Wings on King has taken off and is in full flight having been launched at the end of April 2017 with a mixture of learning, laughter, legging it and leisure!
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who gave us a hand; the visiting surveyors, speakers, the ground-crew who organised it all and the various local businesses who supported it. It was such fun.
While the weather wasn’t great, a fantastic weekend was had with visitors and islanders working together – learning from each other at many levels.
Legging it: surveys were undertaken on Forty sites as well as two special searches – one for Orange Bellied Parrots migrating back to the mainland and the other for the King Island subspecies of Scrubtit and Brown Thornbill.
While none of these Critically Endangered Birds were sighted many others were including the Vulnerable King Island subspecies of Green Rosella and Black Currawong, with the least common but not listed, being a Lewin’s Rail.
All the speakers at the seminar and workshops gave excellent presentations – thought provoking as well as practical. Topics ranged from how to survey birds and use Birdata through land management and the concept of Reconciliation Ecology – learning how to live sustainably WITH other species – to the uniqueness of the islands flora and fauna and the Raven ‘issue.’
The seminar had a delightful and unscheduled interruption when two Dusky Robins (King Island subspecies) were captured pecking up crumbs after morning tea. One escaped circumnavigating the room only once before diving through the open door, while the other, being held, provided everyone with a good look at their distinguishing features before being released outside.
Laughter and leisure: A BBQ and Penguin watching walk at the Grassy Boat Club resulted in some enthusiasts braving a chilly evening and walking to see the penguins while others remained sitting around the fire with a glass of wine hoping the penguins would come to them – which some duly did! A dinner at the local pub included a King Island local giving a delightfully insightful and funny talk about growing up and learning to love birds.
Ongoing – Join us Next Time: This is only the first step of this project. We hope to survey all sites at least once every season – the more the better. So to anyone interested in visiting this beautiful and unique island and giving us a hand, you are most welcome at any time of the year.
We will be organising other smaller events from time to time too – so watch this space
We hope to see you there…