01 September, 2014

Recap on the August 2014 Tree Planting

Despite a dire weather forecast, the tree planting and Regent Honeyeater surveys on 15-17th August were completed successfully.  The forecast rain conveniently held off until after planting was completed on Saturday. It then rained overnight, providing useful supplementary watering for the plants, and cleared up in the morning to provide good conditions for the surveys. 

A total of 2944 trees and shrubs were planted on an area of approximately 7 ha, extending over 2 adjoining properties on Crown Station Road.  The site (see attached photo) is steep and rocky which complicated planting and, particularly, watering and unfortunately made it necessary to locate car parking some distance from the main planting area. However, despite these difficulties, planting was completed by about 4 pm, although  watering extended well into the following morning. 

In spite of the gloomy weather forecast, the planting was well-attended, with around 140 people taking part on Saturday, including a busload of 56 volunteers and staff from Taronga Zoo.  In addition, students from the Glen Alice Primary School came out on the Thursday  to help with the laying out and to do a little planting.  A big thank you to all who took part in the weekend. A special thanks to all those who also came on Thursday to help with the laying out which was more onerous than usual because of the steep terrain. Thank you also to everyone who participated in the surveys and helped the Landrover Owners Club team finish the watering on Sunday.

No Regents were seen on any of the survey sites on the Sunday morning (or anywhere else in the valley over the weekend), although this was not surprising given the dearth of recent sightings and the lack of flowering in the valley at present. It will be interesting to see whether this situation changes for the September and October surveys. The September and October surveys are coordinated by Cumberland Bird Observers Club and Birding NSW respectively. Anyone who is interested in taking part in these surveys should contact Jane Miller (CBOC -  janemiller@pnc.com.au ) or Douglas Bateman (Birding NSW; douglasbateman@yahoo.com).

An illustrated article on the planting was published in the Mudgee Guardian on 18th August and can be viewed on the Guardian’s website (http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/2492974/saving-the-regent-honeyeater-project-showing-results-photos/?cs=12#slide=1

A pair of child’s sunglasses was found on the site. If these belong to you please contact Pixie at BirdLife Southern NSW and we will arrange to get them back to you.

Mervyn Vessey is missing 3 mattocks. Two appear to have been found among the Taronga Zoo tools but one is still unaccounted for. If you have any extraneous mattocks in your possession please contact Pixie ( send photo if possible). 


Next year, there will be two plantings , as per usual. They will be held on 2-3  May and 15-16 August, so put these dates in your calendar now. Details of the next planting will be sent out in due course but if you would like to register your interest in advance, please contact Pixie. We hope to see as many of you as possible in May and/or August.

Iain Paterson

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