When I bought our property in 1975 it was mainly a kikuyu paddock. Back then, Witta was a rural area of dairy and beef cattle properties. Initially we ran beef cattle and then planted about 300 avocado trees. We built our home in 1981.
Eventually, as most of the avocado trees started to die out due to root rot and as I was cutting them out, I started to plant native trees. Over time these areas of native trees have become well established and our property has become home to lots of little critters such as wallabies and forest pigeons. We like to keep some areas of grass to let the sunlight in otherwise we would be living in a dark, damp rainforest.
Thank goodness for nest boxes. This one is in demand from both a Rainbow Lorikeet and Sugar Glider. Photo by Vic Weaver.
As well as rural acreage properties, Witta now has subdivisions of residential sized blocks. The changes in land usage has resulted in a vastly changed environment with residents creating their own wildlife habitats. Unfortunately the number and variety of weeds has also increased. Birds have also increased, benefiting from this new food source. They are unfortunately good distributors of weeds too.
I try to prioritise my weed control efforts and I use selective herbicides to target specific weeds. We are always learning and just keep going.
We joined Land for Wildlife back in 2009 and have installed 15 nest boxes on our property, thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council incentives program. The nest boxes are made and installed by Hollow Log Homes, so we just sit back and observe the wildlife moving in. Possums, of course, get into the boxes, as do parrots, lorikeets and other critters. We have lots of wonderful birds now, especially since the native trees have matured. We are at the stage that we see birds such as drongos and fantails coming back each year to nest.
There is always something to look out for in nature, and my interest in photography has encouraged me to keep an eye out for interesting bird behaviour, as shown in this photograph above.
Article by Vic Weaver Land for Wildlife member Witta, Sunshine Coast