Rainbow Bee-eater by David Ong

To many people, birding may seem an unfathomable pastime.

Birding may conjure up images of someone feeding magpies or looking through binoculars at birds in an urban park. Such images of a bird observer may not be accurate.

Perhaps there are as many reasons why people are interested in birding as there are birders.

Some birders wish to see bird species they have not observed before, even if this means travelling to various parts of the country at short notice or trudging through swamps.

Some birders enjoy roughing it, camping in a tent in the remote outback, so that they can see the birds of that region.

Others travel about birding from early morn to dusk but, at night, prefer the comforts of a motel.

Some birders go on a small fishing boat into rough seas to observe seabirds ('a pelagic') whilst others rarely travel far from home.

Some attend birding outings and camps largely for social reasons; some prefer to bird alone.

Apart from conducting surveys, birders are often involved in habitat restoration or protection work.

This sometimes puts birders offside with those who wish to damage bird habitats, e.g. some housing estate developers and some mining companies.

If action is not taken to protect the habitats of birds, bird watching will be more difficult and less enjoyable. That is why more and more stress is being placed on 'conservation' and 'education'. The merger of Bird Observation & Conservation Australia and Birds Australia (to form BirdLife Australia) may further the cause of bird conservation, education and observation.

Birding helps one to better appreciate the natural environment and the inter-relationship between plants and animals.

Birds are flagships, indicators of the environmental health of any area. Diminishing numbers of wild birds indicates that the environment is not in a healthy state (e.g. due to the clearing of bushland or interfering with tidal flats). A high diversity of bird species ~ and good numbers of each species ~ indicates good environmental conditions. Bird numbers rise and fall according to how good weather and climatic conditions have been.

Horsfields Bronze
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo (Murray Chambers)

Becoming a BirdLife Australia member enables you to receive a quarterly magazine, email updates and information about BirdLife outings, camps and meetings in various parts of Australia.

By joining BirdLife Australia, you are assisting in the conservation of Australia's birds and bushland.

Convener: Ben Goonan
Deputy Convener: Marian Hill
Secretary: Keith Stockwell
Assistant Secretary: Peter Elliott
Facebook Moderator: Peter Elliott
Treasurer: Simon Starr
Conservation Officer: Simon Starr
Committee member: Ken Dredge
Committee member: Maureen Dredge
Fuel-reduction Burns lobbyists: Pam and John Land




BS Kite
Black-shouldered Kite (photo: Murray Chambers)

BirdLife Echuca District aims to serve BirdLife members who live in north-central Victoria and southern New South Wales.

Our district covers Edward River Shire (Deniliquin-Conargo), Murray River Shire (Moama-Mathoura-Wakool-Barham), Campaspe Shire (Echuca-Rochester-Lockington), Gannawarra Shire (Kerang area), Loddon Shire, City of Greater Bendigo and surrounding areas.


Coming outings and events



Departure time and place



Saturday 11th February 2017

Wetlands around COHUNA

7.50am for 8am departure from car park of Cohuna Visitor Information Centre, Murray Valley Highway COHUNA

Audrey Dickins (with Keith Stockwell)

590 J10 (Edition 7)

Tuesday 14th February Bus trip (ex Barham) to POLLACK SWAMP 10.50 for 11am departure from Council Offices, Murray Street BARHAM. RSVP by 8th February to 0447 420 7889 to book a place. Bring gum boots and binoculars. Light lunch provided. Jamie Hearn, Local land and Services NSW (Murray Region) Map 591 R6
(Edition 7)
SUNDAY 5th March 2017 Outing to areas around Lake Eppalock 8.20 for 8.30 departure from spillway car park, Lake Eppalock Scott Eaton 45 A7
(Edition 7)
Saturday 8th April Visit to Crusoe Reservoir KANGAROO FLAT 8.20 for 8.30, Rotary Park, Calder Highway KANGAROO FLAT Maureen and Ken Dredge 613 M1
(Edition 7)

Events in italics are not official outings of this Branch. Note that the Eppalock outing is on Sunday 5th (i.e. not on a Saturday).

In addition to the above outings, we also conduct bird surveys and advise members of other birding events in our district. More information about forthcoming camps, outings and events is contained in our latest Plains-wanderer newsletter. Alternatively, click on the Coming Events button above.

Prior to duck shooting season, members are urged to survey wetlands in their area for endangered birds. Contct Simon or Malcolm beforehand though.

