Spot the echidna trying to hide. She roams around the west end of ImLal South, but we hadn't seen her for a while, so it was a pleasure to re-encounter her during the spring bird survey.
We topped up patches around the southern 5ha of the biorich plantation after the spring bird survey – with 40 black wattle, 20 silver banksia and 20 messmate stringybark.
Gary had sprayed the grass twice with glyphosate and marked the various locations for planting. The long sleeves and the bendy fibreglass poles were purchased from Rowan Reid and are designed to deter bouncing roos and grazing wallabies. Hopefully, the sleeves are not too narrow for the banksia's spreading form. The ground was saturated, with water pooling after being dug into in a few spots. Will the tubestock drown? Like the long sleeves, yet another real life experiment.
The black wattle and messmate are both timber species used in our 21C drop slab hut. The silver banksia is a locally endangered species that seems to thrive at ImLal. We hope to establish a seed orchard for the silver banksia (Banksia marginata) with Seeding Victoria.
We ended the morning's events with a barbecue in the clearing next to the newly completed 21C drop slab hut. No doubt, the first of many such enjoyable occasions.
Seven of us took part in the spring bird survey led by ornithologist Tanya Loos. As enthusiastic and competent as ever.
It was a still cloudy day with a couple of serious birders joining us. While only 33 species were recorded, these were present in large numbers, such as sighting of seven or more yellow faced honeyeaters – the first-ever species we recorded at ImLal.
The plant growth this year has been truly remarkable, with even the shrubs now towering above us. One pronounced change was the dieback of the silver wattle, under serious attack from a mite.
It's been a very wet spring and there was a lot of water laying about.
Gib Wettenhall is interested in how we carry out large scale landscape restoration that involves the people who live in those landscapes. That, he believes, would build truly resilient landscapes.