BIRD monitoring is an activity you can participate in on the Great Southern Rail Trail with a new sign being erected last week at the northern end of the Koonwarra rail trail bridges.
As part of the Black Spur Creek Wetlands project, the Nerrena Tarwin Valley Landcare Group has set up a citizens’ science bird monitoring project in the area to record changes to the bird life over the next 10 years.
“There are three sites, one around each bridge on the trail, and people can download the Australian Birdlife App on their phones or scan the QR codes which are displayed on the sign,” said Sue Miles, president of the Landcare group.
“The monitoring area for the birds is outlined on the sign or on the app. It is only for 20 minutes or less and it doesn’t matter if you cannot identify all the birds – it may give you inspiration to check out our birds.”
The local Landcare group made the decision several years ago to facilitate the restoration of the Black Spur Creek Wetland and now with the realignment of the South Gippsland Highway is wanting to see what changes will happen to the area. Birds were the easiest animal to monitor.
The sign, which was part of a funded project from the 2019 round of the Victorian Landcare Grants, was erected by CPB Contractors – the South Gippsland Highway contractors – for the group.
Nerrena Tarwin Valley Landcare Group would like to thank the previous Great Southern Rail Trail committee for their support of this project, South Gippsland Shire Council for guidance, and also Jill at Terramirra Press for the artwork on the sign.
Each bridge has a different cohort of species of birds that live around them, and the seasons also change what birds visit the area.
The rail trail bridges make it easier for people to survey the sites and most people can identify some birds.
The group has regular monitoring days which has been kept within the group due to COVID-19 regulations. Having the Birdlife Australia publicly shared monitoring sites will allow more people to participate in the project.