Bird Count participants. We will have these final figures when we receive our Aussie Bird Count Report from BirdLife Australia!
Bird Blitz 2022
The Bird Blitz day scheduled for 16 October 2022 was cancelled due to severe weather and flooding – but the birds were still surveyed! Bird surveys were undertaken at 84 monitoring sites across the shire by 15 staff and volunteers. The event recorded 86 species with greater species diversity observed in the Mount William, Upper Coliban and Kyneton Biolinks, as shown in Figure 1 in the 2022 Bird Blitz Report.(PDF, 500KB)
- The Grey Fantail and the Crimson Rosella were the two most observed species.
- Surprisingly, the Yellow-faced Honeyeater was observed more frequently than Australian Magpie.
- A Peregrine Falcon was recorded at Red Gap Road in the Mount William biolink.
The outcomes of Council’s annual Bird Blitz will become more meaningful each year as annual data is able to be compared and trends are able to be observed.
On Saturday 23 October 2021, we coordinated 84 bird surveys across the shire as part of the annual Bird Blitz event.
Some notable findings were:
- A pair of nesting Bassian Thrush were detected on Mount Macedon. This is the first every record of this species on the mount.
- A rare, all-white (leucistic) Grey Currawong was spotted in Lancefield.
- Satin Flycatchers were detected at several sites with few official records of this species prior to our surveys.
- A Brown Quail was also recorded at Mount Gisborne with only 7 official records of this species in the shire
In the 2020 Macedon Ranges Bird Blitz, 94 species were recorded including five threatened species across twelve sites. The surveys recorded 2,575 individual bird observations. All records have been uploaded to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA).
There were some interesting sightings including five threatened species, the first official record of Brush-Bronzewing Pigeons, and the occurrence of unusual visitors such as the Nankeen Night Heron and Scarlet Honeyeaters. Future surveys will help determine if these species represent a growing trend in bird movements or if these were isolated observations.
For full survey details on our Bird Blitz, view our survey report for 2020(PDF, 2MB)
On 19 October 2019, we hosted our inaugural Bird Blitz with 83 citizen scientists undertaking 58 bird surveys across the shire. In the days following, an additional 20 surveys were completed by Council, the Woodend Bird Observers Group and other community volunteers. A survey of 79 sites across the Macedon Ranges has revealed some exciting discoveries and rare bird species found within the region.
Significantly, the bird surveys recorded 2,769 new observations and a total of 97 different species. Five of the bird species are listed as threatened including White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pied Cormorant, Hardhead Duck, Brown Treecreeper and Black-chinned Honeyeaters.
Other interesting discoveries included White-winged Trillers, a rare visitor to the region, in large numbers across multiple sites around Kyneton and an unusual observation of a Western Gerygone was recorded in Barringo.
For full survey details on our Bird Blitz, view our survey report for 2019(PDF, 3MB)
The 2019 survey was the first of its type in the Macedon Ranges and an important milestone in the implementation of our Biodiversity Strategy. All survey data and information will form a long-term dataset which will allow us to monitor landscape changes and threats to biodiversity.