Join me on Friday February 18 at Boat Harbour, Kurnell, for a talk and tour about shorebirds. We explore their migration, phenotypic change, feeding ecology and how these birds bring together the ecologies of the Earth through their annual trans-equatorial migration.
As well as a chance to encounter these beautiful and fascinating birds in our local landscape, this tour brings to life and celebrates the majesty of this magnificent biosphere of which are all so privileged to be a part.
Often overlooked or a source of confusion for bird watchers, the tiny insectivorous birds of the thornbill, gerygone, scrubwren, heathwren and fairy-wren clades play significant roles in forest, heath and woodland ecologies. This is a chance to build a deeper understanding of our forest ecologies and the roles which small birds play.
Join me in the Royal National Park on Friday April 8 as we explore the ecology and identification of these birds with a talk, followed by a tour of some of Sydney’s most beautiful forests where we meet these fascinating birds.
On Friday June 3 come and be a part of this celebration of the wondrous Superb Lyrebird breeding season. Our tour begins with a talk on lyrebirds, where we sort the facts from the fancy about their song and mimicry and learn some fascinating stories about their courtship display and their significant role in forest ecology. We follow this with a stroll along a stunning forest trail where there are opportunities to see and hear lyrebirds display.
This is an opportunity see Superb Lyrebirds at their finest and witness some of the most iconic scenes in the world of nature. Image: Alex Maisey @alexcmaisey
This tour is promoted on Eventbrite as taking place on Lady Carrington Drive, however I’m checking out opportunities on another trail in the southern end of Royal National Park and if this offers better opportunities we will change venues.
Join me on Friday September 16 as we explore the birds of our coastal heath amid one of the finest flowering events on the Earth. Second only to the flowering event of south Western Australia, the beauty and diversity of early spring flowers on Curra Moors is intoxicating.
Our walk begins through a dry sclerophyll ridgetop woodland with heathy understorey before moving through a bird rich ecotone onto the vast expanse of complex heath on Curra Moors. The birdlife here is diverse and fascinating! Our target birds are Southern Emu-wren, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Variegated Fairy-wren, Beautiful Firetail and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. On the way we’ll meet many other favourites and make new friends too!
The dune ecology of Greenhills Reserve though somewhat degraded by weeds is nonetheless one of the great environmental gems of the Cronulla locality. Join us on Friday October 7 to explore and be astounded by the fascinating bird life, plants and reptiles which thrive in this scrubby heath right on our doorstep. We’ll meet many stunning Superb and Variegated Fairy-wrens in their finest breeding plumage but also lesser known White-browed Scrubwrens, Red-browed Finches, Black-shouldered Kites, Australian Kestrels, Welcome Swallows and Tree Martins to name just a few. Nobody’s friend, the stunning Fan-tailed Cuckoo will be calling!
It will be wildflower season so expect encounters with many honeyeaters, like the New Holland Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow Wattlebird and Little Wattlebird. This is a great intro into our local birds, which often go unnoticed when we walk through this reserve.
On Friday November 18 come on a deep dive into nature’s year, or the seasons of the rainforest. Our European centric calendar grew up alongside our emerging development of agriculture but how relevant is it to understanding the annual cycles of life in our local rainforests? Join me as we meet the beautiful and fascinating butterflies and birds which express the changing of the seasons in our local rainforests, helping us to form a deeper appreciation for other ways of measuring the regular changes and natural synchronicity which surrounds us.
November sees the courtship of Satin Bowerbirds and nesting of Green Catbirds which coincides with the fruiting of Port Jackson Figs and the Lilli Pilli. The migratory Black-faced Monarch and sedentary Brown Gerygones, Large-billed Scrubwrens and Yellow-throated Scrubwrens also commence breeding at this time, when late spring rains encourage insects to multiply among the vines and leaves of the forest and leaf litter on the forest floor. This all coincides almost like clockwork each year with the emergence of the beautiful male Wonder Brown butterfly.