Bird hides - Wonga Wetlands, Albury

Subject: Bird hides - Wonga Wetlands, Albury
From: "Matthew Herring" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 23:30:57 +1000

G'day Mick, Jill and others,

Following on from Mick's comments regarding poorly designed birdhides... I have done some simple bird surveying work for the Wonga Wetlands to prioritise areas for screening, based on the principle of getting people to the bird hides before they've flushed all the birds away. I'd simply walk around the proposed route with a detailed map and record my location when a waterbird(s) flushed, and the location of the birds that flushed, what species, how many, where they flew etc. Amazing how many you flush when you add it up (e.g. Lagoon 5, Wonga Wetlands - an average of 474 birds and 16 species for 1.5 km in 1.5 hrs) . It doesn't take many visits before you get a good feel for where screening should be implemented, and hence where birdhides should be constructed. Seasonal changes in habitat, and hence the distribution and abundance of individual species, warrants a spread of surveys in different seasons. Choice of vegetation species for planting is crucial (e.g. Phragmites vs Melaleuca), or whether some fencing like "Brushwood" (Teatree) is feasible. I am looking forward to gradual evaluation of the screening process now that some planting has taken place. Screening is used superbly at some wetlands (e.g. around Kerang, Kakadu). It can also provide additional habitat for species like Little Grassbird, Purple Swamphen, crakes, rails and bitterns. On another note, i find verandahs protuding well beyond the viewing windows in a birdhide help greatly in keeping the observers in shadow. Cheers, Matt Herring.

>Hello Jill,
>I'm sure you are fully aware of this so I'm probably wasting your
>time but
>What annoys me most about many bird hides that I've seen is that
>they might
>be perfectly adequate once you are inside them but on getting there
>have flushed most of the birdlife over to the other side of the
>Too often no-one seems to have taken into account that you need to
>visually removed from the birds on the way to the hide. The one at
>Swamp near Forbes is a classic example of a terribly designed hide.
>suspect that half the time they are designed and built by
>for birdwatchers.
>I feel much better now.....
>By the way I've been told that sometimes my return email address of
> isn't working for some people. I've no idea
>what the
>reason is but just in case someone is desperately trying to contact
>me for
>some reason (I don't know why) the following addresses should work
>for all-
>Mick Todd
>Griffith, NSW
>At 12:24 PM 29/08/01 +1000, jilldening wrote:
>>Hi All,
>>I am currently helping to design a couple of bird hides for the
>>wader roost we are building on Bribie Island, SEQld.
>>I have BOCA Report No 8: Bird-hides and Boardwalks, which is really
>>to prompt my memory of what I regard as important in such a hide.
>>I would appreciate from members any helpful comments they might
>>wish to make
>>along the lines of how it is best for the birds, what you
>>appreciate in a bird hide, or what irritates you. For instance, I
>>find it irritating that the scope sits back from the viewing hole,
>>of the space required by the tripod, and so a sloping viewing wall
>>overcome that.
>>I am not seeking to start up a major controversy, but comments
>>would be
>>helpful if you think of something useful. I think it might also be
>>interesting for list members, because surely there will be others
>>in the
>>same position as me at some time or other.
>>Birding-Aus is on the Web at
>>To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
>>"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)
>Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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>"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

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