Bush Heritage staff in Albany, on the south coast of Western Australia, recently hosted a group of bird enthusiasts on our Monjebup property.
The field trip was part of the Festival of Birds, which is organised each year by Green Skills and includes a variety of events around Albany and beyond. On Monjebup the group heard all about the recently completed restoration of 400 hectares of cleared farmland from Ecologist Angela Sanders.
Angela explained our monitoring program and the results of the bird surveys and fauna trapping. Of great interest were the rock piles that were scattered throughout the restored area. Ground debris, that provides cover for invertebrates, reptiles and lizards, is a scarce commodity in cleared farmland and it's one of the big challenges of restoring fauna habitat.
We were lucky on Monjebup to have large piles of rocks and mallee roots that were stock piled when the land was first cleared. The rocks have now been redistributed in smaller piles to deter their use by feral pests such as cats and foxes. These piles are also well used as look-out points for birds like the Richard's Pipit and Nankeen Kestrel.
Festival goers were also treated to an amazing display of bird photographs on canvas by photographer and Bush Heritage Volunteer, Dick Walker. The images were of stunning quality and showed our local birds in minute detail.
A day-long symposium was held in the town hall, which was full to capacity while we heard about the pollination of Kangaroo paws by Honeyeaters, bird behaviour in backyards, Wedge-tailed eagle satellite tracking, and Black-cockatoo and Muttonbird conservation.
It will be on again next year and is highly recommended for those who may be living or visiting the south coast of Western Australia.