FNCB iNaturalist's Journal

11 May, 2024

La Gerche Trail, Creswick

Our May field trip was on Sunday 5th. In the morning we walked the La Gerche Trail, in Creswick. You can find lots of information about the trail and about John La Gerche on our website here:

As we walked we ensured signs were clean and properly attached, and that the trail was clear. A few observations were done along the way.

In the afternoon the plan was to visit some of the bike trails being constructed in Creswick forest, but the writer lost the group at lunchtime so can't confirm what happened after leaving La Gerche.

To see all the observations made on our field trip, and by those who lost the group, click here.

Thanks to our leaders on the day, John G and John P, neither of whom were responsible for a couple of us getting lost!

Posted on 11 May, 2024 20:57 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

23 April, 2024

City Nature Challenge 2024

The worldwide City Nature Challenge starts in just a couple of days. The CNC involves people from more than 450 cities around the world discovering and recording as many plant, animal, and fungi species as possible between April 26th & April 29th, 2024.

Ballarat is not one of those cities, but there are still ways to get involved. You might like to join the Global Project for people not in one of the competing cities:

Or, you may like to help out Geelong. Their project is here:
The Geelong project automatically collects any observations made in a large area that almost reaches Ballarat. So, any observations made in Moorabool Shire, parts of Golden Plains, and other nearby locations will be added to their totals. See their project for more details.

Happy observing, if you do get involved!

Posted on 23 April, 2024 08:18 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

12 April, 2024

Brown Hill and Nerrina

Our April field trip on Sunday the 7th was to areas closer to home, Ditchfield Bushland Reserve and Nerrina Historic Area. Both areas are known for their bird life. Those with binoculars and big cameras were rewarded with many sightings, which may not be reflected in the observation records. Others were happy to see new insect species, big moths, and the beginnings of fungi season.

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

Thanks to @enfieldservices, our excellent field trip leader once again, for the preparation work and the guidance on the day.

Posted on 12 April, 2024 23:09 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

06 March, 2024

Exploring Long Forest

Our March field trip was held on Sunday 3rd. Marilyn Hewish (@mhewish), assisted by our own @enfieldservices, led us on walks through parts of the Long Forest Flora and Fauna Reserve. Marilyn has been observing and recording the biodiversity of the area for many years, and her knowledge and expertise was greatly appreciated by all attendees.

Click on this link to see all the observations we recorded on the day. As we were outside the Ballarat area, our observations also appear in our FNCB Members At Large project.

Marilyn has created iNaturalist projects that collect all observations made in the reserve, by anyone, at any time. Over 1,000 different species have been observed. Here is her umbrella project, from which you can access a project including observations that still need identification, and another for all fully identified observations (i.e. those which are research grade): Biodiversity of Long Forest.

Thanks to our leaders for keeping us all on the right track, and showing us a fascinating place that was new to many of us.

Posted on 06 March, 2024 22:12 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

06 February, 2024


On the 4th February, for our first field trip for the year, Andy Arnold took members of the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat to various sites around Warrnambool, exploring the estuaries of the Merri and Hopkins Rivers. We met up with Dr John Sherwood at Moyjil (Point Richie), who explained the geology, and evidence of Aboriginal use of the area over many thousands of years.

Observations made during the trip do not appear in this project, due to being more than 50km from Ballarat, but you can see them all here.

They also appear in our "FNCB Members At Large" project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fncb-members-at-large

Many thanks to Andy for another interesting excursion!

Posted on 06 February, 2024 23:20 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 1 comment | Leave a comment

27 December, 2023

Complementary Project

Since the focus of this project was reduced to a circle of 50km around Ballarat, observations made by members outside that 50km were more difficult to access. To redress that, there is now a companion project, "FNCB Members At Large":

The intention is for the new project to include observations by members and associates of the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat as they travel outside the Ballarat region. It will be a way to share observations made while on holiday and at SEANA camps, or for collecting observations made on more distant field trips such as the upcoming trip to Warrnambool.

The project will collect observations made only by people who are listed in the project. If you would like your iNat account to be added to the list, please either leave a comment here or send me a message through iNaturalist (or by email if you have my address).

Posted on 27 December, 2023 03:56 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

15 December, 2023

Wrapping Up the GSB

The time for uploading or identifying observations included in the 2023 Great Southern BioBlitz has now passed. Here is a link to the Ballarat Region project:

At the official end of the uploading period we had a total of 1003 observations, which put us in 56th position. You can see the whole list of participating groups and their totals at the Umbrella Project here:

Over 30 people contributed observations to the Ballarat effort, some of them deliberately and some without any awareness of the BioBlitz. We saw over 440 species, and 55% of our observations are Research Grade so far. Thank you everyone who contributed. Special thanks to Elspeth @cygnet for her outstanding contribution, topping the species and observations tables for the 3rd year in a row!

If you would like to compare this year's results with previous years, I have created an umbrella project for Ballarat's bioblitz projects, which you can see here:
(But remember that this year we had a smaller area, as Castlemaine Field Nats took over Hepburn East - the area around Daylesford.)

The 2024 GSB will be held in September. Hope to see you BioBlitzing then!

Posted on 15 December, 2023 06:37 by vireyajacquard vireyajacquard | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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