FNCB iNaturalist's Journal

07 December, 2023

End of Year at Berringa

The Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat had their end of year celebration and field trip on 3rd of December. We visited a private nature reserve in Berringa in the afternoon, then had a picnic meal at Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary. Some members returned to the nature reserve afterwards, to see the nocturnal animals such as bandicoots and bettongs that we had only caught glimpses of during the day.

I'm hoping that some photos of the nocturnal animals will be added, even though the observations would be casual, like this one of a Red-necked Wallaby that we saw during the day.

Here is a link to all the observations made on the day. (This query also picks up a few observations made before the field trip began.)

Best wishes to all, and happy observing, until our regular field trips resume in February 2024.

Posted on 07 December, 2023 20:24 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

27 November, 2023

Great Southern BioBlitz Thanks

Thank you to everyone who has contributed observations! I hope you enjoyed getting out and exploring, even though it has been a very wet weekend.

Although the observation period has finished, you can still upload photos or sound recordings taken on the weekend and they will be added to the project. Observations can be added and identification can continue for 14 days - until the 11th December. At that point the totals for the bioblitz will be finalised.

Posted on 27 November, 2023 20:29 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

20 November, 2023

BioBlitz Opportunity - Friday 24th November

Members, friends, and other interested people are invited to take part in a BioBlitz afternoon at Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary this coming Friday, 24th November, as part of the Great Southern Bioblitz.

BYO lunch to eat on the verandah of the Clare Miller Environment Centre from 12.15/12.30pm, ready for a 1pm start for the BioBlitz (convening at the Centre). Attendees should wear sturdy footwear and possibly gaiters, be sunsmart, and bring a water bottle, their favourite field guides and any of the following: hand lens/ binoculars/ camera/ smart-phone with the iNaturalist app.

Any observations made at Clarkesdale will automatically be added to the Ballarat Region GSB Project, which you can see here:

Happy BioBlitzing!

Posted on 20 November, 2023 00:34 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

15 November, 2023

Project Area Change

In order to keep this project relevant to the Ballarat region, I have changed the boundary of observations that will be included. The new catchment area is a circle with a radius of 50km centred on the Ballarat Town Hall.

When this project was originally created, it covered the City of Ballarat and some adjoining municipal areas. Back then members had to add their observations to the project manually. When Bill converted the project to a collection project, the area settings changed so that observations from the whole of Victoria were collected. I don't know if this collection area change was accidental or deliberate, but it has meant that the project to some extent lost its Ballarat focus. Rather than return to using the municipal boundaries, which are quite variable in terms of the distances from Ballarat, I created the new circular "place".

If you have any concerns about this change, please comment below.

Posted on 15 November, 2023 05:17 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 2 comments | Leave a comment

07 November, 2023

Beautiful Day at Mt. Beckworth

Our November field trip to Mt Beckworth was led by Roger Thomas and @enfieldservices. Their encyclopedic knowledge of the plants and birds of the region was invaluable as they pointed out tiny plants almost too small to see (such as the Pygmy Sundew and the Pink Bladderwort) and easily identified birds by their calls.

Did you know that we have a project for observations at Mt. Beckworth? You can find it here:
You don't need to join the project to have observations register in it. It is a collection project which gathers up any observations made within the boundaries of the Mt Beckworth Scenic Reserve, by anyone, at any time.

Click to see all the observations made during our field trip.

Thanks to our leaders for another enthralling expedition!

Posted on 07 November, 2023 11:26 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 2 comments | Leave a comment

13 October, 2023

Great Southern BioBlitz 2023

The Great Southern BioBlitz will be held from Friday 24th to Monday 27th November.
The world-wide City Nature Challenge is held each year in the northern hemisphere spring and is hugely popular. But as that is autumn for us, some southern hemisphere naturalists got together and created the Great Southern BioBlitz so that we could record what happens in spring in our half of the world.
The GSB was first held in 2020, and we have participated every year.

The Ballarat Region Project for 2023 has been created, and you can join now to keep up to date with any announcements, and to see what observations are made once the BioBlitz starts:
The project will automatically collect any observations, by anyone, made in our area during the BioBlitz, so joining the project is not essential for your observations to count.
You might notice that the Ballarat Region is a bit smaller this year. Castlemaine Field Naturalists have taken over the Hepburn East area (the area around Daylesford).

Last year we had a successful day BioBlitzing at Clarkesdale, although floods caused the cancellation of another planned group BioBlitz at Mt Erip. The late November timing this year, combined with possible El Niño weather, may make for less than ideal conditions of a different kind.
Whether participating in a group BioBlitz, or BioBlitzing your own backyard, you could find something you’ve never seen before. Happy observing!

Posted on 13 October, 2023 03:15 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

11 October, 2023

Frogs at Mullawallah Wetland

Our October field trip was held on the evening of Saturday 7th. We started with a talk by Ray Draper on the various frogs found in the Ballarat region, including photos and recordings of their calls. We then proceeded to the wetland to see what species of frogs we could identify.

Some people used the Australian Museum's FrogID app (http://www.frogid.net.au) to record frog calls, and a few iNaturalist observations of birds, plants and insects were made as well.

We have a project for observations at the wetlands, which you may be interested in joining:
FNCB - Mullawallah Wetland.
This project collects all observations made there, by anyone. There are currently 407 observations of 123 different species in the project. Five species of frog have been observed.

Here is a link to all observations made during our field trip: No frogs though!

Posted on 11 October, 2023 19:24 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

21 September, 2023

Bill Elder

Members will be saddened to learn that Bill Elder, who initiated this iNaturalist project, passed away earlier this week.

Bill started the project at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic to enable members of the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat to keep in touch with each other and share our sightings of the natural world while we could not meet in person.

His leadership and enthusiasm will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Posted on 21 September, 2023 23:51 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 2 comments | Leave a comment

15 September, 2023

Lake Corangamite

On the 10th September 2023, Leon Bren, with support from club members Andy and Margaret, led members of FNCB on a field trip exploring the eastern side of Lake Corangamite, with stops at Woady Yallock Bridge, Cundare Pool, the lake shore, and Red Rock.

Perhaps none of the active iNat users in the club attended the field trip? So far no observations* have been recorded for the day. So instead, here is a link to all the observations made by members of this project in the area covered by the trip (Northern ward of Colac Otway Shire) at any time in the past:

*Since writing this, some observations from the field trip have been uploaded. However they do not all appear in the query above. It seems some were just over the municipal boundary, in Corangamite Shire instead of Colac Otway. Here is the link to see the observations made in either Shire on the day: Click here.

Posted on 15 September, 2023 02:59 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

11 August, 2023

Looking into Lal Lal

On 6th August, Andy @alexmyco assisted by Graeme @graemelunt led members on a field trip highlighting historical, geological, and natural aspects of Lal Lal. The mines, the blast furnace, and the history of the rail and race tracks were all explored.

Lal Lal's top temperature was 9.8C, proving, as certain residents have said, that it is colder there than in Ballarat (which reached 11.2C on the day) but we were well rugged up for the adventure. Along the way observations were recorded of one spider, a few fungi, some interesting birds, many plants, and a mob of kangaroos. The day concluded with a visit to the critically endangered Australian anchor plants near the Lal Lal falls.

You can see all the observations made during the field trip by clicking here.

Thanks to both our leaders for arranging such an informative day!

Posted on 11 August, 2023 12:35 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment