Celebrating National Wattle Day, an enthusiastic group enjoyed perfect weather, and the joys of a park awakening from its winter rest. Alan Gibb chatted about the various wattle species that were present. Six native species were found in a small block. These ranged from the tiny Ploughshare Wattle, its common name reflecting the leaf shape’s resemblance to a ploughshare, to the larger Red-Stem Wattle, Acacai rubida and one feral Cootamundra. The fate of that lone species was to be ringbarked by stone-aged methods(we had no saw) ie by finding a sharp edged stone! Joseph and Gary provided the energy taking it in turns as the task was hard on the hands.
Tony kindly brought a pole camera for the nest box inspections and we enjoyed the new technology. Seeing the occupants of the boxes on the LCD screen was interesting and the young people present were delighted.
Of the eleven boxes inspected five were occupied by either Sugar or Squirrel Gliders. While walking from box to box keen eyes found four species of Greenhoods, some nice specimens of the edible fungi Morel, tiny Caladenias, Buttercups, Purple Hovea, drifts of Hardenbergia, stunning shrubs of purple Austral Indigo and many other plants. Two wet years in a row have created a wonderful spring.
The call of a Swift Parrot coming from a flowering White Box attracted eveyone’s attention. With so many eyes it was soon located and just as quickly departed. On our way back to the vehicles we heard more calls and decided it was probably the same bird. Other birds recorded were Painted Button-quail, Black-chinned, Brown-headed, Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters. September will mark the return of the summer migrants and the departure of the winter migrants to the hills Brown Treecreeper calls welcomed us to a late, and very welcome, afternoon tea at Honeyeater Picnic area.
The day’s experiences and the customary bun were shared before we retired to the hall for a hearty meal and more conversation before the AGM and our guest speaker, member Alan Gibb. Alan’s passion for wattles and their conservation was evident in his presentation. He has travelled Victoria in all seasons to photograph wattles in all their life stages. At times he was elated by his finds and at other times devastated by the loss of rare species. We wish him well with the production of a photographic identification book on Wattles.
A message to Friends from secretary Neville Bartlett
Thank you all for a great job at the AGM. The meal and AGM were excellent and the fact that things ran an hour later than last year was a sign that everyone there thoroughly enjoyed themselves.The long series of questions after Alan's talk indicated that his talk was much appreciated. All of the work beforehand and the way that everyone pitched in was something very special - well done and thank you again. Neville.
From the AGM
The committee members for 2013 are: N Bartlett, P Gotham, treasurer, J Birckhead, E. Collins, J Davidson, M Smith, J Hawker, P Seely, J Gotham, R Jerome.
2013 Friends Calendar
Friends are invited to submit photographs for inclusion in the calendar. They need to be in high resolution and be taken in the park in either the Chiltern or Pilot section. We expect the calendars to be ready by November 19th at the latest. The print run is likely to be 100 and so far we have 80 orders. Only a few extras will be ordered.
Around the park
In 1999 the block bounding Ballarat Road and Yackandandah was the target of an ecological burn. At that time the ground cover was sparse and the wattles had senesced. Drought years followed the burn but the emerging seedlings clung to life. Now in 2012 the block is thick with Golden Wattle and peas. Similarly along Depot Road the burn of six years ago has produced an explosion of peas. Both blocks have benefitted from the two wet years and the seed banks have been replenished.
There have been several sightings of Sambar Deer in the Koala Track area and recently two were seen engaged in “battle” in the middle of Lancashire Gap Road. Despite the presence of a vehicle they were reluctant to move!
The Chiltern Valley No 2 plantings are ablaze with wattle. At the October meeting we will complete the placement of tall guards around the Cypress Pine and Bull Oaks. Two Web pics show the difference six years have made to an area devoid of understorey.
Thank you to those who have renewed their membership as always your support is appreciated. If you have overlooked it we would be happy to have you rejoin us.
Wattle species recorded for the day: Red-stemmed Wattle, Acacia rubida, Golden Wattle, A pycnantha, Varnish Wattle, A verniciflua, Ploughshare Wattle A gunnii, Gold-dust wattle A acinacea, Juniper Wattle, A ulicifolia, Silver Wattle, A dealbata.
Orchid species recorded: Nodding Greenhoods Pterostylis nutans, Dwarf Greenhood P nana, Maroonhood, P pedunculata, Blunt greenhood, P curta, Pink Fingers Caladenia carnea, Blue caladenia, Cyanicula caerulaea. Also recorded were leaves of Onion Orchids and flower spikes of Diuris along with a few early flowering Trigger Plants.
From the Ranger’s Office
Fox poisoning starts on 10 September. Free feeding is taking place at moment. Road repairs are underway in Chiltern for flood damage from earlier this year The contractor is still spraying Bridal Veil Creeper. A hole in the track near the bird hide is listed to be fixed.
August 58.8 mm over 8 days. Year to date:728.9 mm over 59 days.
NEXT MEETING: SUNDAY OCTOBER 7TH
Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00am BYO chair, water, binocs, friend and afternoon tea. Tasks at Chiltern Valley No 2 and nest box checking and walking.Contact in the field: Eileen 0407 486 480 or 57 261 484
CELEBRATING BIODIVERSITY WEEK IN SEPTEMBER IN CHILTERN
2013 FRIENDS CALENDARS AVAILABLE FROM NOVEMBER 19th
The 2013 calendars will cost $22 plus Victorian postage of $8.70 (includes a padded bag). NSW postage $10.70. For 2 to 3 calendars in same bag (max 3 per bag) add $4.00 Please forward your order and cheque to: Calendars, P.O. Box 60 Chiltern 3683. A limited number will be printed so order early to avoid disappointment.
enclose payment of $.............. for............calendar/s