Dawn Surveys


There's a warm fire waiting
 as the volunteers arrive. 
Each winter, with the assistance of Parks Victoria, three surveys are conducted in Sherbrooke Forest to estimate the size of the male lyrebird population.

We encourage volunteers to join us in this effort and many locals and visitors to the Dandenongs come along for this unique experience.

Volunteers gather at Grants Picnic Ground in Kallista before dawn on the morning of each survey. A short talk is given to explain the objectives of the survey and the methods to be used.  To familiarise participants, a recording of the male lyrebird's territorial calls is played.  
Teams headed by experienced members are formed and then allocated a numbered post somewhere in the forest.
Teams are formed with experienced members acting as leaders.  Some of our team members have been doing this for years! 
Each Team is given a survey sheet to record the locations of the birds they find. 
After arriving at their stations, the groups wait until dawn breaks, listening for the first calls of the mature male lyrebirds.  Although lyrebirds are famous mimics, the first calls the males make in the morning are distinctive and easy to identify.

When the team hears a male lyrebird calling, they note on the forms provided to the team leaders the start and finish times of the calls, the compass bearing and approximate distance.
The teams return to Grants Picnic Ground where the completed forms are collected.  The bearings and distances are plotted on a map, and the intersections indicate the position of the lyrebird.    
Bill Incoll enters the information gathered into a computer for later analysis.

Park Rangers Anthony and Trevor cook a delicious breakfast for the volunteers.
When the teams return to Grants Picnic Ground, they find a reward awaits them.  Parks Victoria rangers provide a delicious breakfast and a most welcome hot drink in front of a warm fire.  

Come and Join Us!
We welcome volunteers to enjoy this unique experience. There is no obligation to attend all survey mornings.  Being involved in this important survey is a great way to learn more about lyrebirds and their conservation within Sherbrooke Forest.

Dress warmly and bring a torch, compass, watch and a pen.

For more information on the group or to book a place at the Dawn Surveys, email Jan Incoll:
    bincoll@melbpc.org.au