Wildlife – Friends of Mount Majura
Apr 242014


National Tree Day plantings behind The Fair

Tackling Curse…

Help tackle pesky weeds at the National Tree Day planting site behind The Fair in North Watson. Come for an hour or more – you will make a difference.

When: Sunday, 18 May from 9 am to 1 pm

Where:  Meet at the nature park access end of Ian Nicol Street; view this map

Bring:  Sun protection, sturdy shoes, and old clothing with long sleeves and pants.

Contact: FoMM 6247 7515 or Secretary@majura.org

Download this Poster for promotion

It is most pleasing to see that herbaceous weeds at  the southern end of the National Tree Day planting site behind The Fair are receding thanks to volunteer control efforts over the past two years.

At the northern end however, Paterson’s Curse went ballistic following the rain in recent months and some areas are thick with Curse.

Paterson’s Curse in the close perimeter of a planting is best controlled manually and further away from plantings by spraying selective herbicide with low pressure knapsacks. If you can help please come along to the working party or join us at our Fridays at The Fair sessions. We need many hands to get on to top of this competitive weed.

May 212017

Male Gang-gang Cockatoo (P. Fullagar)

Mother’s Day Bird walk 8-10am 14th May 2017

Sixteen of us met at the Mackenzie St car park entrance where we shared our names and recent bird sightings and observations. We reported on flocks of gang gangs and other parrots feasting on autumn fruits on street trees and in gardens, invading rainbow lorikeets, owls on backyard fences, and a discussion about the aggressive noisy miners.

The cloudy-bright autumn morning was calm, mild, and noisy. A cacophony of birdsong filled the air:  screeching sulphur crested cockatoos, calling currawongs, annoying noisy miners, whistling king parrots and crimson rosellas, all jostling for tree space and their slice of sky. By 9am everything was quietly back to normal, and most of the birds had disappeared into the bush or spread out into Hackett.

Laughing Kookaburra at Mount Majura (A. Clausen, CNM)

We watched a lone white faced heron hunting amongst rocks at the first dam. A mixed feeding flock of small birds swept through the dense woodland near the upper dam. Further up the hill in the Bursaria shrubbery was a thriving twittering colony of blue wrens. A couple of Kookaburras sat watchfully in the bright white scribbly gums.

Peter Miller was a brilliant walk leader. He can spot and name birds that we would never have seen on our own. He can describe the difference between one little brown bird and another, then name each one and describe their different calls. He also showed us how to attract birds by ‘phishing’- a sound which imitates an alarm call. Birds tend to move closer to stickybeak and find out what dangers they need to deal with.

Superb Fairy-wren at Mount Majura (Dusty, CNM)

The bird walk was enjoyable and informative with an interesting mix of people who had a wide range of knowledge to share. We were lucky with the weather as usual – rain bucketed down after the walk.

Report by Jenni Marsh

May 022017

A male Scarlet Robin, Petroica boodang. The species is at risk of extinction and declared vulnerable in the ACT and NSW. Photo Canberra Nature Map, taken on Mt Majura.

Walk through the woodlands with bird enthusiast Peter Miller to spot, observe, listen to, identify and learn about the amazing variety of birds on Mount Majura.

Sunday, 14 May, 8am (sharp) to 10am

Meet at nature reserve entrance Mackenzie Street, roughly opposite Grayson Street, Hackett; view this map.

Please bring: Binoculars,, a camera if you have one, walking boots and a Gold Coin donation for a bird list.

Enquiries: 6248 8955 or secretary@majura.org

We are particularly interested in Scarlet Robins. If you spot a Scarlet Robin please take a picture and register on Canberra Nature Map. Scarlet Robin, Petroica boodang is declared a vulnerable species in the ACT and NSW; read this Canberra Times article.

Learn more about Scarlet Robin: read this Profile

A female Scarlet Robin. Photo: Geoffrey Dabb

Nov 172015

spiderEnjoy an informative evening spider walk in Mt Majura nature reserve, Hackett. Join Ian Gordon, a macro-photography enthusiast with a sharp eye and keen interest in small creatures. Many fascinating spiders are active at night in warm weather. Use your torch to spot their eye-shine – how many will you find?

When: Friday 4th December

Bring: a good torch, wear enclosed shoes (not sandals), and a gold coin donation to help with conservation work

Bookings & details:
secretary@majura.org or ph. 6248 8955

Sep 292015

A tiny white camouflaged moth by Ian Gordon

Join Ian Gordon a macro-photography enthusiast with a sharp eye and keen interest in tiny creatures. Try to decode camouflage and train your eyes to locate small creatures – orb weaving spiders, lady bugs, parasitic wasps, caterpillars, plant hoppers…… What will you spot?

It is wonderful to be aware of the diverse range of creatures, large and small which live in a healthy Yellow Box woodland. Ian’s interest stems from Macro photography. When he finds an unusual bug he goes online to identify and research it.  He says that he is not an ‘expert’ but that he does have a keen interest. Recently he has noticed activity in the insect world and that the bugs are starting to stir. He spotted a lot of small orb weaving spiders, a few lady beetles and small parasitic wasps, and even a couple of caterpillars and a plant hopper.

Any age welcome – it really boils down to interest in looking for and finding miniature and often disguised and camouflaged arthropods.

Magnifying glasses/hand lenses, not necessary but really depends on the individual’s eye sight.

When: Sunday 11 October 10am – 12 noon

Where:  Majura Paddock. Exact meeting point to be given to registered participants.

Numbers limited bookings essential: 6248 8955 or secretary@majura.org
Wear sun protection and covered shoes.

