Binginwarri Landcare Group Newsletter No. 5 Thursday 4th November 2010
Apart from People
Animals, birds and insects are an integral part of land management. Many people are under the misapprehension that native animals are pests. Studies have shown, for example, that Kangaroos (in large populations) in sheep grazing areas eat approx. 3% of the pasture compared to what the sheep eat. This is insignificant.
Many people consider a good insect is a dead insect. Insects play a major role in maintaining the balance of nature and our land. We should use these to our benefit - not destroy them because of our ignorance of them. (Mosquitoes might be considered as an exception to this notion!!) And what about our lovely flies John? J Ed.
Birds also play a vital role in maintaining good balance.
People – well people generally just seem to grab what they can, ignoring the land, animals, birds, insects, etc. and the general balance of nature.
This is generally due to peoples’ ignorance of how nature works
So let’s get less ignorant and learn about how nature works on this earth of ours.
The following are from The Australian Framework for Landcare , byCoral Love, Chair of the Reference Group responsible for developing the framework on behalf of Landcare communities.
“The Landcare approach is based on the philosophy that people from all communities and cultures can actively take responsibility for the health of Australia’s environmental assets – it’s in our hands.”
“Landcarers have an important leadership role within their communities in addressing ongoing and emerging challenges associated with the risks of climate change, access to safe food and water supplies, and the stability and health of environmental assets across the country”.
Check out their website – click the above link (in red.)
John offered that piece above after our last meeting and practice bird watching on 1st August at my house. As was the piece below from yet another Hedley Rd resident (I swear this newsletter is not the “Hedley Range Rd Rambler”, nor were these two articles written by myself !!)
A LOVELY DAY BY ELIZABETH STEINKI
On Sunday the 1st August a group gathered together after climbing out of our warm beds to hurry to Kaye and Roy's home to discover what and how to look at the birds in our area.
But first we had a Landcare meeting to discuss the fees and charges and where we go from here, the long and short of it was that we decided that Kaye should still be the ‘keeper of the tin’ and would remain at $20 per family per year, which covered $10 per family for insurance on Landcare missions and the remaining $10 would be spent on small administration costs, (those that wanted snail-mail newsletters, postage, printing etc.) Any left over amounts would be spent on a social function held during the year for the Bingi Landcare group.
And the ‘where do we go from here’ bit is that for the first time Kaye got any replies at all to the Newsletter, was after requesting information about our local wildlife. Another topic we were interested in was “what types of edible native plants are in our area” so that is on the agenda as well. Obviously that proves we as a group like talking about what we see and learning about so we will try to get more things happening along those lines.
Also at a recent Landcare meeting in the Binginwarri hall we all advised the Landcare Network about what we would like done in our area so we have asked for an update of that situation. The feeling was that a lot of those jobs were contracted out and might be completed by now. (Refer back to your July newsletter Elizabeth, as there was some information in there! Ed.)
So the meeting, that was facilitated by Jenny, who had cycled from Devon North, then ended. We got on with our BYO lunch and listened to Kaye give a good talk on how to go about looking for, and planning to look for, birds in our area, such things as checking out your bird guide before you start to have an idea of what you might see so you can recognize flight patterns, wing shapes, beak shapes, etc. How to look through your binoculars and not lose sight of the bird in flight were very good points I must say. I discovered that with Crimson Rosellas - what I thought were green females were actually juveniles, the adult females being identical to males. Also that the Blue Wren male changes between full blue and black plumage back to all-brown juvenile colours when not breeding, until they are 5 years old. You can pick the males then only by their blue-ish tails as the females have brown tails. Duh!! Kaye and Roy have a beautiful variety of birds visiting their garden and it was a pleasure to meet my neighbours and watch and film the beautiful display before our eyes. Thank you for the lovely day Kaye and Roy.
I’d like to thank Jenny Wolswinkel for being a great support to me in Landcare matters, throughout my current difficulties. For someone not belonging to our group you’ve been a very positive brick! Thank You J
Does anyone out there have a story or opinion piece they’d like to put in the newsletter? Please just send it (handwritten or emailed acceptable) to me and it shall be done. The same goes for photos – if you have a Landcare-related photo or good animal or plant photo, email it to me (or loan it to me to scan) and we can put it in.
Margaret Kelso has sent in a lovely story that I reproduce here -
Gang Gang Cockatoos at Wonyip: (sometime before June 2010)
A flock of about 30 Gang Gang’s arrived down by my sheds to drink at the open-topped concrete water tank. I had drained a bit off. The water was just within their reach if they clutched the top of the tank with their toes and bent right over, which they did. Cassie and I stood there transfixed.
I’ve never seen Gang Gang’s at Wonyip before and assume it was the wild weather in East Gippsland and Southern NSW, which drove them down from the high country and to the west.
From your editor: I get Gang Gang’s regularly here in Bingi Marg, but I have never seen that many in a group. Lovely!
BIRD AND ANIMAL SIGHTINGS:
Have you all made your lists up yet (of all the animals and birds you see at YOUR place) and just haven’t gotten around to sending them off to me? I expect you’ve forgotten! Well please do it soon, I’ve run out of jobs and work to do! Yeah, right!!
There is a new site on the Internet where we will be able to record all of our sightings on an interactive mapping tool. The Norman Wettenhall Foundation provides access to it and as the JARR Project is a partner with the NWF, you and I will soon know how to use it when the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network teaches those of us who want to use it, how to. In the meantime have a look at the site – www.jarrproject.com
BUSH GUARDIANS GRANTS OPEN NOW:
These grants can assist community groups to undertake and manage on-ground works for the protection of threatened species on public lands across Victoria. If you feel you might be able to suggest a suitable project, please contact me for an application form. Kaye 5185 1398
NEXT ISSUE: One of the lead articles will be about the new coal exploration areas, close by on our pristine coasts. The news that it was happening was given to me by one of our new members in the area, Paul Fayolle. Thanks Paul and welcome to the group.