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Our exciting trip to Lake Ranfurly.

On the 31/8 /17 we went to Lake Ranfurly we planted seeds and my partners and I found what seemed to be a jewllery box. We used a rake,a bucket and gloves for protection. It was a lot of fun! Well done everybody that went I hope you like my post.

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The life of the Enviro leaders

On Thursday 31st August we went Lake Ranfurly to plant some seeds like gum trees and many more. We revegetated the area.

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Lake Ranfurly and seed dispersal

DSC06521 DSC06522 DSC06534 DSC06544 DSC06549 DSC065595P capably re-vegetated Lake Ranfurly. There has been so much off track driving and therefore it was easy to find places to re-vegetate using seed dispersal.

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Lake Ranfurly

Next week 6CR will be going to Lake Ranfurly to re-vegetate using seed dispersal.

Background

Lake Ranfurly used to be a freshwater lake, surrounded by trees and is now a degraded saline drainage basin as a result of human activities including illegal dumping of waste, discharge of pollution, saline water from the Salt Interception Scheme, urban and irrigation run-off and historic use as a sewerage disposal.

Threatened Species

Lake Ranfurly is still important for birds including migratory waders as well as resident terrestrial species, although the quality of habitat.

A total of 101 bird species have been recorded including threatened species such as Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) and Black Falcon (Falco subniger).

Under Victorias Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 the threatened Eastern Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus schraden), Kneed Swainson-pea (Swainsona reticulta), Eastern Great –egret (Ardea modesta) and White –bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) are protected with Action Statements.

Threats

  • Pest Plants
  • Pest Animals
  • Off track driving and too many tracks
  • Illegal dumping of rubbish
  • Encroachment from surrounding landowners
  • Quality of water
  • Utility construction and maintenance
  • Lack of co-ordinated Land Ownership and Strategic Planning
  • Inadequate management of threatened flora/fauna populations

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White-winged Fairy-wren

There are many species of wrens that can be found at Lake Ranfurly!

White Winged Fairy Wren


Scientific Name: Malurus leucopterus

Common Names: White-winged Fairy-wren [most common] , Black-and-White, Blue-and-White or White-backed Fairy-wren.

Distinguishing Features:  The White-winged Fairy-wren is a small sized bird. It is black, white and blue. The black part is the neck and the blue parts are the underbelly and head. The wings are white. The female has a greyish blue tail with a grey-brown crown, back and wings. The underbelly is white with the flanks a dull buff colour.   The clutch is 2-4 eggs with a nesting period of 28 days the incubation is 14 days. The minimum size is 11cm and the maximum size is 13cm. The average size is 12cm with the average weight being 8g. The young birds look like the female.

Habitat: It can be found nesting in dense, thorny bush. It also lives in shrubland throughout arid and semi-arid areas.

Diet: It eats insects, beetles and spiders as well as some seeds.

Status: It is secure in Victoria

Interesting Facts: In 1824 the White-winged Fairy-wren was first named, ‘Merion leucoptere’. Two French naturalists discovered this species.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Malurus-leucopterus

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Peregrine Falcon

2015-08-20 14.24.44This bird is the fastest animal on the planet!

Peregrine Falcon

Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus

Common Name: Peregrine Falcon

Distinguishing Features: They are powerfully built raptors with a black hood, blue-black upper parts and a creamy white chin and has a yellow ring around its eye. It also has a cream and black underbelly.

Habitat: It can be found in rainforests and river lands.

Diet: It likes to eat small birds, rabbits and other day mammals.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: It’s claws can pick up its prey while in mid air. It is the fastest bird and the fastest animal there is.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Falco-peregrinus

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Purple Swamphen

This bird has some very unique colours that make is easy to identify when bird watching!

Purple Swamphen

Scientific Name: Porphyrio porphyrio

Common Name: Purple Swamphen

Distinguishing Features: The Purple Swamphen is a bulky bird and the colours of it are mainly dusky black on top of its head with a broad dark blue collar and it has a dark blue to purple underbelly. The legs and feet are red-orange and the undertail is white. The Purple Swamphens bill is red and robust .

Habitat: They live around freshwater swamps, streams and marshes

Diet: They eat rushes, frogs, snails, ducklings

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Purple Swamphen is an accomplished flier and a very proficient swimmer. When it walks it flicks its tail up and down, revealing its white undertail.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Porphyrio-porphyrio

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Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo

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Major Mitchell's Cockatoo by Noah

Scientific Name: Lophochroa leadbeateri

Common Name: Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo or Pink Cockatoo

Distinguishing Features: The Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo while small is stunning coloured with light and dark pink on its body. When the crest is spread it has a wide red band with a yellow stripe though the middle. It has a dark black eye. Both the male and female of the species help to incubate the eggs and then when hatched preen and care for the chicks.

Habitat: They prefer living in River Red Gum or Black Box trees.

Diet: They eat seeds from grasses, fruits, roots, bulbs and insect larvae.

Status: Endangered

Interesting Facts: The male and female chew on a tree hollow to make it bigger.

The scientific name, leadbeateri, is taken from Benjamin Leadbeater (1760 – 1837), who was a London natural history merchant in his day.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Lophochroa-leadbeateri

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Whiskered Tern

The Whiskered Terns were once known as ‘Marsh Terns’, and they can usually be seen in freshwater and brackish wetlands inland and coastal regions.

