Splish, splash, they were taking a bath…

    Most visitors to Worlds End Conservation will know that we have had a water trough – effectively a bird bath – set up in the garden area of the Read Creek Hills cottage for a few years now. It’s common for visitors to the cottage to see birds visiting the trough through the kitchen window. Also, its become very common to see bees and wasps visiting the trough, especially in summer. Last year I decided to leave a trail camera out facing the trough to see what happens when no-one is around. This took a little while to sort out as my first attempt had the camera facing into some trees which resulted in most shots being triggered by branches moving in the wind. More recently I have moved the camera into a position where it faces the static side of the cottage, and while this does result in some glare problems at some times of the day, we have started to get some really interesting results, certainly enough to keep doing it. During summer, bees and wasps arrive around 11am and stay until after 7pm. Most, but not all, birds don’t like showing up while the bees are around. As a consequence most birds have been visiting just after sunrise and just before sunset, with a few surprising visitors appearing at night. So without further ado, let’s present some of our visitors from the last few months! Some are expected, but a few are not! A stunning Brown Goshawk visited several times during the middle of the day, and had a long bath even with all the bees around… Groups of Mallee Ringneck Parrots were fairly frequent visitors…and Red Wattlebirds too… At this stage birds perching on the camera moved it, luckily not far enough to ruin the view… Here’s one I wasn’t expecting, a Grey Butcherbird…   Here a Little Raven and a Galah have a disagreement.. . Lots of Adelaide Rosellas would turn up in groups… White-winged Choughs are so commonly heard around our properties we were bound to catch a few of them… To my surprise the most common birds at the trough were the wonderful Grey Currawongs, either singly or in groups of two or three… Possibly a Singing Honeyeater? Lots of Pee Wees (aka Murray Magpies or Magpie-Larks). There were also ‘normal’ Magpies around… We also got the occasional night shot. On several occasions we saw Common Bronzewings drinking after dark. The tilting camera helped us spot the odd non-avian interloper too,

Local native plants transform a sheep paddock at Worlds End

This is the first of our occasional blogs about volunteer activities at Worlds End Conservation and the fascinating animals and plants we’re discovering there. Enjoy! Worlds End Conservation volunteers have planted the next batch of healthy native plants in the old sheep paddocks at the edge of Read Creek Hills. Seeds from a  range of plants were collected on the property and propagated by our botanist member Phil Bagust. All  planted as part our vision to transform the old paddocks into a thriving ecosystem reflective of what would originally have occurred on their gentle slopes. Volunteers also equipped each plant with a sturdy wire mesh guard to deter the roos that might seek to overturn or nibble them. Phil’s seedlings are a healthy size so hopefully the mice won’t take them out this year! It’s great to see earlier plantings take off with the more than average rains we’ve had over the last year. What with revegetation activities, bird, plant, possum, bat and reptile surveys and Bush Tucker walks at Worlds End Conservation there is no shortage of interesting projects for everyone to get out in the fresh air and enjoy!  

Arts and Crafts at Worlds End Conservation

A recent gathering of seven artist members and friends of Worlds End Conservation transformed fabrics and garments into a celebration of the leaves and twisty bark of eucalypts gracing our front paddocks. Sharing skills, crafting garments and enjoying sunrises, walks up creeks and gorges in the wild windy weather – couldn’t have been better!  

Local plants transform a sheep paddock at Worlds End

This is the first of our occasional blogs about volunteer activities at Worlds End Conservation and the fascinating animals and plants we’re discovering there. Enjoy! Worlds End Conservation volunteers have planted the next batch of healthy native plants in the old sheep paddocks at the edge of Read Creek Hills. Seeds from a  range of plants were collected on the property and propagated by our botanist member Phil Bagust. All  planted as part our vision to transform the old paddocks into a thriving ecosystem reflective of what would originally have occurred on their gentle slopes. Volunteers also equipped each plant with a sturdy wire mesh guard to deter the roos that might seek to overturn or nibble them. Phil’s seedlings are a healthy size so hopefully the mice won’t take them out this year! It’s great to see earlier plantings take off with the more than average rains we’ve had over the last year. What with revegetation activities, bird, plant, possum, bat and reptile surveys and Bush Tucker walks at Worlds End Conservation there is no shortage of interesting projects for everyone to get out in the fresh air and enjoy!  

Robins in the Neighbour-Hood

This pair of Hooded Robins was seen during the recent autumn surveys of our 20 survey sites at Hallelujah Hills and Read Creek Hills. Our expert bird surveyors Sam Gordon and Darcy Whittaker recorded all sightings on our Birdlife Australia Birdata account. We are also capturing photos of night birds on our wildlife cameras – see this one of an Owlet Nightjar –frequent and noisy night-time residents!                                         Owlet Nightjar

News from Worlds End Conservation

Citizen Science at Worlds End Conservation We’re all scientists, if we know what we’re looking at or for, to monitor or measure! For the last 3 years, we’ve been: amateur ornithologists, closely supervised and educated by professionals, doing bird netting and banding and bird surveys; botanists, with the help of Trees For Life, planting and monitoring Olearia pannosa (silver daisies – see the report below) and looking at our plants through the eyes of rare plant spotters, Phil and Judy; bat and western pygmy possum monitors using an Anabat sound recorder and endoscope (4 bat species recorded, no possums seen yet); lomandra grasslands grazing trial monitors, trained by ecologists to identify plants by ecological function. And in the near future: reptile and frog surveyors, directed by Reptile and Frog Group and other experts (March long weekend 2023); bird surveyors, continuing our 3 years of 20 minute, 2 hectare surveys for Birdata, the national data base, hopefully supported by Birds SA members at one of their field trips in 2023. Other possible surveys we’d love to do include mammals, insects, spiders (not me personally, someone braver!), butterflies – something to suit every one!   Most of the previous projects will continue as long as we want to be scientists, with wonderful support and interest from experts, who simply love being on WEC and working with us! Other project ideas are most welcome.  

Working bees and activities for 2022

Now it’s cooling down, working bees and activities are due to begin for 2022. Come along and join in a range of activities from monitoring pygmy possum boxes to clearing fence lines – something to suit any interest and capability!

Bird Banding Success in October 2021

A total of 77 birds were netted in our second bird banding weekend in Ocotber 2021 with the Grey-shrike Thrush, Hooded Robin, Rufous Whistler and White-winged Chough netted for the first time. Six birds banded in 2020 were re-captured showing good health in spite of the dry 2020 year. Looks like habitat resources at Worlds End are holding up well!

New Plant and Bird photos

Take a look at our Research & Resources web page for great photos of  plants and birds at Hallelujah Hills and Read Creek Hills. Up to date plant and bird lists and reports are also featured.