Merri BirdWatch
Planting and site maintenance
StreamTeam Water quality testing
Litter pickups
Walks, talks and tours


Volunteering is vital to our efforts! We couldn’t do it without you. There are many ways you can get involved.
All our activities – listed below rely on volunteer efforts.
Our Events Calendar lets you know what’s happening and we post events through social media a week or so prior. Our newsletter Merri Growler, includes a quarterly listing.
There are also some “inside” tasks that would welcome extra support, such as helping with campaigning on planning issues, writing objections and submissions and helping with our newsletter.
Contact us if you’d like to help out.

Planting at Strettle Wetland, Thornbury.

Planting at Strettle Wetland, Thornbury.

Merri BirdWatch

Joining in a bird survey on the Merri Creek is a great way to find out about our fascinating local birds. It’s also an enjoyable social get-together, with some gentle exercise. Information collected in the surveys is valuable in showing the changes in bird populations over time, including their response to habitat restoration and revegetation along the creek.
Beginner birders are welcome. Survey leaders help newcomers to see and identify the birds. Bring binoculars if you can, and wear closed-in shoes. A water bottle and sunhat are useful in warm weather. No dogs please, as they reduce the number of birds seen.
Dates and meeting points for the surveys are listed in the Friends’ Events Calendar
Generally twenty to thirty species are spotted in each survey, which involves a one-and-a-half hour stroll around a path circuit. The quarterly surveys are done at ten different locations along the Merri and at Edwardes Lake. More than 125 species have been recorded in the surveys since 2008, and you never know what might turn up next.
Each season brings some different birds to the Merri. If you think an extended winter holiday in north Queensland is a good idea, you’re not alone. So do the Sacred Kingfishers that breed along the Merri Creek in spring-summer. But then, the cold is all relative: in autumn the Flame Robins come down from the mountains where they spend summer, and some can be seen in open grassy places around northern Melbourne, including the Creekside grasslands.

We have just released a compilation of BirdWatch surveys over a 10 year period – an incredible diversity of species, either call the Merri Creek home, or drop in while passing.
Merri Creek BirdWatch surveys – species list 2008-2018.
Bird survey report – 2019.
Birds for Merri BirdWatchers

Tawny Frogmouth at Egan Reserve Coburg - Kara Pringle

Tawny Frogmouth at Egan Reserve Coburg – Kara Pringle.

Bird survey data

Planting and site maintenance

Our planting events are planned to help with regeneration efforts for sites along the creek to support biodiversity of flora and fauna. We use a range of plants along with trees – grasses, groundcovers and shrubs.
We plant in the cooler months to give plants their best chance to get established.

They are also a chance to get to know different sections of the creek with our knowledgeable bush crews on hand to answer your questions.
A monthly get together – Woody Weed Whacking is removing Gorse and briar rose from Galada Tamboore in Campbellfield, our SWOT team is removing the highly invasive South African Weed Orchid (Disa bracteata) from the Ngarri-djarrang Grassland in Reservoir.
Our Events Calendar lets you know what’s happening and we post events through social media a week or so prior.

South African Weed Orchid removal, Ngarri-djarrang Grassland, Reservoir.

South African Weed Orchid removal, Ngarri-djarrang Grassland, Reservoir.

StreamTeam water quality testing

Friends of Merri Creek Stream Team groups regularly test water quality of the Merri Creek. You can get involved by coming along to one of our training days, held throughout the year, or joining a monitoring day.

Learning in action on Merri Creek

Learning in action on Merri Creek.

Monitoring – where and when

Merri Creek @ St Georges Road.
1st Sunday of Every Month.
Melways Map 30 C10.

Access is by cycling along Merri Creek to just upstream of St Georges Road Bridge, catching the tram (Route 11) along St Georges Road/Brunswick Street and getting off at Stop 25 and walking north to the creek and down the cycle/pedestrian path ramp. Driving to and parking outside Merri Primary School in Miller Street, Fitzroy North and walking down to the creek

Data History of Merri @ St Georges Road Site –
Download Excel

Useful links

Water quality reports


Litter pickups

The Friends were one of the first groups in Melbourne to begin removing litter from an urban creek. Almost every month, the Friends spend a Sunday morning cleaning up litter from various sections along the Creek.

Most litter is washed from the streets by rain, down the drains to the Merri, where it collects on rocks, reeds, grasses and tree branches along the Creek.
Our Events Calendar lets you know what’s happening and we post events through social media a week or so prior.
If you’d like to organise your own litter pickup, we can help you get organised – visit our Community litter collections page.

Successful litter collection.

Successful litter collection, Merri Parade, Northcote.

Walks, talks and tours


Walk and talk, Strettle Wetland, Thornbury.

Walk and talk, Strettle Wetland, Thornbury.

Talks are occasionally held on subjects of interest, such as the flora and fauna on the Creek, or the life of the Wurundjeri (the local Aboriginal people). These talks are open to the public and usually held on week nights.
We often incorporate a short tour at the end of an planting or maintenance activity.

There are walks to see the beautiful native wildflowers, which still flourish on the endangered grasslands remaining along the creek.

Tours may include the spectacular Galada Tamboore (stream waterhole) gorge areas in Campbellfield or a bicycle ride to the Central Creek grasslands, which still manages to survive in suburban Reservoir, or a bus tour to the upper reaches of the Merri Creek to visit sites of State or National Conservation Significance.
Our Events Calendar lets you know what’s happening and we post events through social media a week or so prior.