Joining in a bird survey on the Merri Creek is a great way to find out about our facinating local birds. It's also an enjoyable get-together, with some gentle exercise. Information collected in the surveys is valuable in showing the changes in bird populations over time, including their response to habitat restoration and revegetation along the creek.
Beginner birders are welcome. Survey leaders help newcomers to see and identify the birds. A colour brochure of common birds of Merri Creek and northern Melbourne is available free to participants. Bring binoculars if you can, and wear closed-in shoes. A water bottle and sunhat are useful in warm weather. No dogs please, as they reduce the number of birds seen.
Dates and meeting points for the surveys are listed in the Friends’ Events calendar.
Register here for email alerts about upcoming Merri BirdWatch sureys.
Generally twenty to thirty species are spotted in each survey, which involves a one-and-a-half hour stroll around a path circuit. The quarterly surveys are done at ten different locations along the Merri and at Edwardes Lake.
More than 140 species have been recorded in the surveys since 2008, and you never know what might turn up next. Each season brings some different birds to the Merri. If you think an extended winter holiday in north Queensland is a good idea, you’re not alone. So do the Sacred Kingfishers that breed along the Merri Creek in spring-summer. But then, the cold is all relative: in autumn the Flame Robins come down from the mountains where they spend summer, and some can be seen in open grassy places around northern Melbourne, including the Creekside grasslands.
An overview of BirdWatch surveys over a 10 year period shows that an incredible diversity of species, either call the Merri Creek home, or drop in while passing.
Superb Fairy Wren by P. Mollison; Flame Robin, by B Bainbridge; Tawny Frogmouths by Kara Pringle