FRIENDS OF CHILTERN PARK
Convenor: E.Collins 057 261 484
Newsletter No. 10 June 1994
World Environment Day coincided with our first birthday on June 5th. Twenty four members turned up at Bartley’ s Block to continue work on the interpretive trail. The foundations of the homestead are gradually reappearing along with the outline of the gardens. The brewery foundations are proving to be more complicated since we have no photographic material to assist us. Many little artefacts were uncovered as we worked and were all carefully stored.
Peter Hay took time to explain the water system which Bartley devised. Two dams were built
on the higher part of the property. From these the water was piped through charcoal filter beds to the wells situated near the brewery. Along the line there were two vertical pipes through which water purity was monitored.
Many little frogs were found among the rock litter. The patterns on their backs varied from frog to frog. However they were all Common Froglets , Ranidella signifera. Two things they had in common were the coarsely mottled belly and fine unwebbed toes. The Frogwatch Field Guide is great for frog identification.
Colin and Steve measured the block and the proposed trail route. We will have a working plan for the next meeting and should be able to submit draft one to CNR for approval.
The seasonal change on the block was quite dramatic. Gone was every trace of the heavy crop
of Persimmons. The Currawongs, parrots and honeyeaters had a banquet. The trees were grey
skeletons. Beneath them the spring bulbs were pushing through the dry earth. The Arum Lilies in the gully, once a feature of the garden were quite tall.
The waterhole near the brewery site is believed to have been the old cellar. Over the years it has
developed into a rich habitat with rushes and grasses in and around the edges and eucalypt saplings in the banks. While we worked the birds came to feed and drink and frogs called non-stop. However the real prize emerged much later in the day in the shape of a Rose Robin. These robins are altidudinal winter migrants to our area. They appear to favour areas of red and grey box with grassy areas nearby and Blakely’s Red Gum patches. The male bird is slate grey on the head and throat with brownish wings. The tail is blackish and the two outermost feathers are marked with white. These are obvious as the bird moves around. The neck and breast are rose coloured and the abdomen is white. The female and immature birds are brownish. The robins often hold their wings in a drooping position and this helps to distinguish them from other small birds. Judith has observed the bird on several occasions since the meeting. If you are keen to add it to your list of sightings just sit quietly at the pond and it will oblige.
Lunchtime was upon us. Smells of barbecued food and a table full of salads to share, two
bottles of bubbly and three birthday cakes forced everyone to down tools and celebrate our birthday.Cake makers Sarina and Jenny were rewarded by seeing their cakes demolished, diets or no diets! As someone said, “shared food is very enjoyable”. True.
From the meeting.
Apologies were received from: Bruce Quin; Philip Seeley and Scott Jessup. .
l. A welcome was extended to Steve Greg and John Griffith. .
2. Bank balance is $740.20. To boost our funds we are having a trading table each month and recycling aluminium cans. Every little helps.
3. A profile of our group detailing our aims and activities, has been drawn up and laminated. It is being used for publicity in conjunction with the Environment Centre display and is currently touring district libraries. The cost of $26 will be covered by proceeds from can sales and the trading table.
4. Newsletter Sponsorship: W.A.W. Credit Union has agreed to print our newsletter each month. This makes a significant contribution to our cause which is very much appreciated. The logo appears on the wrapper.
5. Íncorporation: we will seek the services of a solicitor to guide us through.
6. Bruce Quin wrote to thank the group for their effort in monitoring the logs. The information
gathered has been collated and sent to the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife.
7. Log Monitoring: It was decided to monitor all the sites at least once in the coming two months. Presence of gliders may be detected. If you can assist please get in touch with me.
8. Weed Sites: If you have spare time in the following months the Genista sites need to be checked for new growth, Hand weeding is very easy after rain.
NEXT MEETING Note change of venue. .
The next meeting is the annual meeting. It will be at Bartley’s Block on Saturday 2nd July.
Time: 9.00am Lunch and Meeting 12.00 noon.
In the evening we will gather at 7.30pm in the Senior Citizens rooms in Conness Street to hear
present an illustrated talk on his
TRAVELS IN ARGENTINA
Featuring birds and mammals, the people and the country
Richard is a senior biologist in the wildlife section of CNR. .
He is involved with the conservation of a range of wildlife species.
Don’t miss this opportunity to share his adventures.
Admission by gold coin donation which includes light supper. Members a plate please.