Newsletter 025 October 1995


FRIENDS OF CHILTERN PARK INC
Convenor: E. Collins 057 261 484
Newsletter No. 25 October 1995

Dear Friends,
The revegetation project at the Chiltern Landfill area and the adjacent reserve is now
complete. A small band worked over the weekend of the October meeting to achieve the target. The
hillside should look fantastic in a few years time if the growth of last year’s planting is any guide.
The picnic spot at Donkey Hill provided a pleasant outlook for an enjoyable and well earned lunch.
After a short meeting some members went off to eradicate weeds while others went in search of some
elusive Regent Honeyeaters. This is a great time of the year in the park for if you can’t find the birds you’re
after the plants provide an interesting alternative. ‘
New plants are still turning up for our list. The most recent one being Golden Tip,Goodia
dicagineä, the small flowered form of Golden Tip found in inland situations. It seems to favour
damper areas. Further plants have been found in a strip of vegetation along the railway line near Frogs
Hollow. The sun orchids and bush peas along the railway reserve were quite spectacular, as were the two
fledgling Regent Honeyeaters being fed by an overworked Dad. It seems some ill befell the female.
Echidnas are very busy turning over ant heaps. Lucky observers may see them waddling through the bush or crossing a track. I watched one drinking from a pool in a drain. It’s beak just touched the surface of the water and with the nostrils remaining above the surface it quietly drew water into its mouth. Echidnas are solitary animals. Hollow logs, stumps and
forest litter provide them with shelter.


Litter of a different kind presents the collector with a problem or two. While old rubbish in the park is
unpleasant to look at for humans the fauna of the park see it in a different light. An old muffler pipe
becomes the home of a black snake, sheets of rusty tin are roofs for ant colonies, while lizards, skinks and
bull ants seem to find every pile of old tins available. As one friend constantly reminds me” It’s of historic
significance, leave it.” Another argues that it is only visually offensive and has no effect on the
environment. What do you, the reader, think? Remember we are not talking about the litter of the present
. ly.
‘-iround the park:
1. Regent Honeyeater nesting is still in progress although the success rate to date is very low. Predation
and weather are thought to be the two main factors affecting breeding. Many pairs have rebuilt only to fail
again. One pair built three nests only to lose their nestlings at 5-6days old.
2. New signage will be appearing throughout the park. The Reference Area will be identified and some
tracks will become managemant tracks only.
3. The revegetation areas are already showing signs of recovery. Grasses and peas are germinating. The
rain, that is falling as I write this, should ensure their survivaL .
4. The Grass Trees, Xanthorrhoea australis, are flowering very well, the spikes are tall and imposing and
extremely attractive to Hover Flies, Bees and Honeyeaters.
5. Wildflowers continue to be spectacular. Milkmaids, Burchardia umbellata, several species Caladema of
which the Musky Caladenia is the most common and Showy Podolepsis, Podolepisjaceoides are at their
best at present. The Tiger Orchids, Diuris suiphurea the last of the “Donkey Orchids” are beginning to
flower. The spikes of this orchid are often over fifty centimetres tall. The flower is a clear yellow with dark
brown markings.
6. Extinction Processes and Fauna Conservation in Remnant Box and Ironbark Woodland. DCNR, in
conjunction with Monash University and the Museum of Victoria, is looking at mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibians and selected invertebrates, { spiders, ants and beetles} within the park. Information will be
gathered using pitfall traps, spotlighting, bird censuses, bat trapping and hair tube surveys.
W axh’p
From the meeting:
1. Friends have applied for a DCNR grant for fencing materials to enclose two significant areas of remant
vegêtation. . .
2. Expenses’ of$ 31.65 associated with the preparation of the grant were passed..
3. Concern was expressed at proposals to site landfill areas adjacent to the park.
4. Notice of the Friends of Warby Ranges Walk Track opening on October 14.
5. Steve and Arlene sent apologies for Saturday and worked on Sunday to plant trees.
6. Discussion re November activities. It was decided to begin work on the Cootamundra Wattles along the
easement using the cut and paste method. The few surviving exotics at Magenta and Frogs Hollow would
also be dealt with. , .
7. During September and October there have been many visitors to the park. On one Sunday there were
over 100 people from four different groups visiting Cyanide Dam. Obviously the word is getting through
that Chiltern is a great place to visit. .
8. Members from 15 conservation groups attended the Box Ironbark Conference held at Kooyoora Caves
Park near Inglewood. Concern was expressed about the continuing degradation of Box Ironbark
woodlands. Tours of the district underlined the habitat destruction through mining, logging, clearing and
the harvesting of mallee for Eucalyptus oil. A Box/fronbark Alliance was formed for the purpose of
supporting efforts to preserve the remnants of this most abused forest type. Guides, including Leon
Costermans, led bird, wildflower and spotlight walks.
Items of interest: . ‘.
1. Appointment of a Land For W7ldlfe Extension Officer with DCNR. James Blackney has taken up
this position. James has been a ranger on Churchill Island and has carried out survey workwith DCNR.
2. Roadside Assessment in Chiltern and Ruthergien areas of In digo Shire.
Since the Indigo Shire assessment did not extend to our area an application was sent to the Roadsides
Conservation Committee of Victoria seeking funding to carry out the survey in this area. RCAC indicated
that they may be able to supply limited funding. If you are interested in helping to carry out this work
please contact me. A training workshop will be held in mid-November. If this project goes ahead it will be
a shire project and liability for the volunteers would be covered by the shire.
3. There is a proposal to use the Oaklands clay quarry for a regional tip. As you will see from the reprinted
article it has generated much interest.
4. It has been suggested that signage be placed on the Hume Freeway as it leaves Wodonga to indicate that
the Chiltern Park Rest Area is close at hand. Travellers south have been noted picnicking along the
freeway probably unaware that the Chiltern facility exists. This will be pursued.
5. Recent Publications: These may be of interest to members. .
Orchids of Victoria by G. Backhouse and J. Jeanes
Mamma/s of Victoria, Distribution, Eco/oy and Conservation. Edited by P.W.Menkhorst
Trees of Victoria and Adjacent Areas by Leon Costerman.s. This is a pocket field guide packed with
information. ,
NEXT MEETING
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5 Tua
AT MAGENTA MINE.......TIME: 9.00AM .


For those who wish to do park improvement we will be removing Cootamundra Wattles
from the Easement above Magenta. Bring gloves, secateurs and a pruning saw if you have
one. Lunch will be at FROGS HOLLOW at approximately 12.30pm.
The bush is at its best come along and enjoy it. .
. Information: 057 261 484 .