EYNESBURY FOREST

Gold-dust Wattle Eynesbury 18 sep 2010 short

Eynesbury Forest, at 288 hectares, is one of Victoria’s largest remaining stands of Grey Box, & the largest one south of the Dividing Range. It is a reminder of the Grey Box Woodlands that once covered much of this region, along with vast areas of rolling grasslands. In springtime the woodland comes alive with masses of yellow & gold wattles & bushpeas, as well as numerous smaller wildflowers.

‘In a landscape ecology context it is clear that, particularly for birds, the Eynesbury, Pinkerton and Bush’s Paddock patches function as a single system – each one important for ongoing ecological function in the others.’

As per: Pinkerton Forest and Bush’s Paddock: flora and fauna report 2007

Eynesbury Forest is one of several woodlands in this vicinity, ie Pinkerton Forest, Bush’s paddock Woodland, Strathtulloh Woodland & Five Ways Woodland, Eynesbury being by far the biggest.

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133 bird species have been found in Eynesbury Forest to date, but more species are observed here each year.

The woodland provides refuge to many threatened birds that depend upon woodland remnants such as Eynesbury, including many listed in the ‘Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community’

Several are listed under a National Action Plan for Australian Birds:

Brown Treecreeper, Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail

The Speckled Warbler and Diamond Firetail are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

‘Both the Zebra Finch & Southern Whiteface are rare in the Greater Melbourne area. The Southern Whiteface is particularly rare now, and the Mt Cottrell-Exford area down to the You Yangs is probably its stronghold in south-central Victoria’

As per: Pinkerton Forest and Bush’s Paddock: flora and fauna report 2007

Endangered birds in Eynesbury include:

  • · Speckled Warbler
    • Small endangered ground nesting birds especially vulnerable to cats
    • Threatened in Victoria under FFG Act
  • · Southern Whiteface
    • ‘persists locally only at Eynesbury near Melton & the You Yangs’
    • ‘Eynesbury …. in low numbers’
  • · Brown Treecreepers
    • ‘Persists in Eynesbury, Long Forest, Brisbane Ranges & You Yangs’
    • ‘locally their numbers are low & their range contracting’
  • · Jacky Winter
    •  ‘Listed on Threatened Victorian Woodland Bird Community (FFG Act)’
  • · Diamond Firetails
    • Threatened in Victoria under FFG & declining in much of Victoria
  • · Brown-headed Honeyeater
    • ‘Listed on Threatened Victorian Woodland Bird Community (FFG Act)’

(As per Birds of the Long Forest 1889 – 2005)

Eynesbury Forest is a refuge for several endangered bird species, but these could also still be lost if we do not take care.

Several woodland birds are noticeably already absent from Eynesbury ie. White-winged Chough & Noisy Miner.

Another woodland bird, the Grey-crowned Babbler was found in Eynesbury until fairly recently (1987). The loss of the Babbler, so recently, is a warning to us to take better care of those endangered birds that remain.  The presence of fallen timber seems a requirement for not only the Babbler, but also other endangered woodland bird species.

According to Birds of the Long Forest 1889-2005, the Grey-crowned Babbler was:

‘formerly a  common breeding resident in box woodlands in district, but now locally extinct; uncommon by 1960s, last district record from Eynesbury in 1987.’        

‘major threats are clearing & fragmentation of bushlands’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Birds of the Long Forest 1889-2005 (page 220)

According to Birds in Backyards:

‘The Grey-crowned Babbler is found in open forests and woodlands, favouring inland plains with an open shrub layer, little ground cover and plenty of fallen timber and leaf litter.‘                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

‘Grey-crowned Babbler populations have declined throughout their range as a result of land-clearing practices that leave habitats fragmented.’                                   

‘ Habitat degradation is also a factor in declines, with fuel-reduction burning, grazing, weed invasions and removal of timber decreasing leaf litter build-up, which then reduces the amount of invertebrate food available.’       

http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Pomatostomus-temporalis;       

133 bird species have been recorded at Eynesbury, as per quarterly surveys by Birdlife Australia, & other surveys

Stubble Quail Peaceful Dove Masked Woodswallow
Black Swan Common Bronzewing Black-faced Cuckooshrike
Australian Shelduck Common Pigeon White-bellied Cuckooshrike
Freckled Duck Spotted Dove White-winged Triller
Pink-eared Duck Crested Pigeon Varied Sittella
Wood Duck Galah Crested Shriketit
Pacific Black Duck Long-billed Corella Australian Golden Whistler
Australasian Shoveler Little Corella Rufous Whistler
Grey Teal Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Grey Shrikethrush
Chestnut Teal Rainbow Lorikeet Olive-backed Oriole
Hardhead Musk Lorikeet Willie Wagtail
Australasian Grebe Purple-crowned Lorikeet Grey Fantail
Hoary-headed Grebe Crimson Rosella Magpielark
Australian White Ibis Eastern Rosella Restless Flycatcher
Straw-necked Ibis Red-rumped Parrot Little Raven
Yellow-billed Spoonbill Swift Parrot Jacky Winter
Nankeen Night Heron Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo Pink Robin
White-necked Heron Shining Bronze Cuckoo Flame Robin
White-faced Heron Pallid Cuckoo Scarlet Robin
Australian Pelican Fan-tailed Cuckoo Welcome Swallow
Little Pied Cormorant Eastern Barn Owl Fairy Martin
Little Black Cormorant Southern Boobook Tree Martin
Great Cormorant Tawny Frogmouth Eurasian Skylark
Australasian Darter Laughing Kookaburra Little Grassbird
Nankeen Kestrel Sacred Kingfisher Rufous Songlark
Australian Hobby Brown Treecreeper Brown Songlark
Brown Falcon Superb Fairywren Australian Reed Warbler
Black Falcon White-plumed Honeyeater Silvereye
Peregrine Falcon Brown-headed Honeyeater Common Myna
Black-shouldered Kite Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Common Starling
Black Kite Red Wattlebird Common Blackbird
Whistling Kite New Holland Honeyeater Mistletoebird
White-bellied Sea Eagle White-fronted Chat House Sparrow
Spotted Harrier Spotted Pardalote Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Brown Goshawk Striated Pardalote Diamond Firetail
Wedge-tailed Eagle Speckled Warbler Red-browed Finch
Little Eagle White-browed Scrubwren Zebra Finch
Australian Crake Weebill Australian Pipit
Buff-banded Rail Brown Thornbill European Goldfinch
Purple Swamphen Buff-rumped Thornbill
Dusky Moorhen Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Black-tailed Native Hen Yellow Thornbill
Red-kneed Dotterel Striated Thornbill
Black-fronted Dotterel Southern Whiteface
Eurasian Coot Australian Magpie
Australian Black-winged Stilt White-browed Woodswallow
Masked Lapwing Dusky Woodswallow

Diamond Firetail II chris luniardi

Diamond Firetail III chris luniardi

Diamond Firetails in Eynesbury (photos by Chris Luniardi)

Brown Treecreeper Eynesbury 24 oct 2010 2

Brown Treecreeper in Eynesbury

Jacky Winter pinkerton 27 March 2010 closeup

Jacky Winter

web Speckled Warbler Eynesbury 2 jan 2014 15 3

Speckled Warbler in Eynesbury

Brown-headed-Honeyeater-(Melithreptus-brevirostris)-N-bpa-D-25-11-12

Brown-headed Honeyeater (photo by Nora Peters)

spotted pardalote (cheeky) eynesbury 18 sep 2010 1

Spotted Pardalote in Eynesbury

Zebra-Finches-(F&M)-tvd-29-3-09

Zebra Finches (photo by Nora Peters)

Tree Martins Eynesbury 24 oct 2010 1

Tree Martins scooping up mud in Eynesbury

REd-browed finches eynesbury 3 sep 2012

Red-browed Finches in Eynesbury

White-browed-Woodswallow-(Artamus-superciliosus)-N-bpa-D-25-11-12

White-browed Woodswallow by Nora Peters

Whistling Kite Eynesbury 6 dec 2013 111

Whistling Kite in Eynesbury

whistling kite nest enesbury 18 sep 2010

Whistling Kite nest in Eynesbury

eagle pinkerton 1 nov 2013

Wedge-tailed Eagle

wedgie nest at eynesbury 12 feb 2013 1

Wedge-tailed Eagle nest in Eynesbury

wedgie nest eynesbury 12 feb 2013 1

Wedge-tailed Eagle nest in Eynesbury (cloesup)

Little-Eagle-msa--30-3-08

Little Eagle (Nora Peters)

Little-Eagles-(J)-(Hieraaetus-morphnoides)-N-eyna-D-15-11-12

juvenile Little Eagles on nest in Eynesbury (Nora Peter)

night herons eynesbury lake 31 dec 2012 1

Nankeen Night-herons at Eynesbury lake (adult above & juvenile below)

The Jacky Lizard (also known as Tree Dragon) is a lizard commonly seen in Eynesbury Forest. This lizard looks like a miniature version of the larger & better known Bearded Dragon. They grow to about 30 cm in length. Jacky Lizards are seen locally at Eynesbury,  in fact Eynesbury is probably the best place to find these small but prehistoric looking lizards.  Jacky Lizards are said to be also found in the hills north of Melton & Bacchus Marsh, ie. Toolern Vale, Pyrete Forest, Lerderderg Gorge etc.  Also possible sightings at Kororoit Creek at Deer Park.  Expert advice states they occur along the coastal area, You Yangs, Mt Rothwell, Point Cook Metro Park & Brisbane Ranges; also ‘reasonably common in woodlands around the grasslands’. They are fond of sunning themselves on rocks or logs.

Hic sunt dracones!’  

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Juvenile Jacky Lizard at Eynesbury

jacky lizard eynesbury 30 aug 2011 closeup

Adult Jacky Lizard at Eynesbury

shadows in the bush eynesbury 4 feb 2012 1

Shadows in the bush: Eastern Grey Kangaroos in Eynesbury

The occasional Koala is also seen in Eynesbury from time to time. It is not known if these Koalas are permanently resident in the forest, or just passing through.  Hopefully  indicates a population. During the four day heatwave in January 2014 a Koala was observed drinking water. Koalas, like other wildlife, suffer from heat stress when the weather exceeds 40 degrees.

Koala 3

Koala in tree beside Eynesbury Road in April 2013

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Eynesbury Forest in drought 2008

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Buloke Woodland in Eynesbury

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3 responses to “EYNESBURY FOREST

  1. We have a family of blue wrens frequenting our backyard. They have become very tame even sitting on the outdoor table whilst we are sitting there. They have become accustomed to eating the dogs’ meat when he leaves some. One dog lays in his bed and watches them. The other watches them from inside. The Wrens give us great enjoyment. Last winter I fed a family of Magpies who still return occasionally and demand food by coming to the door and talking to us. Very vocal birds! During the winter months I distribute wild bird seed mixture about three times a week to help the birds survive.

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