Mid Lachlan Landcare

Why Scattered Paddock Trees?

Why plant scattered paddock trees?

With the recent fantastic response to our community tree guard mesh purchase we thought we’d ask some of our members, who have been putting in these trees over the last few years, why they do it.

Hugh & Jess (Cargo)

“We were highly motivated to plant scattered paddock trees because we could see a number of our existing and mature eucalypts dying and others showing signs of ill health due to the drought and to ongoing farming pressure.  We see established and mature trees as one of the most valuable resources on our property, they deliver benefits to our agricultural production systems, to the natural environment and to the wildlife to which they feed and provide nesting habitat. In addition they add value and beauty to our farm. Recognising that growing mature paddock trees is a long game we approached Mid Lachlan Landcare to seek some advice and got started. We’ve found that watching our trees grow and thrive has been very rewarding, we’re excited to observe our farm landscape changing and plan further scattered paddock tree plantings on a yearly basis across our property.”

Wendy (Canowindra)

“Our paddock trees aren’t getting any younger in fact most of them are senior citizens.  They are so important for connectivity and biodiversity as well as shade for stock in a world that is getting hotter.  There is no time to waste, get planting.”

Bron & Andrew (Canowindra)

“Andrew & I  first planted some scattered trees back in 2016, when we got some funding for through Mid Lachlan Landcare. We are about to take the guards off these & be able to reuse the guards for more plantings. We found that planting scattered trees gives you the ability to plant them where you want without a lot of fencing .

The trees we have planted provide a connectivity for wildlife with other areas, not just on our farm but further afield & the trees also will give shade for the future.

We have continued on with these plantings since 2016 & will continue to do so.”

Guy (Woodstock)

“The bare paddocks in the distance prevent the passage of any wildlife apart from large birds and large mammals from moving across the landscape. The planted trees in the foreground attract a diversity of species that aid in sustainability and support production. Were planting individual paddock trees on all our properties as it’s win/win for us.”

 These trees have had the guards removed now for use elsewhere

We also want to thank the ‘Saving our Species – Saving our Superb Parrot’ project for providing some funding for our community mesh purchase which has allowed everyone to recieve a further discount to help get trees into our local paddocks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SoS Waratah text only

Glossy Update April 2022

There were a few of us that took part in the first annual Great Glossy Count last month and we surveyed grids in Conimbla NP, just outside Conimbla NP and over at Back Yamma State Park. The aim of the surveys were to look for Glossies and also to look for their feed trees. Unfortunately we did not see any Glossies but we certainly found feed trees in and around Conimbla. There were no feed trees recorded in Back Yamma unfortunately.

Jayden identified that the trash they drop while eating the seed at the sites varied in age from 2 to 4 weeks old. So fantastic to see the Glossies had been there recently. It will be so fantastic to have this data collected across Eastern Australia in their range. Hopefully it will help the birds into the future.

Approx 4 week old seed trash

We have also recently collected some more of the trees that the Weddin Nursery have grown specifically for this project and they are being planted into some of the project sites. I have been told that the trees that went in last year are growing well too which is great news.

Rakali – a sad local story

Last weekend whilst walking along a a creek near Koorawatha one of our members came across some bailing twine tied to a log and trailing down into the creek. She decided to investigate what it was and wanted to let everyone know.

“I’ve had a sad experience over the weekend of getting my first Rakali sighting ever, unfortunately deceased in an opera house net. It appears to be a mother and offspring, based on sizes/sex etc – this was the cost of catching one small yabby. I can only hope there were other siblings around that are old enough to survive without the mother.

I thought it could now at least be something that can be shared among our Landcare network?

A reminder about the risks and impact of enclosed nets (legal or illegal), as some people really seem to forget why opera house nets are illegal to begin with, and the need to not submerge enclosed nets ……this one even had excluder rings on the entrances, so that’s also still not safe.

I thought it’s likely some people would think these were just exotic rats if they caught them too..”

Maybe you did not know that the opera house nets are now illegal as of the 30th April 2021. You can find out more here. New open top style yabbie nets are widely available and must be used instead to allow non target species to safely exit the traps. Please don’t use the closed in nets anymore.

You can also find out more about the wonderful Rakali (sometimes described as Australia’s otter) here.

Saving our Superb Parrot – Funding Available

Photo Credit – Phillip Weyers

We are excited to have a little bit more funding to continue the fantastic work everyone has been doing to put scattered paddock trees back into our farms. Planting trees, for the future, to help the Superb Parrot plus many other species in the long term. Some of the key threats to the Superb Parrot are the loss of living and dead hollow bearing trees and poor regeneration of nesting trees. 

