Seeking Scarlet Robin, 6 May, by Ryl Parker

Learning about Scarlet Robin and other small but fascinating bird species...


The tables were piled high with cakes, crackers, dips and cheeses, but it all paled in comparison to my first steaming hot mug of coffee for the day. Within moments of taking our first sips, we were all happily chatting; exchanging contacts and other information; any concerns derived from our diverse origins and tenures long forgotten.

Where was I? The ‘Save our Scarlet Robin’ workshop in Bredbo, organised by Lesley Peden of Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C).  This event held on Saturday 6 June was part of the Saving our Species (SOS) Program funded by a NSW Environmental Trust and rolled out by South East Local Land Services (SE LLS).

Nicki Taws of Greening Australia guided an informative walk and talk in the morning at the property of Jenny and Nick Goldie and Lauren Van Dyke lead an afternoon walk along Bredbo River. But these weren't just any old walks. Within moments we started talking together about anything and everything: birds, plants, mammals, land, rehabilitation… you name it. We needed to be reminded to be silent to hear and observe the many and varied bird species that surrounded us including a pair of Scarlet Robins and some Brown Tree Creepers which are two of the eight vulnerable species being addressed by the project. It was easy and fun, but more importantly we were building relationships, and in doing so, we were re-connecting the landscape through words.

In the afternoon, formal presentations were made by Nicki, Chris Davey of Canberra Ornithologists Group, Jo Powells of Local Land Services, Jenny Goldie of Michelago Landcare, Lauren Van Dyke of Bredbo Landcare and Andrew Claridge of National Parks and Wildlife (talking about Spotted-tail Quolls), while participants enjoyed a scrumptious lunch, so they said, catered by yours truly.

While a talk on quolls may not seem relevant to a workshop that’s about woodland birds, it should be remembered that the overarching Saving our Species program isn’t just about saving birds, but is aimed towards improving the resilience and connectivity of our landscape for a number of species.

The talks were so fascinating that we almost had to drag each speaker off the stage to prevent questions from taking up too much time. More about the talks and speakers, where to learn more about opportunities and funding are available, as well as who to talk to – will be made available on the K2C facebook page ( The next event is an EcoTour/Potato-Festival in Crookwell on 3 June.

The day ended on a high note along the Bredbo River with sightings of two pairs of Hooded Robins, another of the vulnerable SOS bird species.

For more info visit or email Lesley Peden at