John Newman writes:
On recent trips to my block at Wensleydale I have been taking some lesser roads to look for flame robins. On the  morning of 26 April I started along Dickins Road turning west from Freshwater Creek and following it right to its junction with Hunts Rd Moriac. Some 500m from that junction, I stopped in the drizzle in likely territory and found 12 or more Banded Lapwings in a paddock. 23 Flame Robins were counted, x2 silent White-plumed Honeyeaters, 10 Gang Gangs  in the Allocasuarinas overhead and a Southern Boobook flushed from the same dense Allocasuarinas much to the dismay of the Willie Wagtails. It was my first Banded Lapwing record in this part of the world for over 10 years. At least one was an immature.
Buoyed by the experience I continued along the various dirt roads and stopped at Willowite Rd Freshwater Creek outside the agroforestry block with many Spotted Gums and other flowering eucalytps. To my amazement and delight, at least 2 Crescent Honeyeaters were calling continuously from the flowering Spotted Gums and 5+ Weebills. To make sure I was not going mad, I played the Weebill call on my phone and 5 birds flew down to a sapling 3m away for a wonderful look. Many honeyeaters were making the most of the flowers. I also found a dead brown Flame Robin that will be passed onto expert hands. It would be worth more time as the flowers flourish.
Loutitt Bay Rd near Hendy Main Rd also looked enticing with many flowering eucalypts along the side of the road and an hour there provided sunshine and 34 species inc 6 honeyeater sp, White-plumed again inc, and more Flame Robins.
It was a good lesson that many of these roadside areas that we zip along en route to 'somewhere else' provide some great sightings esp at this time of year when things are on the move.
... John Newman

Dr. Luke Kelly, Research Fellow, School of BioSciences ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Melbourne, gave an extremely interesting talk at the May1015 general meeting, on studies into fire ecology in semi-arid land.

 He has written a popular aritcle about fire management in Victoria for the online magazine "Decision Point". This article that might be of interest to Members.

 The article can be viewed at .

This whale survey project could be of interest to Members living near the coast or who regularly visit local beaches.

The 2018 whale season is now under way and the project leaders are looking for people who might be interested in contributing.

See the Whale project brochure for details.