Birds and Wetlands
Bird Trails of Chiltern
Chiltern is one of the premier bird-watching areas in southern Australia.
The district has exceptional bird diversity due to the high quality of habitat protected in the Chiltern National Park and surrounds, and the location of the district on the boundary of two distinct bioregions – the drier woodlands of the inland and wetter mountain forests.
More than 220 species have been recorded at Chiltern, 180 of them residents or regular visitors.
Highlights of birding in the district are threatened woodland species such as Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot, Turquoise Parrot and Square-tailed Kite.
The Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park surrounds the picturesque historic town, so birdwatchers can easily access many excellent birding locations by foot from town, or reach any location in the district by a short bicycle or car ride.
A guide is available with details the best sites for bird watching in Chiltern. Included are details on four half-day bird tours at Chiltern, the best seasonal spots for bird watching and notes on finding particular species. Another guide to complement this is the complete Chiltern bird list which provides details of the main habitats and lists all known species with details of their status and preferred habitats.
Chiltern has open grassy forest of Box and Ironbark trees which is very pleasant to walk through and which makes bird observation very easy. In addition to the birds, Chiltern has a great diversity of native plants, with the spring show of wildflowers being exceptional in most years. Chiltern has a Mediterranean climate with an annual rainfall of around 600mm (25 inches). In spring and autumn the weather is usually mild and mostly sunny. Summer days can be hot. Winter nights are often frosty, but mild sunny days in winter are common, unlike south of the ranges around Melbourne.
Bird Trails of Chiltern, a 13-page guide to bird watching in Chiltern, Australia by Barry Traill is available free from the Chiltern Visitor Information Centre.
Lake Anderson and surrounding parkland
Located adjacent to Martin Park, just a short stroll from the Chiltern town centre, is a lake with a wonderful diversity of birdlife. A great spot for a relaxing picnic or a wander around. Lake Anderson was created by the subsistence of the Alliance Mine mining operation and now abounds with wildlife. There is a children’s playground in nearby Martin Park.
Chiltern Ironbark Forest
More than 4000 hectares in size, this forest boasts a richly diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna.
The ironbark forest is the most significant remnant in the North East of Victoria of this once widespread type. The forest is renowned for harbouring some rare and endangered species of birdlife. The White Box Walking Track begins and finishes at the picnic facilities at Cyanide Dam. The walk is 8.5km long and takes about 2-3 hours. Along the walk you can enjoy a number of historic gold mining sites as well as a great range of flora and fauna.