Newsletter 143 August 2006

Dear Friends,

Well, the wet break did not last long, neither was it sufficient. Now we are back to pleasant sunny days and very frosty mornings
into the minus figures again. However the frost did not deter the 14 hardy members who turned out to plant at Chiltern Valley No 2 Dam. Understorey plants, wattles, bursarias, bulokes and a few kurrajongs, were planted randomly among the large red gums. It may take a few years before we see a difference. Hopefully the shrub loving birds such as firetails and babblers will appreciate our efforts. We thank Jan and Jenny of Sandy Creek Farm Trees for donating the trees for this project and the Depot project.
Amongst the bird list for the dam were Pelicans, Spoonbill, White-faced Herons, Grey Teal, Black and Wood Ducks. Along the margins the dainty little Black-fronted Dotterels were very active. In the big dead tree across the dam a Whistling Kite had an active nest and we noted a confrontation between them and the Little Eagles. The woodland area yielded Red-rumped and Turquoise Parrots, Eastern Rosellas, White-browed Babblers, White-plumed Honeyeaters and the distant calls of a Grey Butcher-bird.
Morning tea was very late and was combined with a short meeting. Lunch was at Greenhill Dam, always a pleasant spot to birdwatch, but on this day was unproductive. The Ironbarks are coming to the end of a really good flowering and the White Box is taking over. Swift Parrots abound in the park and are quite vocal though not always easy to see well. Early in the morning and late in the evening are perhaps the best times to get good viewings. In the evening they are a magnificent sight as they enjoy the last of the sun. Orioles are now calling, Rose Robins and Golden Whistlers are still being encountered. Soon we will be seeing the first of the migratory species, Painted Honeyeaters have all ready been recorded near Bendigo. Perhaps the dry season inland will drive the birds south a little earlier. The water levels on both Valley Dams are getting rather low. The park dams are also well below normal for this time of the year.

Around the park:

At Chiltern Valley No 2: Parks have had the ripping done so there are more understorey plants to be put in.
The Research Station Block is ripped and ready for planting. There has been a big change in the Depot site. Several areas have been leveled for future camp sites, holes have been drilled for the fencing around the tree plots and light ripping has been done between the existing plantings. Piles of drain litter have been placed ready for spreading in the enclosures. It is expected that the fence work will be undertaken this week.
Now we need to organise times to get these jobs completed. The present plan is to tackle the Research Station block on Saturday August 26th. If you are available to assist please give me a call, there are about 50 trees to plant.
The Depot tasks are planned for the morning of the AGM and they involve: planting the final group of 10 trees and assembling the tall wire guards; laying newspaper in the enclosures and covering it with the litter.
Proposed trip to Terrick Terrick National Park on Saturday and Sunday September 9th/10th
For those interested in coming please contact Mark Carey on: E/mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 03 57 281 572.


Rainfall: July: 54.2 mm over 13 days Yearly total to date: 189 mm over 43 days. Exceptionally low for this time of the year.

NEXT MEETING SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND MEET AT CHILTERN POST OFFICE *9.30AM
 


Working on the above tasks at Depot re-veg site. BYO gloves, trowel, shovel, pliers, binocs, chair and lunch. Newspaper has been collected. After lunch we will meet our guest speaker, Andrew Silcocks for a tour of the wetlands. Dinner will be at the Senior Citizens’ Rooms in Conness Street at 6pm to be followed by a brief AGM and the Guest Speaker at 7.30 pm. Anyone is welcome. Friends please bring a meal to share. Regina will be providing several of her usual outstanding dishes.
The theme for the evening is “Waterbirds and Waders” and Andrew is a specialist in this field
Contact: Eileen on 03 57 261 484 RSVP for tea by Tuesday August 29th to assist with catering. Thank you all. The hall will be open from 5pm.

FRIENDS OF CHILTERN NATIONAL PARK inc MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL
P.O. Box 60 CHILTERN 3683 To assist, please mark the envelope Membership.
Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring and replacing of mammal boxes, and weed control are just some of our contributions. Your support for our activities is valued and your membership renewal is vital to our cause. Membership expires on June 30th. Please ensure your contact details are current. Thankyou.
Please find enclosed my membership of $10 for 2006-7 The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

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**This is the final newletter for unfinancial members. If you have changed your email address please let me know.