Tasmanian Endemics and the OBP Situation at Melaleuca

To: Richard King <>
Subject: Tasmanian Endemics and the OBP Situation at Melaleuca
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 21:51:02 +1100
Does anyone know if the OBPs will still be around in the last week of Feb?


On 04/01/2012, at 1:48 PM, Richard King wrote:

> Hi All,
> First, I would just like to thank again those people that emailed me with
> information about the Tasmanian endemic sites and also the great volunteers
> at Melaleuca who kindly showed us around and helped us to get the
> Orange-bellied Parrots in the nick of time.
> My wife and I visited Peter Murrell Reserve and Bruny Island which got us
> most of the endemics pretty quickly, except for Scrubtit. Bruny Island was
> great for Forty-spotted Pardalotes, especially staying at Inala, which
> basically had them almost outside the bedroom window. During our stay we
> also searched everywhere for Swift Parrots, but couldn't find many flowering
> gums anywhere on the island or mainland. We were told by the locals it's
> been a very bad year for flowering. We couldn't get Srubtit at any locations
> (eg Ferntree) that people suggested near Hobart, but found them fairly
> common and showing well at the Cradle Mountain campgrounds and also on the
> walk to Black Bluff at Loongana. Maybe they spend the summer on higher
> grounds?
> As for the OBPs at Melaleuca, our flight package was suppose to be a full
> day, but had to be cut short to a half day, due to impending thunderstorms
> at Hobart in the afternoon.  There are always 4 variables with this flight,
> the out and back at Hobart and the in and out at Melaleuca, so be prepared
> to cut it short or not being able to fly.
> Our birding time there had been cut very short, but we were lucky to meet up
> with some helpful staff. The pilot was also great and said he would come
> along or at least point us in the right direction. My suggestion is bring a
> scope as some trees are a fair way from the track or in locations near the
> private no entry 'homes'. The old hide (which is a great 'English' style
> wooden hide) is still open but has no feeding station, hopeful it can reused
> in time. The new hide is a small tent (only about 2 people), it had an old
> scope, but don't rely on it to be there as it is used at other locations
> sometimes. The main trouble is that by the time your flight lands, most of
> the parrots have finished their morning feeding and are a lot harder to see.
> Maybe organising an overnight stay if possible, is a better option. The
> volunteers are busy, so don't rely on them to show you around.
> I think we were very lucky to see the parrots, as many entries in the
> visitors book at the old hide stated they didn't see any parrots. I know the
> parrots come first, but more birders are coming to the area, so maybe for a
> small fee (~$50) that goes to the conservation of the OBPs, a volunteer
> could be organised as a guide to always show visiting birders around (also
> keeping them in check). The money could also go towards setting up a better
> permanent new hide and arranging the location to be slightly more visiting
> birder friendly, as some other conservation locations overseas are. I know
> it's a sad situation, but for wildlife to exist in the modern world it
> almost has to pay it's way. For a vast majority of governments and general
> public, the attitude is 'if I can't make money out of it' or 'if I can go
> and see it, it might as well go into extinction'.
> Regards,
> Richard King 
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