Newsletter September 2017 | www.BellarineLandcare.org.au
Bellarine Landcare Group Newsletter
The Bellarine Landcare Group (BLG) aims to preserve, protect and enhance the natural environment of the Bellarine Peninsula.
There was strong attendance and participation from all over the state.
The Victorian Landcare Council's website is at http://www.vlc.org.au/
Migratory Birds of the Bellarine
Shorebirds of the Bellarine Peninsula was the focus in the second week of May, with a very passionate Craig Morley from the Geelong Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and Birdlife Australia talking to the BLG Information Meeting about this important topic.
38 species of shorebirds or waders are regularly found on the Bellarine Peninsula, at times in their thousands; some of them migrate to the northern hemisphere over our winter and others are year round residents in Australia. Craig showed us some wonderful photos taken locally of shorebirds and talked about the importance of all the wetlands on the Bellarine - including places like the Cheetham Saltworks, as providing vital habitat niches for these birds.
Red knecked Stints weighing barely 30 gms, or '60% of a chook egg' can fly to the Northern hemisphere and back - 26,000 km in one year, leaving in March or April, and stopping to refuel on marine worms in the wetlands of Asia before continuing on to the Arctic tundra. Contrary to what we may think about these birds, somehow catching thermals which allow them to glide, they actually flap their wings the whole way.
On the Saturday 14, twenty people gathered at Lake Victoria, Pt Lonsdale, to learn to identify these 'enigmatic' birds. Many of us were new to bird watching, and under the guidance of our expert birdos, Craig Morley along with John Newman from Birdlife Austrlia and GFNC and Rod Corinaldi, we spotted Red-capped Plovers, Black-fronted Dotterels, Banded Stilts and Red-knecked Avocets.
Thanks to our birdos for generously sharing their knowledge and to Parks Victoria's Brooke Conner and to Birdlife Australia's Fiona Blandford for organising the day.
We all had a wonderful time and plans are afoot for another bird watching session later in the year - a 'welome home' when the birds arrive back from their long flights from the northern hemisphere. Globally, shore birds are under increasing threats as their habitats are destroyed. Locally, we can take action by ensuring that places such as Cheeham Saltworks/Moolap wetlands are protected.
Craig Morley showing Brook Conner and family birds through the scope.
The CSIRO report (referred to below) is not new but important readoing for those concerned about rabbits.
This article is available in full from http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR9950253.htm
(i) Removing surface harbour for rabbits; this may comprise piling logs and brambles and burning them, removal of bracken and scrub, and removing rocks or piling them and fencing the piles.
(ii) High effort and expenditure in initial control; this may comprise initial poisoning where rabbit densities are moderate or high or where surface harbour is plentiful and difficult to remove, ripping warrens, and fumigating those warrens that cannot be ripped. Use of dogs to keep rabbits underground is recommended strongly.
(iii) Repeated maintenance control; time intervals may be increased progressively on the basis of monitoring and practicality.
(iv) Monitoring rabbit abundance and, if possible, impact on valued resources, in order to schedule maintenance control before population increase causes costs to increase above the projected decline in maintenance control
*** Please note that the next rabbit field day will be held on Friday 15th July at the Curlewis Golf Course. It will be open to all and the techniques for working in an integrated way on rabbit abatement and destruction will be deomonstrated.
The Drysdale Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre.
Open forum (questions and answer session) between 7:00pm and 8:00pm.
Calling for HelpBLG would like to know if you can help with propagating plants in our nursery, walking and weeding along the Rail trail, planting Indigenous plants on properties where the BLG is providing plants. Please don't hesitate to contact our facilitator (email@example.com).
Last week's Blitz!
Beth Ross taught participants about native grasses and their use in house lawns at a Blitz in Wallington recently.
Wallaby grasses of several strains have simply 'appeared' where kykuyu, rat's tail, oxalis, buffalo and other grasses have been hand-weeded.
Wallaby grass does not grow high, is happy during summer and so makes a pretty, soft lawn that needs no mowing or watering.
Image from Native Grasses Pty Ltd who offer lots of information about native grasses and sell native grass seeds. See:
Bellarine Blitz! are about us helping ourselves
The latest Blitz! was a very successful event. 15 workers and some observers participated: 5 worked hard removing weeds from the wallaby grass lawn and 10 dug out piles of the dreaded agapanthus - nice in the right place but a blight in the nature strips.
Landholders who participate can invite others to their property to help with boring chores - spreading mulch, planting, and other tasks. After 2 hours' work, participants enjoy simple light lunch and chatter. Everyone agrees these events are very successful and the landholders are especially grateful for the help.
If you would like some help, don't hesitate to contact our Facilitator Sophie.
World Environment Day Planting
Sunday 05 June 2016, 10:00am - 02:00pm
Please help the Fitzgerald family to create habitat for wildlife on their property adjoining Lake Connewarre through planting wildlife corridors of indigenous vegetation.
Wear sturdy boots, long pants and clothes appropriate for the weather conditions. BYO waterbottle and gloves.
Location Address provided upon registration
Contact Sophie Small 0457 333 727 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BLG needs volunteers to rally -