Our 2012-13 Coastcare grant for Red Bluff, Mornington, includes the trial building and installing of 10 nest boxes in large trees around the foreshore to provide artificial homes for small birds (especially the parrot family) small insect-eating bats and gliders. These animals have all been recorded in and around Mills Beach in the past but nowadays, probably can’t find suitable hollows for nesting as large trees have been removed. So their numbers decline and we lose our biodiversity.
In co-operation with the Life Saving Club, MEA held a workshop late in 2012 and members and their children built the 10 boxes in a day’s work. Paul Bertuch, a TAFE instructor and ecologist, provided an informative talk first, and then the group drilled, sawed and painted the wood. The completed boxes were installed along the foreshore near and behind the boatsheds on Mills Beach and 3 were placed on Red bluff. Mid July 2013 did not see any occupants but this may take a year!
In 2013, school children of Years 3 and 4 at Mornington Primary School participated in a 2 day workshop at school and constructed another 10 boxes. These used wood pre-cut by Bunnings in Mornington. Bunnings also supplied their community liaison officer to assist parents, teachers and MEA members to help the children. These boxes are being installed in large trees along Tanti Creek. The funding for these boxes was supplied by donations to the Inger Stevens Memorial Foundation. Inger was a foundation member of Tanti Creek Friends and on her death, the Foundation was set up to increase awareness amongst school children of the importance of Tanti Creek and its surrounds.
Special thanks are due to our sponsor, Bunnings, and to the Inger Stevens Foundation for their support in this environmental project.