Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bug Blitz Explained - Part 1

I am a relative newcomer to the world of birdwatching and nature observing in general. Like many people, I was probably interested in the natural world in earlier days but life seemed to get in the way of actually taking much notice of the wonders about me.

Even in the last 5 or 6 years that I have been taking more interest, it is obvious to me that the natural environment in my small corner of the world is suffering. (You see, I’ve thought about this a little and decided to start with a low and finish on a high, so I urge you to read on).

Strangely, even when it became obvious to me that I seemed to have a genuine interest in things natural, and that suddenly due to retirement I had some time available, I didn’t really know how to go about things or even in which direction to go. So it was very opportunistic to come across Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog. I found Duncan’s experience, wisdom and enthusiasm for the natural world was, and still is infectious and he continues to be a mentor and an invaluable field guide.

Duncan will at times recount some sightings of birds or plants from earlier years that must have been stunning. Often we will be doing a bird count for a survey and might count 6 or 10 or even 100 of a particular species, and DF will be reminded of a time when he’d seen ten times as many. That information alone tells me the numbers, in general are in decline, but even in my short experience I’ve seen the evidence for myself.
Red Gums at the mouth of the Latrobe River

There are of course numerous factors that might be causing these declining numbers. I think we now must accept that climate change is occurring. Our ever increasing population continues to put huge stresses on the environment with the waste we produce, the cities and all their infrastructure we build, the cars we drive and distances we like to travel, the land we clear and so on. It is accepted that parts of Gippsland have suffered continuing dry conditions for thirteen years. There is no doubt that around here the birds, animals and plants are struggling to survive.

These observations of mine lead me to conclude just how important it is to try and preserve the biodiversity within the environment and even to begin trying to restore some of it to somewhere near its previous healthy level. I also think we need to ‘spread the word’. Enter Bug Blitz, an educational program aimed principally at the primary school age level.

To be continued.


  1. Hi Gouldiae great post I don't know much about the Red Gums do they seem to be dying ?

  2. I think "spreading the word" is the hardest of all! So few are listening and even fewer want to participate in actually doing something. Worst of all IMO is the inertia at local government level. Your "bug watch" could well be the way to go in teaching a new generation. Just hope there's something left for them when they grow up! (Very depressing even thinking about it all :-(

  3. Estuaries seem to be in trouble all over. I'd like to see more of the results that the Waterwatch people are observing (in easy-to-understand language please).

  4. Hi Gouldiae
    Keep going.

    "explaining" to the youngsters is our best hope for the future.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading more G!

  6. Helping to enthuse our younger population with a love of nature as well as the importance of taking care of our environment is a very worthwhile activity. Time well spent Gouldiae.