Newsletter 206 May 2012

The May 2012 Newsletter is now available

Dear Friends,

An early heavy fog lifted in time for us to enjoy some sunshine while we worked at the Tuan enclosures. They broad leaf weed spraying undertaken by Parks has halted the capeweed and nightshade growth. With a whipper snipper and a great operator the grass in the enclosures was tamed and a track cut for access. Many hands tackled the weeding, pruning and removal of dead material. Inkweed patches around the area were dealt with and weeds and dead plants stacked for burning. It was encouraging to see robust seedlings of Indigofera in enclosure one as well as the flowering Digger’s Speedwell and Guinea Flower. While we worked the birdlife was active, Blue Wrens, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail and other small birds were in good voice. We were all taken by surprise when a magnificent Wedge-tailed Eagle cruised overhead to inspect us.

 

Wedge-tailed Eagle N B

 

Neville was at the ready with the camera. Australasian Grebes were on the dam and a Rose Robin was seen in the Red Box near the dam.

Australasian Grebe NB

The group was not too numerous so at morning tea the slices of bun were quite generous and well earned. After a little more clearing up we retired to Greenhill Dam for lunch which was followed by a search of Magenta Road for Regents. None were found but there is good bud on the Stringybark and the hybrid eucalypts so the area shows promise for the coming months.

 

Klotz Track was our next target where we expected to find Swift Parrots and hoped for a Regent. Swift Parrots did not disappoint us. We estimated 30 + feeding in a Grey Box which had a little blossom on the crown and leaves infested with scale/lerp. The parrots fed mostly on the lerp and occasionally visited the blossom. Noisy Miner numbers are very high in this section of the park and they were very aggressive towards the Swift Parrots. The lone Regent which was seen in the same area a few weeks ago has not been re-sighted.

Swift Parrot NB

Chiltern Mt Pilot bird pamphlet

The final selection of species was made at the May meeting. It was not an easy task to select 80 species form the huge park list. Thank you to everyone who contributed their choices.

 

Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot survey

MAY 19/20 at Chiltern and Killawarra. See details at the end of the newsletter.

Around the park

The White Box is in good flower on the crest along Muffler Track, and on White Box Road near the Muffler Rd junction. It is full of Little Lorikeets and ideal for Swift Parrots. Also at that spot you can find the Regent orange/black the bird that was at Honeyeater picnic area. There is an orange tag on a roadside sapling to mark the spot. If you go there please look for other regents. The Klotz Track/Rileys Rd area has yielded a good flock of Swift Parrots and these were feeding on lerp in Grey Box.

 

At Honeyeater Picnic area Scarlet and Rose Robins can be found along with many other species of honeyeater. Rose Robins have been popping up in many spots in the park and seem to favour Red Box and Silver Wattle habitats. The lone bird at Klotz Track has not been seen again. Please report any Regent sightings as soon as possible. Other good areas of White Box are in the northern section of the park and include the hill along the western boundary of Bartley’s Block and Mt Pleasant and Devonshire Roads.

 

Yellow-footed Antechinus are active, searching for insects on the forest floor and scrambling up trees to enjoy the blossom.

Antechinus Pair Neville Bartlett

While searching for Regents Phillip noticed the head of a possum peering out of the low fork of an ironbark. After a little persuasion we managed to get a good look at it and found it was a rather lethargic Ringtail Possum.

 

The change in the weather has encouraged fungi to appear. A lovely species of apricot coloured Coral Fungi, Ramaria sp was seen in late April along with a Yellow Gilled Bolete for which we are awaiting confirmation of the species.

Ramaria sp Cy Dam Apr 2012

Around the water we found a large red dragonfly which was flitting from place to place and occasionally landing. It is aptly named from its behaviour as a Wandering Percher. Getting a reasonable image was difficult.

Dragonfly Wandering Percher

Processionary caterpillars, the larvae of the Bag Shelter Moth, are on the move and are responsible for the denuding of the Golden Wattle leaves.

 

Processionary CaterpillarsThey do not seem to eat the flower buds. They have very irritating hairs so should not be handled. The hairs apparently help them to keep in contact as they proceed through the bush.One of their natural enemies is a Tachanid Fly

Tachinid Fly  EC

From the ranger’s office

  1. About 220 hectares fuel reduced in Chiltern Section of park and 300 hectares in Mt Pilot near Eldorado.
  2. The grader is currently working on Flood Recovery works in Pilot section.
  3. Fox Baiting Program has been completed with a very high uptake, 153 (65%) of the 235, of poisoned baits.
  4. Police have charged a driver following off-road use and vegetation damage at Donchi Hill.

Lake Anderson Caravan Park. has been sold. I am sure those of you who have enjoyed the hospitality of Anne and Laurie will wish them all the best in their retirement. We look forward to meeting the new owners.


Rainfall: April’s record was not available at the time of printing so will be included in the June edition.


NEXT MEETING : SUNDAY JUNE 3rd

Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00 AM BYO chair, water, binocs, friend, repellent. Action on Tuan enclosures and removal of a few Cootamundra Wattles in the Cemetery Bushland reserve.Weeding, pruning, byo gloves and tools you are comfortable using. Afternoon walk. Lunch spot to be decided on the day. Contact in the field: Eileen 0407486480 or 57261484 or Neville on 0412399439

Regent Honeyeater / Swift Parrot Survey May 19

  1. Meet: 8.15am for 8.30am briefing @ Honeyeater Picnic Area on Cyanide Rd (or new comers the easiest way to the site is: from the Chiltern Yackandandah Rd (parallel to the Sth side of the Fwy), turn into Lancashire Gap Rd. Turn left into Cyanide Rd. Turn right into the Honeyeater Picnic Area car park.
  2. We'll go through a quick introduction, registration, overview OH&S considerations, discuss communications protocols (each team will be provided with UHF radio), and allocate each team locations for searching.
  3. We'll reconvene at the same site for a sumptuous lunch & billy tea (that we'll provide).
  4. For those able/interested - there's an opportunity to make a weekend of it (camping and cabins at the caravan park etc) and follow-up with more surveying on Sunday at Chiltern or surrounds.

The full details can be read here on the website. please RSVP by return email to Glen Johnson by Thursday 17th May (earlier appreciated) & include any dietary preferences This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.