Fauna

Plant of the Month: Ironbarks

It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town, He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down. He loitered here, he loitered there, till he was like to drop, Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber’s shop. “‘Ere! shave... read more

The Woodland Plant Helping Regent Honey Eaters from then Brink of Extinction

With less than 300 birds left in the wild, the Regent Honeyeater is a bird in dire need of help. These stunning birds will travel vast distances in search of food sources that provide high yields of nectar. Spotted Gum, Broad-leaved Ironbark, and Swamp Mahogany are... read more

Shorebird Feature: Bar-tailed Godwit

Last month, migratory shorebirds made global news headlines for setting a new World Record for the longest continuous migratory flight.  Previously held by another Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica subsp. baueri), the juvenile flew for 13 560km over the Pacific... read more

Woodland Bird Feature: Regent Honeyeater

Did you know that the most important habitat for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater is here in the lower Hunter Valley? Last month the local wild population was boosted with the release of 50 zoo-bred birds in the Tomalpin Woodlands, south of Kurri... read more

Paddock Trees for Koalas

Do you have isolated paddock trees on your property, or remnant vegetation that can potentially provide stepping stones for koalas and other fauna? Our Landcare networks on the Mid Coast are currently looking at properties within Koala ARKS for potential future... read more

Landcare Sightings: Eastern Bearded Dragon

Spotted by Victoria, one of our Project Officers, whilst putting in the leg work for Camera Trapping at Congewai. This handsome Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) was found up a tree, basking in the last of the afternoon sun. You can find these bearded dragons... read more

Turtle Monitoring Citizen Science

During November, the researchers at 1millionturtles.com would like everyone to be out and about near their local waterways, keeping an eye out for turtles crossing roads and helping them get to the other side safely, looking for sightings of turtles emerging to nest... read more

Shorebird Feature: Beach-nesting Birds

Nesting season has begun for our local beach-nesting birds! These shorebirds and seabirds are extremely vulnerable to disturbance from people during this time and, unfortunately, these warmer months are also when humans flock to the beaches. Disturbance during nesting... read more

Woodland Bird Feature: The Noisy Miner (a native nuisance?)

The noisy miner is one native species that has benefited greatly from human alterations to woodland and forest habitat, enabling it to increase in abundance and distribution. In short, the Noisy Miner has become an overabundant species. Why is this a problem? Large... read more

September Shorebird Feature

Some say Spring has sprung a little early this year and some flowers and birds may agree with you! Observations of Beach-stone Curlews and Far Eastern Curlews have already been reported on our shorelines from mid-August.  With the ‘official’ beginning of Spring, comes... read more

Woodland Bird Feature: Spring is in the air – literally!

Have you noticed the warmer days already? Don’t take any notice of that thing on the wall that thinks spring starts on the 1st of September; spring is well and truly underway by then! There are (I think) at least two springs; the first being “early spring”, which... read more

Plant of the Month: Not Rocky, the Bulbine Lily (Bulbine bulbosa)

Spring is just around the corner, you may not believe me but it is, and that means the wildflowers will be out soon. One of the more spectacular ones in this area (the Upper Hunter) is the Bulbine Lily (Bulbine bulbosa) a spectacular yellow lily to around 70 cm in... read more

Shorebird Article Series:

This month we defer to a wonderfully informative series of Shorebird Articles written by Neil Fraser of Tomaree Birdwatchers, published by the EcoNetwork Port Stephens. Featuring survey results, maps and handy links; this series is a must-read! Pictured: Bar-tailed... read more

Wing Threads – The Adventures of Microlight Milly

Images source: wingthreads.com Amelia Formby (AKA ‘Microlight Milly’) is now 3 weeks into her 20 000km flight around Australia, to raise awareness, educate and “to inspire action to protect the habitats of our amazing migratory shorebirds.” The project, titled ‘Wing... read more

