Forty-six species were found at the closing event at Harewood Historic Homestead on 28 October, just ahead of the 42 species found there by thirteen-year-old Harewood Lyall a century earlier.
Highlights that day included Baillon’s Crake, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo and Latham’s Snipe. Many of Harewood’s birds from 1912 were also observed, such as Grey Butcherbird, Eastern Rosella, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo and Grey Fantail.
Across the Biosphere, 105 species were found on the Big Day on 21 October, and 90 species were found by teams during the week. Results from municipalities ranged from 63 in Frankston up to 83 in Bass Coast and Cardinia, with 86 on French Island.
Bird Search organiser Jack Krohn said the total was impressive.
“This is a great demonstration of the biodiversity that the Biosphere continues to support even after almost two centuries of settlement,” Jack said.
“Almost all of Harewood Lyall’s birds were found somewhere in the Biosphere, although several of the bush-birds he recorded were not able to be found at Harewood Homestead itself,” Jack said.
“The iconic White-winged Triller, which Harewood called the ‘White-shouldered Caterpillar-eater’, even put in an appearance, with a female bird identified at the Wonthaggi Heathlands by Mike Tesch on the first weekend of the Bird Search, along with other species such as Blue-winged Parrot and Crescent Honeyeater.”
“I’m also aware of a few species, including Eastern Osprey, Painted Button-Quail, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and Olive-backed Oriole, which were reported in the Biosphere, but just a few days either side of the strict Bird Search week.”
Thanks to all who contributed to the success of the event, especially the competing teams, all those who took part in the Big Day on Sunday 21 October, and supporters Biosis, Phillip Island Nature Park and collaborating partner BirdLife Australia. Special thanks to Pat Macwhirter, who provided both the inspiration in the form of Harewood Lyall’s bird list and wonderful hospitality at Harewood.
Awards will be presented at the Biosphere AGM at The Cube, Frankston, on Friday 16 November. It would be great to see as many Bird Search participants there as possible. The AGM will be followed by lunch, including a conversation between DSE ecologist Dr Ian Mansergh, Prof Mick Keough of Melbourne University and Simon Molesworth AO QC, Executive Chairman of the International National Trusts Organisation. Please email email@example.com or call 5979 2167 to confirm your place.