MCMC recently led two walks along Merri Creek looking for small birds, microbats and frogs. The first was on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, at Merri Park Northcote, and the second was in late March at Moomba Park, Fawkner. Frogs were heard calling, many birds were spotted and some microbats recorded.
At the Fawkner event participants looked for places to install nest boxes, while at the Merri Park some of the 60 nestboxes that were installed in 2019 & 2020 were checked for occupation. A camera connected to a long pole was used to look inside nestboxes without having to climb trees and with minimal disturbance to any creatures inisde the boxes. At both locations a small Echo meter device assisted identification by picking up the microbats' calls, which are inaudible to humans.
Leslie Fraser, from the Friends of Merri Park assisted with the Merri Park wetland walk. Sheltered by maturing trees, the group listened for frog calls, met a live Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) and learned how the wetland provides important habitat for birds, frogs, reptiles and even small mammals such as the Rakali (Native Water Rat). It also treats stormwater from the surrounding residential area before it reaches Merri Creek.
Participants really enjoyed the evening as can be seen by responses to the Merri Park event:
- the presenters were great - great chemistry & culture;
- being outdoors in nature - especially at the wetland;
- checking the nestboxes - the camera was cool!;
- learning about (and hearing) the distinctive calls of the local frogs.
We hope to hold more events like this in the future so please keep an eye on the website for coming events and subscribe to our events notifications HERE.
These events were funded by generous donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund (nest box bird & microbat activity), the City of Darebin (frogs at Merri Park) and Melbourne Water (frogs at Moomba Park) .