Return of Native Flora & Fauna at Hunter River Reserve

They were heard long before they were seen – the ya-hoos and babbles of a gregarious family of Grey-Crowned Babblers (Pomatostomus temporalis subsp temporalis). The vulnerable Eastern subspecies of babbler moved through the Woodland at Hunter River Reserve,... read more

Shorebird Feature: Double-banded Plover

breeding pulmage –  image source ebird.org non-breeding plumage – image source ebird.org Charadrius bicinctus You may think that Winter isn’t a good time to spot migratory shorebirds.  It’s true, the majority of migrants have voyaged to the Northern... read more

Woodland Birds Feature: Woodland Wander

With support from Hunter Local Land Services under the National Landcare Program, HRLN hosted a “Woodland Wander” excursion at Poppet Head Park during the April school holidays. The event was a great success, attended by almost 30 enthusiastic kids from Nulkaba OOSH’... read more

Death Adder Snakes

Adder, Yes, Mathematician, No. For all the time I’ve spent wandering through the bush (in thongs or even barefoot when young) I rarely see snakes, most of my encounters with them have been around areas of human activity (including a baby Brown Snake I had to catch and... read more

Bell Frog Planting & Survey Results

In collaboration with Local Land Services (LLS) & National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and under the guidance of University of Newcastle (UoN), we conducted after-dark frog surveys in Kooragang Wetlands National Park.  These ran in conjunction with our... read more

Shorebird Workshop Results

With support from Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, HRLN hosted another successful shorebird training workshop on Saturday, March 19th, and here are the outcomes;   The Port Stephens workshop was... read more

Fauna Feature: Spotted Quoll ( Dasyurus maculatus)

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise…..   Spotted Quoll Dasyurus maculatus, image from environment.nsw.gov.au) It’s not often we have to put a graphic content warning but here it is, the following is a bit gruesome but I thought it... read more

Woodland Birds Feature: Saving The Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater

The Regent honeyeater project in the Hunter on THE PROJECT. The Regent Honeyeater is so rare that its love song is at risk of being lost forever. But there’s new hope the critically endangered bird can be brought back from the edge of extinction through science, tech,... read more

Camera Trapping for Pest Management

Victoria Dixon, HRLN Project officer As part of HRLN’s project Supporting Landcare with post-fire and habitat recovery (HR03963), there has been a program of camera trapping in the Congewai, Wollombi/Laguna and Broke/Bulga Landcare regions. The aim of this program has... read more

Koalas Listed as Endangered

On 12 February 2022, the federal Environment Minister listed the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) as ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) in Queensland, NSW and the Australian Capital... read more

Wedge-tailed eagle

The wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax) also known as the eagle-hawk (Birabahn) is significant in the Hunter region for the Awabakal people, traditional custodians of the coastal Hunter area. The Awabakal celestial entity Kon is represented by an Aboriginal man whom,... read more

Summer Shorebird Count

The Birdlife Summer Shorebird Count – which runs from November 15th until February 28th – has 1 month remaining. We encourage attendees of our shorebird workshops, keen birders, shore-dwellers and those interested in conservation, to participate in this... read more

Everybody Likes a Bogong

(with apologies to Area 7) The population of Australia’s iconic Bogong Moth has crashed spectacularly over the past few years dropping by an estimated 99.5%. The drop is believed to have been due to a combination of land-use changes, agricultural chemicals, light... read more

Results of the Shorebird Workshop in November

With support from Hunter Local Land Services under the National Landcare Program, HRLN hosted another successful shorebird training workshop on 10th November, and here are the outcomes; The workshop was booked out – with an attendance of 22 enthusiastic... read more

Special Fauna Feature Edition: Red Fox

Vertebrate feral animal this month is the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) The red fox, brought to Australia by Europeans in the 1850s, is an ongoing and serious pest problem due to their impact on native animals and livestock. Today foxes occur over 75% of Australia and their... read more

Shorebirds Feature: Newcastle Shorebird Training Workshop

Join us on Wednesday November 10th, 2021, for our Newcastle Shorebird Training Workshop. We will host a morning of informative presentations, followed by lunch (provided) and a field trip to Stockton Sandspit. Tidal movements are expected to provide great... read more

Fauna Feature: Teddy Bear Bees

It’s Australian Pollinator Week, 13 – 21st November https://www.australianpollinatorweek.org.au National pollinator week is approaching so let’s talk about one of our local buzzing insects, the teddy bear bee or golden haired mortar bee (Amegilla bombiformis).... read more

Special Fauna Feature Edition: What do you know about the vertebrate feral animals of the Hunter?

