Newsletter 196 June 2011

The June 2011 newsletter reports on the favorable conditions in the park for flora,birds,insects and fungi and reminds members that membership renewal is due on June 30th

Dear Friends The idyllic weather disappeared! A cold, grey but dry day greeted us but failed to spoil the activities. With the pole camera at the ready we set out to finally test it. To our dismay the LED lights would not function so the box interior was in darkness. No solution was found so we moved on and used the back-up, the ladder!

 

Happily the problem was easily solved the next day by attending to the connection. So, on to the boxes and their contents. At the first site three were empty but the fourth yielded very sleepy gliders.

 

At our second site one of the four boxes contained gliders. Morning tea and traditional sticky bun was next before visiting the third site where one of two boxes housed gliders. All up seven animals were recorded. Three members of the group were new to nest box work and were delighted to see gliders for the first time and the morning’s effort was very satisfying.

 

Quite a few distractions slowed up our progress during the day. There was a wonderful array of fungi and lichen to be admired and photographed, there were strange stunning tube-like galls on a young eucalypt, a few late Autumn Greenhooods were spotted and there were carpets of pterostylis leaves everywhere.

Ken Walker from the Museum Victoriakindly volunteered this description

 

Cynips species

This is a most remarkable gall, which is very common in some districts, but where it is produced upon the thick branches forms masses of short, horn-like processes. But in other cases it forms a mass of slender, tapering, cylindrical galls, several inches in length. These are of a dull, reddish colour, tapering at both ends, thickest in the centre, and quite hollow. When of this slender type, they form bunches drooping down like flowers; the insects, of which I have bred a number, are short and thick-set, with dark, metallic blue tints. This gall is interesting from the fact that it has been figured and described in several foreign works as the work of a beetle (Curculio).

 

Along Battery Hill Road the pale yellow flowers of Acacia genistifolia make a nice show.The first sprays of Golden Wattle are flowering, and the little white flowers of Urn Heath, Melichrus urceolatus are providing nectar for Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters. Ironbarks and some hybrid eucalypts are flowering well so there was plenty of bird activity throughout the park.

 

The magic of Bartley’s Block at 8am on June 2nd with a heavy dew and bright sunlight was a birder’s paradise. Standing in the sun on the western boundary we recorded, to name a few, three species of robin, dozens of Silvereyes, Speckled Warblers, Yellow Thornbills, White-throated and Western Gerygones and all the normal honeyeaters with the exception of the Regent Honeyeater which presently favours the Greenhill Road area.

 

Around the park

Quite a lot has happened around the park in recent weeks. The rabbit burrows have been imploded at Valley No 2, on the Rutherglen Conservation block, around Magenta Mine area and the small Barambogie Bushland Reserve. Hopefully the shrubs around the hide will now have a chance to grow and rabbit numbers will have been reduced. Extensive renovation work has taken place at Honeyeater Picnic Area. The car park has been remodelled, new tables are in place and the bridges have been upgraded. The grading of the park roads has been completed.

 

Regent Honeyeaters

If you see these birds please try to note the colour bands and report them. Currently there are three colour banded birds in the park, one is a wild bird and two are from last year’s release. Another 2010 release bird is at Holbrook. So whenever you are in country where eucalypts are flowering keep an eye out for these birds as they could pop up anywhere at this time of the year.


Rainfall: May: 35.6 mm over 6 days. Yearly total to date:475.1 mm over 35 days.


NEXT MEETING SATURDAY JULY 2ND

Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00am BYO lunch, binocs, chair. Olive search Mt Pleasant Block and nest box checking. Contact 0357 261 484 or 0407 486 480 (in the field only if lost or late)


FRIENDS OF CHILTERN NATIONAL PARK inc MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

P.O. Box 60 CHILTERN 3683 To assist, please mark the envelope Membership. Please ensure your contact details are current. Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year including

  1. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring
  2. replacing and erection of new mammal boxes
  3. tree planting
  4. weed control
  5. the provision of a bird hide

These 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 find enclosed my membership of $10 for 2011-12 The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

 

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