Saving our Scarlet Robin, Ingelara 29 April

Enthusiastic landholders gathered at this K2C event at Ingelara, a farm south of Michelago, to learn about threatened woodland birds including Scarlet Robin.

The day commenced with  an informative talk on threatened birds by Nicki Taws, a bird expert from Greening Australia. Nicki outlined the identifying features,  habitat requirements, and main threats to these birds.

Phil Palmer, Manager of Scottsdale Reserve (Bush Heritage Australia) welcomed everyone to Ingelara and highlighted the importance of bringing people together to learn about landscape restoration, and to "give it a go" and not be afraid to make mistakes. 

The participants were then treated to an interactive  bird watching walk of Ingelara, lead by Nicki, who provided a fascinating tour showcasing the local bird life, and introducing the group to a variety of habitat types on the property. The following birds were spotted during the morning:
Yellow-faced, White-eared and White-naped Honeyeater, Flame Robin, Kookaburra,  Striated Thornbill, Australasian Pipit, Crimson Rosella, White Sea Eagle, Sparrow Hawk, Scrub Wren, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Fairy Wren, Welcome Swallow, Willy Wagtail, Pied Currawong, Red Wattle Bird, White-throated Tree Creeper, Magpie, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Coot, Swans, Purple Swamp-hen, Grey Shrike-thrush and Pied Butcher Bird. White Sea Eagle, Scarlet Robin and Hooded Robin have also been seen in the recent past.

This property is particularly rich in birds due to its proximity to the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, Clear Range and connections to Namadgi National Park. 

While traversing the property, Phil pointed out recent connectivity plantings and described how landholders can enhance the habitat values on their properties for threatened birds. One of the actions highlighted was to create connections through farm land to link up with patches of remnant bush in the landscape. This will allow birds to cross open areas and reoccupy areas of remaining bushland habitat.

Some of the habitat improvement measures include: leaving fallen timber; planting individual paddock trees or treed corridors;  creating stepping stones (small separated patches of plantings); fencing off riparian zones to exclude stock and reduce grazing pressure; planting shrubs to enhance mid story vegetation; and increasing size of existing small remnants. 
The speakers noted that improving habitat for these threatened birds could be achieved without significant impact on normal farming activities. 

Lesley Peden advised how landholders can apply to the LLS for funding under the Saving our Scarlet Robin project to assist with the cost of implementing these actions. 

The LLS has received this funding from the NSW Environmental Trust to undertake this important project and interested landholders can contact Felicity Sturgiss directly on  0427 072 763 to obtain an application form and further information.”