In 8,000 responses to a national survey conducted during October by BirdLife Australia, the Superb Fairy-wren was voted as Australia’s favourite bird. The Guardian newspaper reports:
It’s bright blue, sexually promiscuous and just 14 cm long – and it’s officially Australia’s favourite bird. The superb fairy-wren has won a national poll to identify the country’s most-loved feathered animal. … The males of the species, which are coloured a vibrant blue, have been dubbed the ‘least faithful birds in the world’ owing to their rampant promiscuity. Female birds have been observed being courted by 13 males in a half-hour period.
We have received no definitive sightings of wrens in Glebe this year.
About 10 volunteers attended the working bee organised by the Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group on Sunday 20 October and photos were taken of the Park to document the growth of recently planted native flora. On Saturday 9 November seeds were collected from native plants growing in the Park, soaked in hot water and distributed around the Park. The Glebe BushcareGroup continues to meet on a weekly basis each Wednesday and is currently planting native species in Federal Park north-east of the Rozelle Bay Nursery in Chapman Rd and weeding near the corner of Johnston St and The Crescent.
The City is investigating structural problems in the retaining wall on the western side of John St Reserve; as a safety measure it has erected temporary fencing to keep people away from the wall. The wall may need to be fully rebuilt. In Paddy Gray Reserve, local residents are continuing to water the newly planted native seedlings every couple of days using the hose purchased by the Subcommittee. So far their efforts have been successful and the seedlings are thriving. Jan Craney and Judy Christie had an onsite meeting at the Glebe Town Hall Garden with Deputy Mayor Robyn Kemmis, Stephen Merchant and Chris Johnson (landscape architects from the City of Sydney) on 11 October to re-commence work on a master plan for native plantings in the garden. The current plantings do not conform to the originally accepted plan.
A spring bird survey commencing at 6.45am on Sunday 3 November was attended by nine enthusiastic members of the Society and Sophie Golding, the Urban Ecology Coordinator, City of Sydney. A survey sheet that contained a check-list of local birds was drawn up by Sophie, with local advice, and Sophie addressed the safety issues (including the registration of participants) at the start of the event. Seven parks and reserves were surveyed and the highlights included sightings of two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (Calidris acuminata), migratory waders which breed in Arctic Siberia, in the saltmarsh wetlands adjacent to Johnston’s canal, a pair of noisy Willy Wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys) near Johnston’s canal and three Masked Lapwings (Vanellus miles) on Jubilee Oval. Sophie will analyse the collected data which will form a base-line study to be used in the future to assess the success of current native plantings to re-introduce habitat for small birds, including blue wrens, in our suburb. After the survey, all gathered for a well-earned breakfast at a local restaurant.