The Regent Honeyeater Project has an exciting list of sites to plant this year as we continue into our 23rd year of rehabilitation and landscape connection.
Over that time we have recorded an increase in the number of Grey-crowned Babbler (50 to 116) who operate in family groups and can be counted; a much wider range for the Brush-tailed Phascogale in nesting boxes; sightings in the Lurg Bird Search of rarer birds in the listed Victorian temperate-woodland bird community such as Diamond Firetail, Painted Honeyeater and many others. The Regent Honeyeater itself remains listed as Critically Endangered and rarely seen. We appreciate the help we have been given over the years and with Ray now in retirement we are continuing in his footsteps as we link the Lurg Hills to Winton Wetlands and the Chesney Hills.
Due to a strict cut-off date for the completion of a 5-year funding cycle, we need to have most of our planting completed and reported before the end of this financial year and with that in mind have set the dates for the planting weekends as:
then 3 weeks till
If you can join us for any of the early weekends that will be greatly appreciated. The weather here that time of the year can be glorious and with changing climate we are committed to planting much earlier to avoid the drying spring tendency and then the risk to hand water plants over a long, hot summer.
The nest box inspection weekends that are usually carried out in autumn will be on hold again this year as we deal with the urgency around getting plants into the ground and OH&S issues around ladder heights. We will resume these inspections in the near future.
Please note that:
- the Sunday of the 1st weekend 12/13 May is Mothers day but that we had to avoid the following weekend as it is the V8 Supercars at Winton Raceway and tends to change the vibe of the area, and what better thing to do on Mothers day than planting habitat for endangered wildlife.
- we have as usual avoided July when the weather is traditionally poor, although there is a Scouts planting weekend on the 21st of July ( their choice).
- there is only one planting weekend planned for September as we have found over the last many years that while the weather improves the ground is often hard and dry any later than this, and results can be poorer.
- there are more weekends than usual as we have a lot to do, but also I am committed to calling a weekend off if the 4-day forecast shows inclement weather expected, so book in early with the knowledge that you will not be committing to a wet day.
- we will be able to provide the same free accommodation as in the past ( mattresses at the Guide and Scout Hall in Benalla ) and as in the past will provide an evening meal on the Saturday and an on-site lunch on Sunday before heading home, both at no charge.
- as we get closer to the dates we will confirm other activities which will also be happening over the planting weekends (talks, bush dance etc)
Please find below a photo taken by Glen Johnson last year in the nearby Chiltern Box-Ironbark Forest of a released captive breed Regent Honeyeater feeding its chicks in a nest in a Eucalypt Tree. You can check our Facebook site for other photos as well.
We look forward to catching up over the planting season.
Don't leave it to someone, be the someone!