Whiskered Tern

Scientific Name: Chlidonias hybrida

Common Name: Whiskered Tern

Distinguishing Features: It has a forked tail, white cheeks and under belly. It has grey wings and a black crown. It also has red feet and a red beak. 279mm is the average size. The male and female look the same.

Habitat: It lives in freshwater swamps.

Diet: They feed on small fish, amphibians and insects.

Interesting Facts: It doesn’t like to nest on smooth surfaces, it likes to nest on roughrafts of vegetation.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Chlidonias-hybrida

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Australian Owlet-nightjar

The Australian Owlet-nightjar is the smallest nocturnal bird in Australia.

Australian Owlet Nightjar Phoenix

Scientific Name: Aegotheles cristatus

Common Name: Australian Owlet-nightjar

Distinguishing Features: It features a small black beak and has big brown eyes. It is a rusty brown and grey colour. Both the male and female have a pale underbelly and have light black bars. Two wide black stripes can be seen on its head and start from the top of its eyes and meet at the base of its neck. The breeding season is from July to December. This bird lays a clutch of 2-5 eggs and the eggs are incubated for  28 days. It has a loud grating call like ‘chirr-chirr-chirr.’

Habitat: It lives in tree studded areas that have hollows.

Diet: It’s preferred diet is insects.

Status: Common

Interesting Facts: The Australian Owlet-nightjar has eyes that are non reflective in torch light.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Aegotheles-cristatus

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White-bellied Sea-Eagle

This bird has a huge wingspan and likes living near water!

White Bellied Sea Eagle by Sam

Scientific Name: Heliaeetus leucogaster

Common Name: White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Distinguishing Features: Its beak is usually a dark tip and their eyes are usually dark brown. They are usually dark grey on the under belly, as the body’s creamy white and brown. Their feathers look like they are black in flight but they are actually dark grey. Their length is around 80 cm from top to bottom. They weigh between 2.5 to 3.7 kilograms. Their wingspan can get to 2.2 metres.

Habitat: They like living near waterways in a tree. They are usually a few metres away from the water.

Diet: They like to eat fish; fish is one of their favourite foods. They also like turtles and sometimes they eat sea snakes.

Status: Endangered

Interesting Facts: The White-bellied Sea-Eagle’s clutch is 2. It loves to glide from a tree to the ground.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Haliaeetus-leucogaster

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Red-necked Avoket

This bird sweeps its bill back and forth through the water to catch invertebrates. It apparently locates its food by using its sense of touch.

Red Necked Avocet Bonnie Camm

Scientific Name: Recurvirostra novaehollandiae

Common Name: Red-necked Avocet    

Distinguishing Features: The Red-necked Avocet has a white body with a black streak on each side and has a chestnut head/neck. It has a long upturned black beak and is roughly the size of a seagull. It has a white eye ring, both male and female are similar in size.

Habitat: The Red-Necked Avocet is found throughout mainland in Australia, but it breeds mainly in the south-western interior. Out of breeding season it visits most of the rest of Australia, but it is only an accidental visitor to Tasmania and Cape York Peninsula.

Diet:The Red-necked Avocet feeds on aquatic insects and their larvae, crustaceans and seeds.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Red-necked Avocet will sometimes swim to catch food.

References:

http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/red-necked-avocet

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Superb Fairy-wren

The male bird is easy to recognise with its gleaming, velvety blue-and-black plumage.

Eli Superb Fairy Wren

Scientific Name: Malurus cyaneus

Common Name: Superb Fairy-wren

Distinguishing Features: The head and throat has vibrant blue and black for the males. Males also have grey legs, underbelly and wings. They also have brown eyes and a black bill. The females are dull browns and greys with a red-orange area around the eye and a brown bill.

Habitat: Superb Fairy-wrens like dense cover and low shrubs. They can be found in urban parks and gardens.

Diet: They eat small insects and arthropods.

Status: Secure.

Interesting Facts: Male Superb Fairy-wrens are labeled as the least faithful birds in the world.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Malurus-cyaneus

 

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Australian Ringneck

This bird has many different names depending on the locality.

The Australian Ringneck Toby

Drawing birds

Drawing birds

Scientific Name: Barnardius zonarius

Common Name: Australian Ringneck

Distinguishing Features (subspecies barnardi): The Mallee Ringneck is a large parrot that has a green head and neck with a varied green and blue body. It has more yellow underneath its belly and has a red frontal band. They like to lay their eggs in tree hollows in living or dead trees. They prefer a bare base or rotting wood dust and  enter through a knothole or a hole in the trunk.

Habitat: Most of Australia.

Diet: It likes to eat seeds, fruit, flowers, nectar and insects.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Australian Ringneck is adapted to all Australian conditions exempt extreme conditions.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Barnardius-zonarius

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Common Bronzewing

Don’t be deceived by the name; this bird has many colours!

A Wing of Bronze Tyler Mellberg

Scientific Name: Phaps chalcoptera.

Common Name: Common Bronzewing.

Distinguishing Feature: They look like a medium-sized pigeon. The males have yellow-white foreheads and a pink breast. They have a white line below and around their eyes. They also have patches of blue, green and red on their wings. Their call is commonly a deep ‘oom’ repeated several times.

Habitat: They build untidy nests low down in trees and bushes. Any habitat in Australia apart from the most barren areas and densest rainforests.

Diet: They eat seeds and vegetable matter.

Status: Least concern.

Interesting Facts: They secrete a special milk like substance from the crop for their young chicks.

References: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Phaps-chalcoptera