Newsletter 174 June 2009

The June 2009 Newsletter contains notes on the most recent park activity day, rainfall at last and a proposal to change the name of our group.

Dear Friends

Some rain has fallen at last and the dust from newly graded roads that pervaded our activities in early May has settled.  Puddles on the roadside now greeted us.

The morning was cool, foggy and rain seemed imminent.  A group of six gathered at the Chiltern Post Office and then made our way to the area east of Slaughteryard Gap Road to inspect mammal nest boxes and add inspection flaps to the newer ones.  Mark expertly led the way with the GPS and we soon found each box and inspected it.

Almost all of the boxes contained eucalypt leaves and showed signs of occupancy.  One box contained at least three gliders (most probably Squirrel Gliders) all huddled together in a ball.  New boxes that were not occupied were taken down from the tree and fitted with an inspection hole with a flap that can be easily slid open and inspected with the tree-top camera without anyone needing to climb up a ladder.  This will also cause less disturbance to any occupants. Several original boxes, constructed by Bruce Quin’s father, are in this complex and they are still serviceable after over 20 years.

The park was somewhat subdued with very few birds about but steadily we compiled quite a good bird list for the day.  There is virtually no eucalypt blossom in the park and this has meant that very few honeyeaters are about.  Highlights included a pair of Rose Robins,


Red-Capped Robins, Scarlet Robins,
Eastern Yellow Robin

 Crested Shrike-tit and Restless Flycatchers.  Morning tea was held at Greenhill Dam with the customary bun thanks to Margaret who was visiting the area. Thank you Neville for this report.

Later in the afternoon the rain proved it can still fall and 17mm fell in a short time. Nice to be under the passing storm for a change. The three day event produced 50+mm.

Around the park

There have been many visiting birdwatchers over the past month, all seeking the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot. Of course with no blossom there is little chance of success. However most have been very pleased with the lists they have compiled and have expressed enjoyment of their visit.

Some Long-leaf Box is flowering along the eastern end of Cyanide Road and there is scattered blossom on the Blakely’s Red Gum.

Fungi have come alive with the damp conditions. Earth Stars are plentiful, see picture on web. Countless tiny fungi have erupted on the fallen dead branches and puffballs are pushing their way through the track edges.


The long, orange-brown larval cases of the Wattle Goat Moths are protruding form the soil. The emergent moths are attracted to light and can be seen on the ground under street lights in the morning. Their huge wings get quite sodden from the rain and make flying difficult. One of these moths would make a satisfying and easy meal for a glider after the long hard dry period.

Name change

Friends has been asked by Parks Victoria to consider changing our name from 'Friends of Chiltern Box-Ironbark National Park inc to 'Friends of Chiltern-Mt. Pilot National Park, Incorporated' to reflect the current name of the park.  This is a straightforward process but we are seeking feedback from members about this request.  All that we need to do is pass a motion to the effect that we wish to change our present name, Friends of Chiltern Box-Ironbark National Park inc. to 'Friends of Chiltern-Mt. Pilot National Park inc and inform the appropriate Victorian authority.

Please reply by July 1st either by mail or email, accepting or rejecting the proposal.

2009 Kookaburra Awards

A group of Friends traveled to Melbourne for the presentation of the Kookaburra Awards for 2009. All nominees were invited to the ceremony. We congratulate the winners, Friends of Kings Billabong, upon their well deserved award. Each nominee received a certificate, which can be viewed on our  website.


Rainfall
Total for MAY: 4.7 mm over 4 days. Yearly total: 132.3 mm over 22 days.


NEXT MEETING SATURDAY JULY  4TH 2009 MEET AT CHILTERN P.O AT 9.00AM

We are getting closer to installing the Tuan Track signage and planting some more trees at the camp site! Bring shovel, rammer, gloves, small tools for weeding, binocs, lunch and chair. Nest box work if the activity is altered.Contact: Eileen  03 57 261 484


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, replacing and erection of new   mammal boxes, tree planting 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 2009-10  The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

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