Over the course of the project we have been monitoring fauna on each of the sites using bird surveys, motion-sensor camera deployments and nest box inspections, in order to obtain base-line data for future comparison. The surveys regularly turn up the expected common birds – magpies, Galahs, Crimson Rosellas, Superb Fairy-wrens, Brown Thornbills, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Grey Fantails, etc., and the cameras are full of shots of kangaroos and wombats – as well as foxes and deer! It could become all a bit ho-hum if it weren’t for the enjoyment of wandering the hills of the King Parrot catchment looking for birds, and also, just once in a while, the excitement of an unexpected rare species popping up!
In the case of birds, the surprises have come from a pair of Spotted Quail-thrush in ‘Hidden Valley’ (Site 4), and, most recently, a group of Southern Whiteface on the edge of one of the new sites added this year (see more details on Focus on Fauna). With mammals the Long-nosed Bandicoot (again in ‘Hidden Valley’) was unexpected, as was the frequency of occurrence of the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale, which has so far been recorded on four of the project properties, including two of the new sites. A highlight early on in the project was of course the finding of an endangered Striped Legless Lizard on the Granters’ property (Site 5).