On Thursday 7 May at 6.30 pm in the downstairs meeting room at Benledi (Glebe Library), Dr Holly Parsons from BirdLife Australia, will give a talk to the Society entitled Little birds in a big city the lives and times of Superb Fairy-wrens. Dr Parsons is the Program Manager for Birds in Backyards and has a special interest in avian urban ecology. Her initial research study at the University of Wollongong involved a large community survey of backyard birds in the Greater Sydney region and was followed by her Doctor of Philosophy degree investigating the impact of urbanisation on Superb Fairy-wrens. Her current roles include the management of the invaluable database of surveys completed by Birds in Backyards and using birds as a way of communicating the importance of biodiversity to the broader community.

A major difficulty for the Glebe Bushcare Group has been the arrival of groups of backpackers/campers who are now living in the parking area near the wetlands adjacent to Chapman Rd; in a recent count (Saturday 7 March 2015) there were 16 ‘camping’ vehicles parked on the road. The adjacent parkland areas are filthy with dumped litter, scattered toilet paper and abandoned tents. The Australian natives planted by the local Bushcare Group are damaged and volunteer work over many years is being destroyed! The Society has asked the City to promptly take whatever action is available to it to prevent Chapman Rd and the adjacent parklands being used as a camping site, and to put a stop to the damage being caused to the native plantings.

The City has completed the restoration and repair of the wall on the western boundary of the John Street Reserve and the native flora in the adjacent area is thriving. An onsite meeting was held in the Reserve on Monday 23 February between Stephen Merchant, Senior Design Manager, City of Sydneyand local residents, the Friends of John Street Reserve Inc and members of our Subcommittee. The meeting decided that the Murrayas in the Reserve will initially be hedged to a height of 2 metres. The trees will then be progressively removed (commencing immediately) as the detoxification and reparation of the Reserve occurs and will be replaced with blue wren-friendly Australian natives It was also confirmed that the section of the Reserve dedicated to the Blue Wren Habitat and Biodiversity Demonstration Garden should be fenced so as to prevent the entry of dogs and that signs should be erected at the entrances to indicate that dogs are not permitted in this area.

The thriving native flora planted along the new retaining wall in John Street Reserve (image: Friends of John Street Reserve Inc).
The thriving native flora planted along the new retaining wall in John Street Reserve (image: Friends of John Street Reserve Inc).

The Friends of Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group held an onsite meeting with Raewyn Broadfoot, the City’s Community Garden and Volunteer Coordinator, to discuss the future work plan for the park including the removal of ‘cages’ that had been constructed around the original trees in the park (some of these trees have now died and been removed so that the surrounding barriers are no longer required). A planting day was organised by the Group for Sunday 22 March. Also, the City is holding a Community Planting Day in the park from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 18 April and will publicise the Day by distributing a flyer to local residents. All Society members are invited to attend please wear covered shoes and a hat and bring gardening gloves. The City will provide the plants and tools as well as morning tea.

The Palmerston Ave and Surrounds Landcare Group held its initial community meeting on Saturday 21 at the corner of Palmerston and Keegan Aves.