Are you involved in controlling of them? We will be highlighting each of these species over the coming months to give you an insight into their behaviour and their effect on the ecology of our region. Loading... Taking too long? Reload document | Open in new tab View,... read more

Shorebirds feature: Sooty Oystercatcher

Haematopus fuliginosus Sooty Oystercatchers are a large coastal wader, with pinkish legs and scarlet-orange eyes and bills, offset by jet-black plumage. Reaching similar sizes as their Pied relatives – about 50cm in length – their contrasting all-black... read more

Fauna Feature – Eastern Pygmy Possum

Climbing between banksias, you may spot a tiny brown marsupial feeding on the nectar. The Eastern pygmy possum (Cercartetus nanus) is a remarkable, endemic Australian species of the eastern coast, including the Hunter region. They are part of a family divided into two... read more

Shorebird Feature: Crested Tern

Thalasseus bergii As many of us flock to the shoreline for some lockdown-permitted exercise, you may have spotted flocks of Crested Terns. These ubiquitous shorebirds are the 2nd largest of the Australian Terns- approximately 49cm in length and are the most commonly... read more

Fauna Feature: Rainbow Bee-eater

A First Nations’ Dreaming story describes how birds were created when a rainbow burst and its fragments fell on Earth. The colours of the rainbow are well represented in one of the most magnificent and colourful Australian birds, the rainbow bee-eater (Merops... read more

Frog Deaths Across Eastern Australia

Have you noticed ill and dying frogs in your backyard or Landcare site? Please read this article to find out more and send any reports of sick or dead frogs (and if possible, photos) to the national citizen science project FrogID, or email calls@frogid.net.au They... read more

Fauna Feature: Joseph’s Coat Moth

Among the diverse moth species fluttering throughout the Hunter is the magnificently colourful Joseph’s Coat Moth (Agarista agricola), or painted vine moth. The name recalls a biblical story in which Joseph received a “coat of many colours” as a gift from his... read more

Woodland Birds School Program Feature – Mistletoe: Marvellous yet often misunderstood!

Although it is often considered the bane of gardeners, arborists and farmers, the pendulous clumps of mistletoe provide an extremely important resource for all manner of wildlife. Mistletoe boosts wildlife numbers in agricultural landscapes, especially insect-eating... read more

Understanding Nest Boxes

This informative video from Granite Borders Landcare can help explain the need for nest boxes in our changed landscapes and explain some of the complexities in choosing the right nest box for your site or property.... read more

Woodland birds: Swift parrot feature

The Central Hunter Valley Woodlands and Eucalypt forests is a vegetation community that has been declared critically endangered since May 2015 (EPBC Act 1999). It is typified by limited undergrowth and a variety of eucalyptus species, including Box gums and Ironbarks.... read more

Fauna Feature: The Pale-headed Snake

On the 16th of July the world celebrates snakes. There is no better place than Australia to increase awareness and introduce you to one of our slithering residents of the Hunter, the pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Australia hosts 14% of the world’s... read more

The 2021 Winter Shorebird Count season is here…

Hi Shorebirders, The Winter Shorebird Count season is already in full swing, starting 15 May and going through until 15 August. Birdlife Australia and the Hunter Bird Observers Club encourage you all to share your survey results when you go to local shorebird areas,... read more

Fauna Feature: The Green and Golden Bell Frog

  At the Tocal Field Day, many of you expressed interest in rehabilitating ponds for frogs. So, this month, let me tell you about a fascinating Hunter resident, the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea).  The green and golden bell frog is typically found in... read more

Fauna Feature: Koalas

On the 3rd of May Australia celebrates Wild Koala day. It is the perfect moment to raise awareness of the endangered koalas and their threatened habitat. For this occasion, we introduce you to the koalas of the Hunter (Phascolarctos cinereus cinereus) and a few facts... read more

Do trees (forests) really make rain? Or do areas with high rainfall grow forests?

