The Blackburn Creeklands is blessed with an amazing diversity of native birdlife – more than 90 species of residents and visitors have been identified. In 2012, a program of Bird Counts started. These biannual surveys are conducted on a Saturday morning in Autumn and Spring and are led by experts. The community is invited to join in – no special expertise is required to participate. The results for our bird counts are listed below the map.
Our next Bird Count will be in Autumn, 2018. We meet at the Scout Hall in Pakenham Street – near Laburnum Primary School. There should be plenty of car parking available on the day.
- Spring 2017: Saturday, October 21st, 2017
- Autumn 2017: Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
- Spring 2016: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
- Autumn 2016: Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
- Spring 2015: Saturday, October 24th, 2015
- Autumn, 2015: Saturday, April 18th, 2015
- Spring, 2014: Saturday, October 18th, 2014
- Autumn, 2014: Saturday, April 26th, 2014
- Spring, 2013: Saturday, October 26th, 2013
- Autumn, 2013: Saturday, April 27th , 2013
- Spring, 2012: Saturday, October 27th , 2012
- Autumn, 2012: Saturday, April 28th , 2012
You will readily see and hear well known species such as the Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeets and Australian Magpie – but there are many less well known birds such as the Pardalotes living in the park.
How it’s done
Survey walks usually start at 07:30 and aim to finish at about 09:30. The correlation of results inside the Scout Hall over a cuppa usually takes a further hour – although most attend, it is an entirely optional “icing on the cake” for the morning.
Groups of about a dozen people head off walking in different directions in the park led by one of our experts. Each group has a person drafted as recorder with clipboard, pen and bird sighting log forms. Every bird species encountered by the group is recorded in the log together with the general location of the sighting and the number of birds. After walking an hour and a half or so, the groups reconvene at the Scout Hall and the observation logs are consolidated into one – while morning tea is hungrily consumed.
For the inexperienced, it is a highly interesting and educational morning revealing the park’s birdlife as a largely “hidden dimension” most of us see and hear at a more superficial level. Typically, our experts are able to locate many species usually invisible to the rest of us through their knowledge of bird calls and habits – particularly, the smaller varieties. There is also the opportunity to ask questions of the experts about the birds we are studying in their natural habitat in the fresh air (beats reading books in a musty library!).
Knowledgeable locals also show us points of interest they’ve previously noticed such as the nesting sites of Tawny Frogmouths. Naturally, all members of the groups, including sharp-eyed youngsters, can make the initial observations.
You should wear sensible clothing/footwear and bring cameras and binoculars if you wish. Also, please join us for a morning cuppa afterwards when the results are consolidated.