Rotunda Park – a place for birds and people

Newstead locals and visitors alike have long enjoyed the tranquility and beauty of our Rotunda Park. It’s small area of public land situated on the eastern edge of town. Amongst numerous other important values it boasts a wonderful grassy woodland remnant … Alluvial-terraces Herb-rich Woodland/Creekline Grassy Woodland EVC is the technical term! It’s always been a fertile site for birds and I’ve compiled a handy list there over the years, including some notable local species such as Powerful Owl, White-browed Babbler, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Diamond Firetail and Owlet Nightjar. The Mount Alexander Shire is currently seeking public comment on how the area should be managed and used into the future. To have your say click here.

It’s such a special area that I’ve decided to devote the rest of this week to a series of posts featuring some of the birds currently using the park.


Rotunda Park Newstead, 13th February 2016


Red-browed Firetail at Rotunda Park, 13th February 2016








Striated Thornbill in Hedge Wattle




White-browed Babbler – one of a family group using the site



Sadly the most significant built feature of the park, the famous bandstand rotunda, was removed recently due to major termite damage. My main wish is to see a new structure standing back in its place in the not too distant future!

6 responses to “Rotunda Park – a place for birds and people

  1. Gosh , That striated Thornbill is heavily striated. My binoculars are fairly good ones, but in the past, I have only seen striations on the top of the head..In future I will have to look more closely..

  2. Geoff, I have been to the park and walked around it every time I have visited Newstead. I have always been impressed with the number and variety of small birds that call that small area home. If the Rotunda was rebuilt and the park made more useable with BBQs, playground etc, would the small birds and babblers stay around? They seem to mostly work the creek line and nest in the scrubby bushes…is the site used for anything at the moment? Fire assembly or any other use that would mean keeping the oval clear? Maybe the grounds could be replanted with natives to encourage the smaller birds…

    • Hi Matt – bit hard to say really. The main use of the site currently is passive recreation. The key attractor for birds is the variety of habitat, especially the veteran trees. White-browed Babblers and other small bird will be tolerant of a bit more traffic as long as the habit quality is maintained in my estimation.
      Glad to hear its a site that you enjoy.
      Cheers, geoff

  3. Great images by the way, the babblers are so hard to photograph…

  4. Great seeing the white browed babbler Geoff. Rarely see them at castlemaine.

  5. Hear! Hear! To the Rotunda,and then leave it alone for the birds and bird lovers to enjoy, without any so called “improvement” unless it’s going to increase wildlife habitat. Thanks for staking a claim for the birds Geoff.

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