Superb Lyrebird Survey

Sat 23 June 2018 08:00am

Chris Davey

Since the January 2003 bushfires, Peter Fullagar and Chris Davey have been monitoring the return of the Superb Lyrebird to an area of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.  They wish to get an idea of the present distribution within the Reserve and are asking COG members to join them for a morning’s survey.  They are calling for expressions of interest to join them at 8.00am at the Reserve car park to walk the trails and to record the location of calling birds.  Depending on the trails walked the survey should take about three hours.

This outing will be a repeat of the very successful surveys conducted at this time of the year since 2004.  For previous survey results see Gang-gang p8, July 2017.

Note the change of date for this outing.


Post event report

The fifteenth annual survey of the Superb Lyrebird was run under perfect conditions with a cool morning, no wind and clear skies. The survey is designed to provide an index of population numbers within the Reserve since the 2003 bushfires. Eighteen COG members and friends were assembled at the car park by 8.00 am and after breaking up into teams we soon started to survey the five main walking trails. In addition, because of the number of volunteers, it was possible to survey the Lyrebird trail. The trail is not part of the original five because it was not until sometime after the 2003 fire that the trail was reopened. Taking a minimum count, 25 individual Superb Lyrebirds were recorded within the Reserve (Gibraltar Rocks-1 (1), Devil’s Gap-1 (0), Fishing Gap-3 (5), Ashbrook-4 (0), Camel Back-16 (20)). Figures in brackets are numbers reported last year. The total for this year was one less than in 2017 – see Figure 1 on page 7. Nine birds were recorded from the Lyrebird/Cascades trail of which seven were also recorded from the Camel Back trail, leaving two sightings allocated to the Lyrebird/Cascades trail and not included in the totals. During the survey 29 bird species were recorded, with the number seen depending very much on the trail walked: Gibraltar Rocks-20, Devil’s Gap-18, Fishing Gap-9, Ashbrook18 and Camel Back-11, with 12 species reported from the Lyrebird trail. There was a decrease in the total number of species from 35 last year, with a decrease from all trails apart from a greater number from the Ashbrook trail. There were two species reported from the six trails, Superb Lyrebird and White-throated Treecreeper. The Sulphurcrested Cockatoo was recorded from all trails apart from Devil’s Gap, the Crimson Rosella from Camel Back, the Striated Thornbill from Gibraltar Rocks and the Whitebrowed Scrub-wren, Brown Thornbill, Australian Raven and Eastern Yellow Robin from Fishing Gap. Species seen from one track only included the Pied and Grey Currawong, Bassian Thrush, Eastern Spinebill, Weebill, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Golden Whistler and Grey Fantail. Many thanks to the participants and to the authorities for waiving the entry fees.

Back to Past Events