September and October are traditionally the busiest months for education activities and this year is no exception. We started with three different activities on Friday, 8 September.
Firstly, on 8 September Pat Bingham led members of the Deepdene U3A on a birdwalk through Banyule Flats. 11 people attended and 32 species were seen and a good time had by all. Lyn Easton (who happened to be doing her regular morning walk in the area) showed them a Tawny Frogmouth on a nest. At the swamp they saw Hardheads, Chestnut Teal and Australasian Grebes. Several pairs of Red-rumped Parrots disputed over nest hollows in the old trees in the swamp. Along the Main Yarra Trail they saw a Fan-tailed Cuckoo and had a pair of Gang-gang Cockatoos fly over.
Also on Friday, 8 September Janet Hand addressed the Hawthorn Glen Combined Probus Club in Camberwell. About 60 members were present to hear about the birds found in the area. Many expressed their surprise at the large number of species around.
That afternoon Janet Hand, Bill Ramsay and Ron Hand set up our display and information stall at the Eltham Plant Expo at the Eltham Community Centre.
The Expo ran on Saturday and Sunday 9-10 September and was run by the APS Yarra Yarra branch of the Australian Plant Society. Many other ‘plant related’ organisations were present as well as many plant sales and displays. Over 700 people attended over the weekend. This number did not include the organisers and helpers at the different displays. Janet Hand was assisted over the weekend by Elizabeth Ainsworth, Daphne Hards, Susan Bailey, Sally Heeps and Anthea Fleming.
The monthly Hawthorn U3A Birdwalk on 15 September was at Wattle Park. 14 people attended on this warm morning with lovely wattles and a big patch of Nodding Greenhood orchids but rather few birds (11 species). They saw a Tawny Frogmouth on a nest and found another pair, surviving, but their nest had been destroyed and broken egg-shells were on the ground beneath the nest site. Once again Pat Bingham led this walk.
Also on 15 September Graeme Hosken led a group of 12 people on a bird walk to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Fairy Dell. This area was part of the old Healesville Freeway reserved land behind the Wantirna shops. Much of the land was sold for development but this section was saved.
On Monday 25 September Susan Bailey addressed the members of the Darebin U3A. She spoke about the birds found in that area of Melbourne. With over 50 people attending it was the second largest crowd at a function this year. The topic obviously created a lot of interest and discussion.
‘Attracting birds to your garden naturally’ was the subject of Janet Hand’s Powerpoint to the ladies of the Yarra Valley VIEW Club at Chirnside Park on Tuesday 26 September. Fifty ladies were present for this luncheon and presentation.
On Thursday 28 September Janet Hand made her annual visit to the ladies at the Mercy Hostel in Boronia. This hostel is a member of BirdLife Australia and they are blessed with a range of birds visiting their gardens. The topic changes each year but it was back to the basics of talking about local birds again this year.
My thanks to all those who have assisted this month.
Janet Hand, Birdlife Melbourne Education Coordinator (Phone: 9842 4177)