Re: Blackberries

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re: Blackberries
From: "Greg Clancy" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 22:21:07 +1100
Hi all,
Yesterday Ken Shingleton and I disturbed a Lewin's Rail at Boyter's Lane, Jerseyville which called as we closed the car doors.  It was in roadside weeds that Ken told me had been previously slashed by the Council when the rails were nesting there.  It called from beneath a clump of blackberries growing in long grass.  I cast my mind back to other Lewin's Rail records that I had made.  The first bird that I ever saw flew into my mist net at Tumbi Umbi, in the early 1970's, from a blackberry clump.  In the early 1980's Lewin's Rails were often detected in blackberries at Dharug National Park.  More recently Russell Jago, Keith Kendall and I recorded a number of calling birds at Forster, in blackberry patches.  Blackberries are noxious weeds and should be controlled but, just like Lantana, they do provide cover for a multitude of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.  Any weed control programme needs to be combined with regeneration (natural or planted) of local native species that would have provided suitable habitat before the weeds were introduced.  I support the slowly, slowly, careful approach.
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