The K2C surveys this autumn were able to be held in the usual format of small teams surveying several sites on multiple properties before meeting up for lunch at Scottsdale Reserve. We covered 36 site across 21 properties
on a fine, mild partly cloudy morning (two of the properties were surveyed on a different morning).
A total of 87 species were recorded which is a typical number for the autumn surveys. After the extremely wet summer, most sites had long rank grass (and weed) growth, and plenty of new shoots on the trees and shrubs
at planted sites. It was exciting to see the bountiful growth reflected in a great breeding season for many species, particularly the threatened species. Small family groups or immature birds were recorded for
Hooded Robin (4 properties), Diamond Firetail (4 properties), Brown Treecreeper (4 properties),
Scarlet Robin (6 properties) and Dusky Woodswallow (7 properties). Other threatened species recorded were
Speckled Warbler (3), Gang-gang (2), Varied Sittella and
Flame Robin (1). Interestingly the Double-barred Finch was recorded at 4 properties which is the most we have recorded during the surveys. A few summer migrants were still present including
Noisy Friarbird, White-throated Gerygone, Rufous Whistler, Olive-backed Oriole, Tree Martin and
Rufous Songlark. Although the weather was fine it wasn’t ideal for the honeyeater migration and only small flocks of
Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters were recorded. The weather on the following day when the remaining two sites were surveyed was clearer and calmer and honeyeater migration was much more pronounced with several hundred birds counted during
the 20 minutes.
We would like to thank the landholders who allow us onto their properties, several of them joining in for the surveys. And thanks to Bush Heritage for allowing us to meet up at Scottsdale and covering the cost of lunch.
Most of all I would like to thank all the COG participants who have helped out since the first surveys in 2010. The consistency of the biannual surveys has created a valuable dataset which we recently shared with the
University of Queensland and the NESP Threatened Species Research Hub for analysis of which management actions can benefit woodland birds.
Evidence-based management protocols for recovery of multiple threatened woodland birds (nespthreatenedspecies.edu.au)
. The K2C surveys as well as data from the Greening Australia Birdwatch project (which COG also assisted with) were analysed and resulted in a publication last year
http://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13610. This paper highlights not only the benefit of particular management actions (replanting and control of stock grazing) for birds but also the valuable role of citizen scientists
in documenting this.