Link to the Bug walk poster

Oct 052014
GBC IMG_0215

Glossy Black Cockatoo on Mt Majura. (T. Henshaw, 7.9.2014)

Accompany bird enthusiast Peter Miller for an early morning stroll and see, listen to and learn about Mt Majura’s birds that nest, fledge and sing in spring.

Sunday, 9 November 2014, 8.00 am (sharp) to 10.00 am
Meet at the nature park entrance Mackenzie Street roughly opposite Grayson St, Hackett (click on map)

Bring sun protection, sturdy shoes, binoculars, if you have them and a gold coin for a species list and pocket guide.

Enquiries: secretary@majura.org or ph. 6248 8955

The grassy woodlands and open forests of Mt Majura provide habitat to a wide range of resident and visiting birds from the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle to the tiny Weebill. There have been confirmed sightings of 112 different bird species in the nature reserve (Canberra Ornithologists Group) including some rare and endangered species such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo – click here to view some photographs of GBC taken recently on Mt Majura.

Download this poster for promotion.

Share photos of Mt Majura’s birds @ FoMM Flickr.

Feb 142014
Male Gang-gang cockatoo

Male Gang-gang cockatoo

To commemorate  COG’s (Canberra Ornithologists Group) 50th year COG is surveying the Gang-gang Cockatoo throughout the ACT and the COG area of concern. The survey started on 1 Feb 2014.

There are  also four intensive week long components  of this survey scheduled during the year where, in Garden Bird Survey style, participants are asked to record the maximum number of birds seen at a site every day for a week. The first of these weeks runs from 19-25 Feb 2014.

This is a survey the Parks and Conservation Service wish to support and promote, especially given that the Gang-gang has status as the ACT’s bird emblem and as the logo of the ACT Parks and Conservation Service. To sign up to this joint COG-ALA project go to:   http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/cog/home.htm Continue reading »

Mar 262013

Common Bronzewing, Phaps chalcoptera, Mount Majura (Photo by Steve Bittinger, December 2012)

When: Sunday, 7th April, 8.30 am to 10.00 am; please note that daylight savings time will end the night before, so put your clocks back an hour.
Where: Meet at the nature park access close to the intersection Tay St / Ian Nicol St at The Fair in North Watson (click on map to view the meeting point).
What to bring and wear: Wear suitable clothing for the expected weather and appropriate shoes. Bring binoculars if you have them and a gold coin for a species list.

Join Peter Miller for a morning stroll and see and hear some of the species that call Mount Majura home. Autumn is migration time. We may spot species not usually seen in the reserve during the year.

The open woodland of the lower slopes of Mt Majura is rich in bird life. The northwest slope is known to support a range of small woodland birds that have disappeared in the woodlands close to Hackett and Ainslie.

Some birds are summer migrants which arrive in spring and will soon depart to warmer climes. Some species like Yellow-faced Honeyeaters pass through on their northwards migration between late March and early May. Some of the migrants use Mount Majura for a stop-over to forage and rest.

All in all, there have been confirmed sightings of 112 different bird species in the Mount Majura Nature Reserve.

Apr 012012

Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor. Photograph by Geoffrey Dabb.

Swift Parrots visited Mt Majura in previous years from end of March to begin of May. Most observations were from around the Hackett reservoir and the Majura paddock east of Rivett Street where they fed on nectar of Bundy and lerp of Yellow Box.

If you observe Swift Parrots please contact FoMM with information on the date of observation, the time of the day, the location and the number of birds.

Click here to learn more about the Swift Parrots.

To view photographs of the species click on the Swift Parrot Gallery of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.

Mount Majura was host to a record number of endangered Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor between end of March and beginning of May in 2005 and 2008. The parrots were most frequently observed around the lower Hackett reservoir off Rivett / French Streets feeding on nectar of Bundy, Eucalyptus gonyocalyx and lerp – the sugary protection cover of sap sucking insects – of tall Yellow box, Eucalyptus melliodora.

Swift parrots are bright grass green in colour. They have patches of red on the throat, chin and forehead, which are bordered by yellow. They have red on the shoulder and under the wings and blue on the crown, cheeks and wings. A distinctive alarm call of kik-kik-kik usually given while flying, a streamlined body, a long tail and flashes of bright red under the wing enable the species to be readily identified.

Swift parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate to mainland Australia in autumn. During winter the parrots are semi-nomadic, foraging in flowering eucalypts mainly in Victoria and New South Wales. Small numbers of swift parrots are occasionally recorded in the ACT, south-eastern South Australia and southern Queensland. The parrots choose larger trees for foraging and feed extensively on nectar and lerp from eucalypts during the non-breeding season.

Watch out for the parrots.
Many thanks

Waltraud Pix
FoMM coordinator
1 April 2012

Feb 272011

Drooping She-oak Allocasuarina verticillata seed cone and flowers (Photograph W. Pix)

The seeds of She-oaks are the sole food of the Glossy Black Cockatoo, a declining woodland bird, which is now declared vulnerable in the ACT. The dull black bird – the common name is somehow misleading – with the softest call of all local cockatoos can be readily observed on Mount Majura feeding on Drooping She-oak Allocasuarina verticillata (photograph Waltraud Pix 24.01.2005).


If you have some spare time come along and help collecting seeds of Drooping She-oak:

Date: Saturday, 5 March 2011
Time: 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: Helms Place off Rivett Street (view this map)
Bring: Sun protection, good shoes, gloves and a secateur if you have one.
Please note: If conditions are wet the collection will be cancelled.
Enquiries: E admin@majura.org or P 6247 7515

Watch this space for further collection days / times or contact admin@majura.org