IT was less than ideal weather to be outdoors on Sunday but that didn't deter brave souls heading out to a property near Bredbo to plant 1,000 trees.
More than 50 volunteers planted 1,000 trees and shrubs at Bush Heritage Australia's Scottsdale Reserve, as part of the next stage of a six-year 300-hectare 'Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation' project with Greening Australia.
The 20-hectare planting included yellow box and apple box eucalypts, drooping sheoaks for birds, a range of acacias and other mid-storey shrubs. The work will add to 100 hectares already restored in a bid to promote connectivity and enable birds and other animals to move around the landscape.
Birds recently surveyed at Scottsdale Reserve by 15 Canberra Ornithologist Group volunteer birders indicated increased numbers of woodland birds, including scarlet robins, and more diversity of small birds in areas planted with native trees and shrubs over the past five years.
Scottsdale Reserve has some of Australia's most threatened temperate ecosystems and a diverse range of habitat for many of the region's endangered and vulnerable birds, including the brown treecreeper, hooded robin, speckled warbler, scarlet robin and diamond firetail.
Scottsdale was one of 21 properties that the birders surveyed between Williamsdale and Bredbo. They recorded a higher number of robins, including the scarlet robin, flame robin, eastern yellow robin and hooded robin across a number of the surveyed areas.
On one of the sites surveyed near Michelago, close to 400 yellow-faced honeyeaters were spotted traversing the landscape on Greening Australia's restoration of snow gums, black sallee and silver wattle.
"The honeyeaters were coming along a thinly-wooded planting only four years old, which shows just how important it is for organizations like Greening Australia and Bush Heritage to restore vital habitat connections in our landscape," Canberra schoolteacher and birder Sue Lashko said.
Available habitat for birds has diminished over time in southeastern Australia as more than 95 per cent of critically endangered box gum grassy woodlands have been cleared.
"Restoring the valley floor to a functional ecosystem at a large, habitat-corridor scale is crucial to reversing biodiversity loss in this region," Peter Saunders, Bush Heritage's Healthy Landscape Manager said.
Scottsdale Reserve is a 1328 ha conservation property, 4km north of Bredbo in NSW. It is located within the Great Eastern Ranges wildlife corridor, as identified in the Federal Government's national Wildlife Corridors plan.
The 'Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation' project is funded through the Australian Government's Biodiversity Fund.