The aim of this funding is to build on the work done for this project in 2018/19. To enhance areas of our highly cleared landscape in the Mid Lachlan Landcare region by further developing connectivity through the landscape to improve movement and habitat of the Superb Parrot and other local fauna. The trees must be planted within 30m of each other and preferably connect remnants i.e., roadside vegetation and an existing mature paddock tree. 

Most of you would now be very familiar with the paddock tree work and the mesh we have been using to construct the guards. The cost of this mesh and star pickets has increased significantly during the last 2 years. We can offer the trees plus 50% off the cost of the mesh and star pickets for this project. There are more details in the attached Expression of Interest (EOI). Construction and installation of the guards plus planting of tube stock is to be completed by you. Hopefully we will get a couple of farm depot offers again and will have tractors to load the mesh onto your vehicles when you are ready to collect.

We cannot give exact pricing until all EOI’s are received, assessed and prioritised. The current indication is that a 50% contribution by participants for one large roll of mesh and the pickets needed should work out to be about $450 and less for the shorter mesh rolls. (fingers crossed no more steel price rises in the meantime)

We really hope you would like to be part of this project. If you are not familiar with these tree guards or have any questions, please just give me a call and I can talk you through it.

You can find out more about the Superb Parrot Project and scattered paddock trees on our Website here You can also access a Mid Lachlan Landcare region map here.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone in the region you think might also be interested in taking part in this project.

We are looking forward to receiving your expression of interest.

Funding Available – Box Gum Grassy Woodland Habitat on Farm

If you have some remnant woodland on your farm and would like to take some actions to protect or enhance it for the future, we would love to hear from you.

Some activities you might like to undertake could include :

  • controlling weeds
  • increasing woodland patch sizes and improving condition
  • reconnecting fragmented remnant patches
  • fencing off remnant patches to allow strategic grazing
  • establishing appropriate grazing regimes to improve groundcover within a remnant area
  • supplementary planting within the remnant area
  • supplementing lost timber with other woody debris

We can provide funding to help with these activities if your remnant area is Box Gum Grassy Woodland. Don’t worry if you are unsure what type of remnant patch you have. Our project officer is more than happy to discuss with you and work it out.

To find out more about how to get involved please either send Tracee an email at midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com by the 30th of April 2022 and let her know you are interested. Please include your nearest town. Or you can give her a call on 0417 799 425.

White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland is now listed as a critically endangered ecological community, and we can take actions on our farms to help it survive into the future. We are really looking forward to hearing from you and doing some awesome projects over the next 12 months.

This project has been made possible thanks to the NSW Government via the NSW Environmental Trust, the program is interested in collaboration between Government, the community, non-government organisations and industry.

Glossy Black Cockatoo Count – 26th March 2022

photo by Jayden Gunn

I was really excited to see this come up!! We love our Glossy Black Cockatoos and if this becomes a yearly event it will be great to be involved with considering the project we are currently running to plant the Allocasuarina diminuta’s on properties around Conimbla NP. I was lucky recently to hear and then see two of them on a property over near Canowindra.

There is an amazing new field guide just released by Birdlife Australia which includes some pictures taken by Cowra’s very own Jayden Gunn of Glossies from Conimbla 🙂 You can access the field guide here

The count is happening on Saturday 26th March and there is an online workshop happening on the 16th March at 7.30pm. It was easy to register and hopefully if there are a few of us doing it we could get a good picture of what is happening locally. I’m not sure how they are working out the sites so it will be a bit of a mystery for us (which adds to the excitement). Fingers crossed they are setting up some local sites.

To register and find out more you can pop over to the Glossy Black Cockatoo website here. The website also has heaps of other great info about Glossies. We would love it if you let us know if you have registered so we get a picture locally of who is interested.

OUR MEMBERSHIP – CASE STUDIES

By Trudi Refshauge

Meet some of our amazing Mid Lachlan Landcare Community. We will be adding more case studies throughout 2022.

Our Membership – Case Studies March 2022

Cowra Archibird Winners 2021

The Cowra Natural Resource Management Committee in partnership with the Cowra Woodland Bird Group and Mid Lachlan Landcare would like to thank everyone who entered the 3rd annual Archibird Competition. Pictured is the Open category winner, a Black Shouldered Kite by Chris Bruce. Judging was completed during November with all winners being contacted then. We are a bit slow getting this summary out but better late than never 🙂

Our wonderful judge John Cooper EFIAP FAPS had a difficult job and we are very thankful to him for taking on this task each year. Here is a summary from John.

” This, the third year of the Archibird Prize Photographic Competition was once again an outstanding success with the highest number of entrants so far. There were 225 entrants in the Open Category, 16 entrants in the Youth and 29 in the Teen category.

The standard of photography continues to improve which is evident by the marked increased number of ‘Commended’ and ‘Highly Commended’ awards issued.  Congratulations to all the award winners. To those who missed out this year there is always next time! Carefully study the award winning images to see how you may improve your bird photography.

