Volunteers plant 500 seedlings at Light Beach

Anna Woods reports

Twenty-four Friends of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary (FAIBS) volunteers gathered at Light Beach on Sunday September 9 and started the morning with Ranger Erik Dahl acknowledging that we were meeting on the land of the Kaurna people.

Under a wide, bright sky, the gently undulating land that we were standing on had been grazed for some time and weeds had rushed in to fill the empty spaces.

Small pockets of native plants had survived these incursions.

The enthusiastic volunteers were there to transplant 500 seedlings.

The plants had been grown from seed collected in the area.

We were planting native shrubs and grasses, which would compete with, and eventually help to suppress weeds, and return the site at Light Beach to native habitat.

Joan Gibbs introduced us to each of the plants and explained the best aspects for each: plant the native pelargonium in the shallow valleys where the water pools and the pigface on the small rises as it does not need as much water.

Joan and Erik had arrived early to bore holes using the electric drill attachment.

The group spread out and each took on a task of laying out plants next to the holes, planting, adding fertiliser to the holes, constructing tree-guards, and hammering them in place.

By morning tea we were more than half way through planting and shielding the 500 seedlings.

After the break the activity continued under a light spattering of rain.

We rounded off the working-bee by carting water to give the new plants a drink.

After the planting was completed we piled back into the cars and made our way down the track to the beach, where the scopes came out in hope of viewing some shore birds.

The tides were not in our favour and in the distance Cormorants, various ducks and a single Egret were the only birds present.

Riding back through the more established scrub near the beach, birds flitted from bush to bush – it was good to reflect that the seedlings that we had just planted would grow to one day look like that.

Our thanks go to Erik and Joan for their efforts in organising this planting day, and to the Adelaide Plains Council and Department for Environment and Water for their support.

Now that the migratory shorebirds are beginning to make their way back to our coast, our October activity will be a Shorebird ID Session at Thompson Beach on Sunday October 20.

FAIBS will meet at the Community Shed at 8.30am.

Scopes will be available to view the birds and bird ID information and FAIBS guides will be available to help participants hone their bird ID skills. Community members are very welcome to join in and learn more about these amazing birds.

Further information is available from faibssa@gmail.com

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