|Camel Back Trail in 2011|
Superb Lyrebird Survey at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Saturday 18 June 2011
The eighth annual survey of the Superb Lyrebird, designed to provide an index of population numbers since the 2003 bushfires, was run under cool and unfortunately very windy conditions.
The Reserve had been closed to the public the day before due to high winds but, despite the survey starting off under ideal conditions, the wind soon got up with gusts up to 60 km per hour recorded.
The eight COG members were joined this year by 23 members of Conservation Volunteer Australia (CVA) who volunteer their services in the Reserve. We were all assembled at the car park by 8.00 am and after breaking up into teams soon started to survey the five main walking trails. For the first time the number of participants allowed us to form a sixth team and we were able to survey the redesigned Lyrebird/Cascades Trail.
Taking a minimum count and not including the Lyrebird/ Cascades trail, 13 individual lyrebirds were recorded within the Reserve compared with 6, 14, 12, 12, 19, 19-20 and 20 in previous years (Gibraltar Rocks-2, Devil’s Gap-
0, Fishing Gap-2, Ashbrook-3, Camel Back-6 and Lyrebird/Cascades-2).
During the survey 33 species were recorded, similar to previous years, with the number seen depending very much on the trail walked, with Gibraltar Rocks-26, Devil’s Gap-17, Fishing Gap-11, Ashbrook-13, Camel Back-8 and Lyrebird/Cascades-6, indicating that the wetter, eastern facing slopes appeared to be the most affected by the wind. Although no species were reported on all trails the most frequently recorded were the Superb Lyrebird, Brown Thornbill, Superb Fairy-wren and White-throated Treecreeper. Unusual sightings, all along the Gibraltar Rocks trail, were New Holland Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, Yellow- tufted Honeyeater and three Hooded Robins. Although the Scarlet Robin was reported, there were no sightings of Flame Robin or Satin Bowerbird. No raptors were recorded during the survey although a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagle was seen near the Visitors Centre.
At 1.00 pm the party assembled in the lecture room at the ‘Depot’ for a presentation by Peter Fullagar and Chris Davey on the recovery of lyrebirds at Tidbinbilla after the 2003 bushfires.
Many thanks to the participants, to the authorities for waiving the entry fees, and to David McDonald, who with his computer came to the rescue of the presentation.