‘The Archibird Prize Competition looks for the best of the best in bird photography. First and foremost the images are judged for their photographic merit irrespective of how rare a bird species may be or how dramatic the action appears. Emphasis is placed on exposure, composition, focus and overall impact. Post capture editing (when/if done) is also taken into consideration. “

All the winning images (if you haven’t already seen them) can be viewed in the links below :

2021 Open Winners

2021 Teen Winners

2021 Youth Winners

We can’t wait to see the entries for this year. The Archibird photo competition is held during the month of October so you all have plenty of time to get out and practice your bird photography skills 🙂

Summer Update from ‘Birds on Farms’

Gorgeous Turquoise Parrots. Photo credit Chris Bruce

The end of 2021 saw the beginning of the Central NSW Birds on Farms Summer surveys with results that would have any bird enthusiasts ecstatic. Summer saw the return of some of our most spectacular migratory woodland bird species. Dollarbirds, Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sacred Kingfishers contributed awe inspiring colour to our woodland forests and waterways once again and were sighted frequently throughout the survey period. With the consistent rainfall and an explosion of food availability some bird populations have boomed and expanded beyond their typical ranges so keep your eye out for anything unusual and exciting. 2022 began with a sighting of a Spotted Bowerbird at a participating property on the doorstep of the Weddin mountains, scattered flocks of Budgerigars throughout properties in the Central Tablelands and a pair of Brolga nesting in flooded fields near Grenfell. 2022 couldn’t have looked more promising, that was until attending a recent survey on a participating property near Nangar National Park and sighting upwards of 40-50 Turquoise parrots in a single survey site! This sighting inspires hope as we intensify our efforts to support the Turquoise Parrot, Hooded Robin, Brown Treecreeper and all other woodland birds today and well into the future

A high level of enthusiasm was shared among all participating landholders and I was overjoyed to meet so many new people keen to learn about and support our woodland bird species!

If you would like to know more about the Central West Birds on Farms Program check out the link below;

https://birdlife.org.au/projects/woodland-birds-for-biodiversity/reaging-woodlands-cwnsw

This project is being funded by the NSW Government through a partnership between the Saving our Species program and the Environmental Trust, and by support from the Corella Fund.

Mid Lachlan Landcare would like to thank Jayden Gunn – Central NSW Woodland Bird Coordinator for Birdlife Australia for providing us this update on the project we know many of you are involved with. It’s really very exciting what you are finding on your farms.

A beautiful Hooded Robin. Photo credit Jayden Gunn

Bursaria spinosa flowering now

We were recently reminded about this wonderful plant by Mid Lachlan Landcare member Ruth Workman. This is what she had to say :

“The Bursaria spinosa is in full froth at the moment. We all need reminding just how great this sweet smelling, mid-summer flowering, adaptable, drought hardy, frost hardy, spikey, bird protecting, insect attracting, gorgeous shrub really is! All this frilly, honey scented blossom, in the middle of summer when most things have stopped flowering in normal years, followed by attractive colourful seed pods. What is not to love!”

What more can we add to this description!! It really is beautiful when out in flower and so special that it flowers in Summer. It is found in Box Gum Grassy Woodlands and can grow from 2-10m high. Interestingly there are 2 subspecies, B. spinosa subsp. spinosa and B. spinosa subsp. lasiophylla. The subspecies lasiophylla is the host plant for the Purple Copper Butterfly. This Butterfly is a threatened species and there is, and has been, plenty of work going on to grow and plant this subspecies over Lithgow/Bathurst way. The aim is to help increase the habitat for the Butterfly. You can see a great video on the Purple Copper Butterfly here.

Thanks to Ruth Workman for the photos

Within our Mid Lachlan Landcare region, we have the subspecies spinosa as far as I know. We are a bit low in the Landscape as the Butterflies are only found over the 900-metre altitude mark.

This plant is hardy and easy to grow. Just remember it is spiky so don’t put it somewhere you need to get access to very often. It is a good addition to your garden and can apparently be pruned.

If you have remnant patches of Box Gum Grassy Woodland on your farm it would be great if you planted a few of these in your patch. It is also a good plant to include in any revegetation works you might be undertaking.

So, if you’re looking for a hardy native that grows in the region and has beautiful perfumed flowers in the Summer this is the plant for you.

Fun Fact : The leaves of Bursaria contain a secondary compound called aesculin (a coumarin glucoside), which was exploited as an ingredient in sunscreens in the 1940s and is used in medical research today.

Profitable Farming with Carbon

Join us on Wednesday 9th March 12 – 4pm in Cowra $20pp afternoon tea included.

Book your tickets here

We are sorry but this event has now been fully booked out.