Newsletter 011 July 1994

 
FRIENDS OF CHILTERN PARK
Convenor: E.Collins 057 261 484

Dear Friends,
The severe frosts at the end of June provided clear sunny days as a reward after freezing nights. Our July meeting was held in much milder weather. The warm winter sun greeted us at Bartley’s on July 2nd. Due to a variety of reasons this was our smallest gathering so far.
Weed eradication by pulling and spot spraying continued. Work began on tidying up the old trees around the homestead site and putting the finishing touches to the outline of the house foundations. It is ow clear how the homestead was laid out. The next task will be to remove the piles of weeds and excess fill and fill in any large holes.
The proposed route for the interpretive trail was tagged. It takes in the significant sites of the settlement. John has suggested that we walk the trail several times over the winter months so that we can identify any wet spots. Two low bridges will be required to cross the sedge gullies. When the route is finalised a track will be cleared and where necessary surfaced with quarry dust.


There were plenty of birds round the little dam near the brewery site. Richly coloured Spotted Pardalotes were picking scale insects from the leaves of the Blakely’s Gums. Their stout little beaks are perfect for the job. Spottted Pardalotes dig a tunnel in a bank and make a nest chamber at the end. Sometimes they use a stump hole. In the tussocks around the Oleander bush five Stubble Quail were seen. They moved silently from tussock to tussock as we watched. Their food consists of insects, seed and green grasses. They nest on the ground.


Around the park the effects of the recent rains are beginning to show. Fungi are appearing, orchid rosettes are plentiful and Golden Wattle is beginning to flower. The Golden Wattle should be spectacular along the Howlong Road. In August there is very little flower on the Ironbarks. Some larger trees have a little blossom but this does not seem to be attracting honeyeaters. Lack of blossom means lack of insect life which in turn means lack of insectivorous birds. All this adds up to a rather quiet forest at the moment.
Purple Hovea is in flower, Geebung {Persoonia}fruits are swelling and Drooping Mistletoe berries are plentiful. Several people have asked if anýthing eats the Geebung fruits so if anyone knows please let me know. I cannot find any reference to the fruits being used by Koories. I know they are bitter to taste.
Nest Logs: The winter checking is completed. Bruce passes his thanks to all those who assisted.
Monitoring will begin again in mid October. If you see small flocks of Turquoise Parrots in the park please record the location and pass it to me, Bruce is also interested in the winter feeding sites.
Weeds: John McDonald, our ranger, has suggested that all weed infestations which Friends locate be plotted on the park map. By doing this we will be able to follow up the eradication work at intervals. To ensure it is effective, anyone finding weed patches such as Genista, Privet, Cootamundra Wattle etc should jot down the location so that it can be recorded for attention. Work done on the two large patches of Genista(Soft Broom} appears to have been very successful. In August and September seedlings will need to be hand pulled.
From the meeting.
1. Nine members and there were numerous apologies.
2. There were insufficient members present for the Annual General Meeting.
3. A number of minor changes and some additions were made to the model rules in preparation for incorporation.
4. Office bearers. The meeting decided on the following positions:
a] Convenor b] Treasurer c] Secretary d] Publicity Officer e]Public Officer
The positions of secretary and treasurer may be combined.
As there were no expressions of interest in these positions at the meeting I was asked to advertise them in the newsletter and request that anyone who would like to take up a position contact me. This contact will need to be made on or before July 23rd.
5. Fruit was brought for the trading table.
6. The Chiltern Forest and Friends display which has been at the Lavington library will be moved to the Albury City library for a 3 week period.
The next gathering is on SUNDAY AUGUST  7 TH AT 9.00AM A T BARTLEY’S.
TRAVELS IN ARGENTINA
The forty people who braved the cold evening to listen to Richard Loyn’s humourous and enlightening account of his Argentinian travels were well rewarded.
We learned that travel in the country is both safe and easy. We travelled through rain forest, mountains, temperate forest, desert and wetlands. But it was the glaciers and the magnificent colours in the ice thatleft the greatest impression if the comments were a guide.
Among the wildlife the Toucans, with their huge bills and the daylight parade of the Penguins was interesting. Richard told us that the daylight parade was safe as there were no predators in that region.
A delicious supper rounded off the evening.
Our thanks go to Richard and Debbie, who along with baby Meg, made the trip from Melbourne to be with us and share their adventures.