You may have debated this topic at a dinner party, or maybe not… Either way, it is worth pondering.  And perhaps planting. An expanding body of evidence supports the idea that forests, in the right conditions, not only make rain locally but also hundreds of kilometres... read more

Wildlife Friendly Fencing

Fencing is important for effective stock control, but barbed wire near fauna corridors can be problematic for wildlife. Check out this handy resource from Hunter Local Land Services…   Download as... read more

Fauna Feature: The Australasian Bittern

The Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) is a 75 cm semi-nocturnal, migratory waterbird found in Australia and New Zealand. It can be seen in the southeastern and southwestern coastal and sub-coastal areas of Australia. A lucky bird watcher has recently... read more

Fauna Feature: Blue-banded bees

by Sebastien Doleac Blue-banded bees (Amegilla cingulata) are native to Australia and can be found all across the country except in Tasmania. Their size varies between 8 and 14 mm. Although blue-banded bees have a sting, they are not aggressive and present no danger.... read more

Fauna Feature: Cicada killer

The Australian cicada-killer wasp (Exeirus Laterius) is commonly mistaken for a hornet due to its imposing size (4 cm). Interestingly, there are no hornets reported in Australia. Exeirus Laterius is closely related to the American cicada killer wasp. Solitary,... read more

Bird species feature: Regent Honeyeater

It’s been a big year for the Regent Honeyeater, and the captive bred birds released in the Hunter region this year are doing well and settling into a life in the wild, a significant step in protecting this critically endangered species. It’s the work of... read more

Bar-tailed Godwit

This species, listed as a Critically Endangered Shorebird of Australia, has been recorded flying 11,000kms across the globe non-stop! So when they reach the mudflats of our estuaries, they need lots of good food sources such as molluscs, worms and aquatic insects, and... read more

Reptile of the Month: Eastern Bearded dragon, Pogona barbata

What a wonderful sign of spring! This little fella was sunning himself on the road- As I stopped to move him along out of harms way, he puffed out his beard and expanded his body by inhaling air, making him seem larger than life. I was respectfully warned and kept my... read more

The impact of cats in Australia

A recent research article by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub really woke me up to the devastating effect that cats (feral and pet cats) have on our native biodiversity.

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The Fern Creek Gully Landcare Squirrel Glider Documentary

Toby Davidson’s wonderful documentary on our Squirrel Glider project and the great team and the great supporters that made it happen.

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Bird Species Feature: Spotted Pardalote

Everyone loves a Spotted Pardalote!  This tiny bird of 10cm long is distinguished by its white spots, mostly found fluttering around in eucalypt forests and woodlands but occurs in parks and gardens with well-established eucalypt canopy. I have also seen them feeding... read more

Bird species feature: Little Lorikeet

A small bird at 16 – 19cm, 40g, it is easy to tell why they are named ‘little’ when side by side with a Rainbow Lorikeet. They make up for their size in their constant chattering calls and large flocks. This species is listed as vulnerable in NSW, found mostly... read more

Shorebird Count

We are now in the window for the winter shorebird count which is mid-May to mid-August, with the ideal date being July 1. We encourage you all to get out there and survey your local shorebird areas but please be sure to comply with State/Territory guidelines and... read more

Bird Species Feature: Red Wattlebird

Another of our unique woodland birds is the Red Wattlebird. As featured in our Woodland Bird chart they have a very loud call, are quite large birds at 35cm long, and acquired their name by the red ’wattle’ appendage on either side of their neck. Being one of the... read more