Sixth annual spring bird survey
Thirty different bird species were recorded in this year’s survey, led by Judy Christie, commencing at 7am on Sunday 28 October, which equals the highest number of species recorded. The overall number of 459 birds seen was also a great achievement. Having more surveyors enabled us to cover more areas and see more birds. The newly opened up parkland in Harold Park was included for the first time, and although it is not rich in bird life, the survey provides a baseline for future surveys.

The dominant species were the same as in previous years – Rainbow Lorikeets followed by Noisy Miners. The increase in numbers of Noisy Miners and the prevalence of the species across all areas is concerning as this species actively excludes other birds, especially small native birds, from its territory. Nevertheless, there was a diversity of species seen, often in pairs, for example Willy Wagtails, Magpie-Larks and Red Wattlebirds, suggesting breeding opportunities. Species seen in 2018 for the first time included the Tawny Frogmouth in Orphan School Creek. Red-rumped Parrots and Galahs were also first-timers, possibly an indication of birds more commonly seen inland coming to the coastal areas due to drought conditions.

Once again our target species, the Superb Fairy-Wren, was not sighted in Glebe or Forest Lodge. However, as these birds have now lost their previous habitat in the Rozelle rail yards site and have been seen or heard in nearby Annandale since that site was cleared, there is every possibility that they could turn up in our suburbs, if there is suitable habitat. Keep looking out for them!

Thank you to the 18 volunteers who helped to make a very successful and enjoyable morning.

Some of the 18 volunteers who worked on the Spring Bird Survey as they assembled at 6.45am in Paddy Gray Reserve: Helen Randerson, Tony Tan, Andrew Wood, Judy Christie, Bob Richards, Julie Richards, Sue Copeland, Robert Hannan, David Watson, Jeanette Knox and Madeleine Jennings (image: Anne Britt).

Updates from our bushcare volunteers
The Friends of Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group found that the planned watering in the park was unnecessary due to the recent rain. The rain has disrupted the weekly work of the Glebe Bushcare Group over the last few months but when possible they have been weeding and removing low-level littering (paper, plastics, food waste etc). Regarding John Street Reserve and St James Park, Sophie Golding, Urban Ecology Coordinator for the City of Sydney, has reported that the City will be appointing new bush regeneration contractors to undertake the care and maintenance of the sites, commencing in May 2019. From the start, it is important that the new contractors liaise with the local community and the City’s arborist about the special needs for the sites. In Paddy Gray Reserve the native flora planted in July are doing well and the sinkhole in the north eastern corner of the lower section of the Reserve has been filled-in. Local residents will be watering in the Reserve over December and January. The Ferry Rd Bushcare Group continue to collect rubbish and do spot weeding; watering of recently planted Lomandra will be necessary if there is no further rain.

One hundred native seedlings were planted in October by the Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group, and watering, weeding and removal of rubbish (including syringes and condoms) continue. The Group was successful in obtaining a grant of $4,000 from the City to purchase tools and a storage shed. They have, however, been unable to accept the grant as the City has still not provided a satisfactory personal accident insurance policy to cover the work of their volunteer members (the present unsatisfactory insurance policy requires the Group to pay the first $500 of any accident claim). The saga over the past three years of attempts by the Group to have a water tap installed in the lower part of the park continues. Sydney Water say that the site for the tap is owned by Transdev, the operators of the light rail, who will not give permission to access the land to install the tap, despite the Group working there regularly to plant native flora!