Feathers and Photography workshop
Workshop in Gunbower with Chris Tzaros
Monday 20th February 2017 from 6.45pm
Gunbower Landcare Group invites members to attend a FEATHERS AND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP presented by Chris Tzaros. Venue is Gunbower Bowls Club, GUNBOWER Victoria (VicRoads Map 21 H9 - Edition 7). A light supper is to be provided. Contact Audrey Dickins for more information. Potential attendees must RSVP Audrey Dickins on 042 987 1250 or by emailing audreydickins24@iprimus.com.au immediately.

Gunbower Creek Clean-up
Tuesday 28th February 2017 from 9am (lunch provided).
North Central CMA invites you to help CLEAN UP GUNBOWER CREEK from 9am until noon on 28th February 2017. If you can assist, register on the day at either Garden Park COHUNA (behind the Gateway Information Centre, Murray Valley Highway) or at Gunbower Recreation Reserve. Each participant should bring a hat, gloves, water and sturdy footwear (e.g. gumboots). Participants are asked to consider bringing a kayak or boat in order to collect rubbish from the water and/or creek bank. RSVP by 24th February to info@nccma.vic.gov.au or phone NCCMA on (03) 5448 7124.

Sand Hill Revegetation and Protection Grants
Funding is available for projects aimed at improving or protecting natural and cultiural heritaghe values of sandhills across Yorta Yorta country. for information and eligibility criteria contact Jim Begley on (03) 5764 7503. Posted January 2017.

Moama Wetlands
11 members attended our first outing for 2017: early morning in Moama Wetlands (Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park). 49 bird species were observed. Weather: fine and warm (but not extremely hot). After morning tea, several attendees drove to a forested section of Terrick Terrick National Park for some more birding. There, an additional 11 species were observed (plus bird species observed en route).

Our February outing is to wetlands in the Cohuna area. Note: the meeting time is 7.50am for an 8am departure.

Annual General Meeting
All office holders were re-elected at our 2016-17 Annual General Meeting. A list of office bearers and committee members is on the back page of the latest Plains-wanderer newsletter.

Members present enjoyed a luncheon and spent some time birding in bushland around the venue. Outings were 2017 and early 2018 were discussed.

Treetops Camp, Gunbower Island
From 20th to 26 March 2017, BirdLife Australia is to have a camp on Gunbower Island GANNAWARRA (between Cohuna and Barham). BirdLife Echuca District has been asked to provide outing leaders and to assist in planning outings. Note: this camp may possibly fall during Victorian duck shooting season, thereby affecting the places we may be able to safely and legally visit. Campers must book through BirdLife's national office. Day visiting members are welcome.

Traditional May Outings
For several years, BirdLife Echuca District has organised three consecutive day outings, commencing on the first Sunday of May. Last year we also offered a late afternoon outing on the Saturday prior. The same will be the case again in 2017. The area to be visited is the Victoria Mallee. Participants are asked to arrange their own accommodation, e.g. Casuarina Camp Ground in Wyperfeld National Park (pre-booking with Parks Victoria may be necessary) or Hilltop Motel OUYEN. BirdLife Echuca District will not handle money or arrange accommodation, i.e. this is not a "campout". On the Monday evening, a group dinner may be held in Ouyen: pre-book with secretary during April. See the latest Plains-wanderer newsletter for more details (click on the Latest Newsletter button above to download a pdf copy).

Downloadable birding site guides
The branch has a number of birding site guides that can be downloaded from this site. These gjuides may assist birders who wish to visit our district. There is separate A4 brochure on each of the following areas: Barmah Forest, Mathoura-Gulpa Island, Terrick Terrick National Park, Echuca Moama, Perricoota Road, Kanyapella-Wyuna, Kamarooka, Gunbower Island, Deniliquin, Bendigo, Cohuna, Kerang and Boort.

In addition, printed brochures on the birds of our district may be collected free-of-charge from Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre or Mathoura RTC or Torrumbarry Weir Kiosk or from Gannawarra Shire offices. We have a plentiful supply of brochures should other outlets wish to distribute same.

Members are invited to join our Facebook page and/or our district email sightings tree. Contact our Secretary for more information.

Make the most of your membership
District members who wish to be advised of forthcoming events by email should supply an email address to head office (or to our branch secretary). Occasional email updates are sent, often at the beginning of a month. We also email members a copy of our quarterly newsletter, Plains-wanderer.

This page was last updated on 18th January 2017.