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The Annual Wyndham Gouldian Finch Census.

 

 

The Annual Wyndham Gouldian Finch Census:

Sunday 2nd to Thursday 6th September, 2012

 

The 2012 annual Gouldian Finch Census will be held at Wyndham, in the

eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia, during the first week of

September, 2012.

 

We need as many volunteer helpers as possible to successfully complete

the census this year.

 

Applicants who are individual Save The Gouldian Fund members and/or

donors will be given preference.

 

It is essential that each volunteer has a good pair of binoculars of his/her

own.

 

Volunteers intending to participate in the census will need to make their

own travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check the Save The

Gouldian Fund website for further details.

Sunday 2nd September

          •Assemble at Wyndham TAFE (opposite BP petrol station off

main road through Wyndham) by 2.00pm

          •Presentation – Dr Sarah Pryke – Update on what is happening

to the Gouldian and habitat; plus an overview of the current  research projects.

          Induction – Sarah Pryke and Mike Fidler – Guidance on what

we are going to be doing for the following four days.

 

Monday 3rd September

 

          •Bird counting at waterholes at dawn

          •Rest of the day free

 

Tuesday 4th September

          •Bird counting at waterholes at dawn

          •Rest of the day free or volunteer to participate in nest box building workshop

 

Wednesday 5th September

Bird counting at waterholes at dawn

Rest of the day free or volunteer to participate in nest box building workshop

Evening barbeque at sunset at the Bastion Lookout

 

Thursday 6th September

Bird counting at waterholes at dawn

Morning tea get together at Parry’s Creek Farm So if you fancy:

 

1. A wonderful excuse to visit this spectacular area – the whole area is

a birder’s paradise with Marlgu, a Ramsar listed wetland, adjoining

Parry’s Creek Farm. The area around Wyndham also hosts a number

of mangrove habitats, as well as the savanna grasslands, which

host a large diversity of finches and other birds that are well worth

seeing.

 

2. A unique opportunity to see Gouldian Finches in the wild, together

with a large diveristy of other native finches, including Star,

Crimson, Long-tailed, Masked, Yellow-rumped, Chestnut-breasted,

Double-barred, Zebra and Pictorella Finches. Less than an hours

drive away you should be able to also find the lovely Painted Finch.

 

3. Help in a really good cause

 

4. Meet up and make friends with some wonderful like-minded people

 

5. Get away from it all and chill out!

 

Come and participate in this year’s annual Gouldian Finch census

near Wyndham, WA.

 

For further information and registration please contact:

 

David Myers

Save The Gouldian Fund

Communications Manager

Email: dmyers28@hotmail.com

 

Phone: 0410422386

 

 

THE 2011 ANNUAL WYNDHAM GOULDIAN FINCH CENSUS

 

The fourth annual Gouldian count was conducted in the Wyndham area in

the East Kimberley region of Western Australia during the first week in

September 2011. Most volunteers came from around Australia with a

international visitors coming from New Zealand and South Africa. Thanks

to the efforts of Rod ‘Strop’ Oliver we also had four local volunteers from

Kununurra involved. It is fantastic to see local people becoming involved

in the count, as they will undoubtedly provide a nucleus of counters to

which we can hopefully add in the future.

Usually by September conditions ar such that drinking water for the

finches is concentrated at the few remaining waterholes and the birds are

starting to work harder to find suitable food resources. However, the

wetter than average 2011 wet season created unusual conditions with

abundant water and food still available throughout the area. This meant

that, unlike the two previous years when big flocks of birds were observed

at the waterholes, much smaller flocks visited the monitored waterholes

to drink. Despite this, around 200 Gouldians were counted daily, many in

areas where they haven’t been in during previous counts. Although

absolute numbers were down on 2010, the ratio of Gouldians to Longtailed

Finches has increased; a trend that was reflected in the breeding

season. So although we didn’t see the huge flocks of Gouldians often

present on the lawn in front of the Shire offices in town at this time of

year, it is encouraging to know that there is enough food and water for

them to remain out in the bush.

 

We were also encouraged to see that many of the chicks we had banded

earlier in the year had survived and in some cases moved many

kilometres from their birth sites.

 

The award for perseverance has to go to Elisabeth Fidler who sat patiently

at a normally popular Gouldian site for all four mornings of the count,

recording just 6 Double-barred Finches. While our South African visitors

seemed to attract Gouldians wherever they went, even after the count.

 

The two nest box building workshops were well attended and volunteers

provided invaluable help to assist us in reaching our target of assembling

1000 new nestboxes for the year. Not only did volunteers donate their

time, many also donated equipment and expertise. Special thanks to

Strop Oliver (Kununurra) who spent 2 full days pre-cutting some 6000

nestbox sections from large sheets of marine ply ready for assembly; Ian

Campton (Sydney, NSW) for donating a circular power saw making it

possible to cut the hollow entrance logs; to brothers Wayne and Gary

Southwell (Wollongong, NSW) for their many hours in the sun cutting the

log; and to Robert Lawer (Carnarvon, WA) who made it look effortless

cutting entrance holes in 300 plus face-boards.

 

Also thanks to Anne and the staff at Parry’s Creek Farm for their ongoing

support and their hard work looking after everyone for the duration of the

count!

 

David Myers

Save The Gouldian Fund

Communications Manager

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