Jill Campbell is a naturalist with a keen interest in birds. She has been bird watching for many years, firstly in her native England, and for more than 35 years in Australia. She has a particular interest in the birdlife around Spring Creek Reservoir and makes regular bird counts to ensure they are not affected by recently-introduced rowing activities on the reservoir.
"Spring Creek Reservoir is a wonderful place for all sorts of birds. The Field Naturalists have a bird day in September and they go out and see what they can see – species and numbers etc. I've been counting birds here at that time of year for probably 30 years. It is one of my favourite spots."
I've always liked watching birds on water. In 1994 the Murray-Darling Basin wanted to survey the bird life of the basin. I tended to go once a month at least. My particular place was Spring Creek Reservoir. I had a lot of data for the survey, which lasted three years, so I continued. I've now got 11 years of records.
Having counted at Spring Creek Reservoir for so many years, I know how much bird numbers can vary. I can’t say whether rowing is having an effect on the birds, but I want to know. However, it takes time.
It's been a great reservoir for the birds over the years with a lot of different species – 12 sorts of ducks, swans, grebes, waders, plovers and so on. Also blue wrens, scrub wrens, red-capped robins, scarlet robins, yellow-faced honey eaters, red-wattle birds and red-browed finches, sitellas and birds of prey - swamp harrier, little eagle, white-bellied fish eagle, black-shouldered kites and kestrels and brown hawks, Australian ravens and little ravens, crimson rosellas, galahs, cockatoos, red-rumped parrots, and the crested dove.
I will continue to monitor the birds once a month. Spring Creek Reservoir is a wonderful place for all sorts of birds. The Field Naturalists have a bird day in September and they go out and see what they can see – species and numbers etc. So I've been counting birds at that time of year for a lot longer, probably 30 years. It is one of my favourite spots.