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.

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)

The URL of this page from now on is stocky.mcmedia.com.au/birdlife_echuca.htm
Email address: echuca@birdlife.org.au

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.


Note: The Deniliquin outing is now on SUNDAY 10TH February from 9am.

Coming outings and events



Time and place



Early January 2019 (postponed due to heatwasve) Camp: Jingellic (via Holbrook NSW) See latest Plains-wanderer for information. David Ap-Thomas. Participants MUST book with BirdLife's national office. Fees apply. Map 31 C1
Sunday 13th January 2019 Early morning birding walk in Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park MOAMA 7.50am at bridge end of elevated walkway over the lagoon. Keith Stockwell Map 596 J4 (Edition 7)
A Friday in mid January Surveys: bird surveys along six transects within Terrick Terrick National Park 7am, Terricks Day Visitor car park. Kelsey Tucker, DEWLP in conjunctiofn with Parks Victoria  

Sunday 10th February 2019
Note change of day.

Outing: Deniliquin 8.50 (for 9am) at gateway to Island Sanctuary, Cressy Street, opposite Town Hall. Tom Wheller MELWAY Map 921 G2 (not shown in VicRoads)
Saturday 16th/Sunday 17th February Surveys: Quarterly Loddon Plains bird surveys   James Nelsson, Loddon Plains Landcare Network  
Sunday 24th March Outing: Ruff property alongside Mt Black, WIRRATE 8.50 for 9am walk from house, 174 Mount Black Quarry Road WIRRATE Rattana and Manfred Ruff Map 45 H6
April Camp: Clarkesdcale Bird Sanctuary, LINTON Details upon booking with BirdLife's national office David Ap-Thomas  

More information about forthcoming camps, outings and events is contained in our latest Plains-wanderer newsletter. Alternatively, click on the Coming Events button above.

Office bearers announced at AGM
The 2019 committee is as follows: Ben Goonan (Convener); Greg Turner (Secretary and Webmeister); Malcolm Cousland (Treasurer); Simon Starr (Conservation Officer); Mat Comer; Julia Hughes; Simon Smith and Wayne Wignall (Facebook Moderator).

Vale: Nancy Marriott
Early in 1992, BOC members Nancy Marriott and Jon Hosford were joined by three others for a walk alongside the lower Campaspe River. This outing is regarded as the first outing of what is now BirdLife Echuca District. In August 1992, following an outing to the Terricks forest, a meeting was held in a shelter alongside the Mitiamo football ground to elect office bearers for the remainder of 1992 and 1993. Nancy was elected Secretary, a post she was to retain for well over a decade. Nancy named the group Echuca and District Branch of the Bird Observers Club. The Bird Observers Club of Australia later became Bird Observation and Conservation Australia (BOCA). BOCA then merged with the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union to become BirdLife Australia. After the merger, only a small number of members resided in Echuca but members voted to retain the words "Echuca District" in the branch's name. Had it not been for Nancy's forethought and determination, our branch would not exist. An obituary can be downloaded by clicking here.

Loddon Plains surveys
The next series of bird surveys for the Loddon Plains Landcare Network are scheduled for February 2019. Keith S. invites members to assist him with surveys in Terrick Terrick National Park.

Moama (Horseshoe Lagoon) outing
The first outing for 2019 was an early morning walk in Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park, MOAMA. Attendees spent three hours birding in the reserve. Although a swamp that relies on town runoff was dry (due to drought conditions), well over 30 bird species were observed, including Square-tailed Kite (3). The session ended when it became hot about 11am - until then the weather was near-to-ideal.

Terricks outing
On Saturday 6th October, a group of birders attended an early-morning birding session in a superb part of the Terricks Forest. All seats in the courtesy bus were filled, so a number of participants travelled in cars. 35 bird species were observed, nearly all of which were bush birds. Those who attended the Friends Weekend in Terrick Terrick National Park went on to observe even more bird species.

Kamarooka outing
On Saturday 21st October, 11 members attended an outing in the Kamarooka Forest led by Scott Eaton. 63 bird species were observed.

Downloadable birding site guides

The branch has a number of birding site guides that can be downloaded from this site. These guides 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.

Unfortunately only copies of the Gunbower brochure are currently available, stocks of the Echuca brochure having been exhausted.

Members are invited to join our Facebook page and/or our district email sightings tree. To view our Facebook page, visit
https://www.facebook.com/groups/333219706876981/?ref=bookmarks or contact Wayne Wignall.

Make the most of your membership
District members who wish to be advised of forthcoming events by email should supply an email address 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. Head office no longer mails our newsletter to district members.

This page was last updated 27th December 2018