Newsletter 026 November 1995


 

 

FRIENDS OF CHILTERN PARK
Convenor E.Collins 057 261 484
Newsletter No. 25 November 1995
 
Dear Friends,
Members conducted a mass removal of Cootamundra Wattles from near Magenta Mine on Sunday November 5. The weather looked threatening as we set to work with chainsaw, bush saws and pruning saws, but it remained fine until mid-afternoon enabling the job to be completed and lunch to be enjoyed. The adjoining landholder discussed with us the reasons for eradicating the wattles and decided that those in his block should also go. He felled them straight away and undertook to fell the remaining trees on his frontage. The area will be monitored to eradicate seedlings - a much easier task than felling trees! Members felt that there was a developing sense of environmental awareness around Chiltern which was most
pleasing.
Several members worked between meetings to complete the tree planting at the tip reserve. The contribution of Friends has been recognised by the erection of sign at the entrance to the proposed new landfill site.
Another re-vegetation project is being undertaken around the football oval and the town park. The Shire, Park Committee and Lions Club have joined in a project to create a lake and island as part of a water conservation scheme. Water from the lake will be used to water the cricket pitch and keep the oval alive through summer. A fitness track will complete the project. The entire area will be planted out in local native species providing corridors between the existing remnants. The removal of masses of elm suckers is the major challenge for this team.
October has been an exciting month in the park. A constant stream of visitors have enjoyed the amazingly colourful and fragrant display of wildflowers. We’ve had junior “Twitchers’ from Middle Indigo Primary School enjoying the birds around Cyanide Dam; secondary school visits from Wangaratta and Wodonga; Orienteering groups; bird observers from Melbourne and Canberra clubs; field naturalists from local areas; family reunions as well as picnickers, walkers and cyclists. The facilities designed and provided by CNR have been well used and appreciated. It has been pleasing to see that ‘modern rubbish’ has been absent, reflecting a respect for the park.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE ROOS GONE?

At the third Eastern Grey Kangaroo count conducted by “Friends” during the third week of October 1995 a total of only seventy-seven kangaroos and four Black Wallabies were counted The largest group observed was sixteen, there were  five
‘family” groups of five, six or seven and the remainder were individuals or a mother and joey. Feed and water are abundant throughout the park. It would ,
appear that the kangaroo population is widely dispersed. All animals seen were in peak condition .
John Reeve.
John travels parts of the park that are not often visited. On his last trek he reported seeing five feral goats. Three of these cunning creatures have been removed. Members doing survey work are able to contribute information on such things as weed infestation, rubbish and feral animals.
Roadside Assessment for the old Chiltern and Rutherglen shires which are now part of the Indigo Historic District.
• Prior to amalgamation the Beechworth Shire obtained funding for assessing their roadsides. Since there was no funding for the assessment to be carried out in the new Indigo Shire an application for finding was sent to the Roadside Assessment Committee seeking funding for assessment of the Chilltern roadsides. Funding is available provided the shire is prepared to support the volunteers. If this task goes ahead a training session will be held in mid-November. Anyone interested in assisting with this work please contact 057 261 484 for information.
Regent Honeyeater Workshop and Information day
Monday November 13 at the Senior Citizens Rooms, Conness St. Chiltern. 9.30-3.3Opm.
This notice will probably be too late. The delay was unavoidable.
Regent Honeyeater report:
Many nests have been found and observed. Sadly the failure rate has been extremely high. Reasons include the weather, in particular high winds and constant heavy rain which resulted in loss of nestlings. Predators have also played their part. Suspects include Kookaburras, Orioles and perhaps Gliders or Tuans. Many birds have re-nested only to lose their second brood. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the remaining “live” nests.
The monthly surveys on quadrats and road routes have been going for a year and are producing some interesting results. All species of birds are counted in the survey and the flowering status of the eucalvpts recorded. In some areas of the park the eucalypt flowering was non-existent and the bird numbers reflected this state. This month the flowering is tapering off and the trees are resplendent with new growth promising a good flowering in autumn and spring. There are still some hybrids in good flower and the Little Lorikeets are good at finding them. The Friarbirds àre notable absentees while Orioles are plentiful.
BullAnts
An endangered and as yet unnamed Bull Ant has been recorded in Killawarra Park. Presently it goes under the name “Species 17” Several members have been paying attention to Bull Ants in Chiltern Park { now for two reasons! } If you are the curious type you may like to take note of Bull Ants. If they are of the “Yellow-nippered” variety they are worth a second glance. The rough drawings and notes may help in observations,


If you think you have a sighting that matches the information please remember to mark the site so that it can be examined. It seems that these ants prefer the box areas.
Flora
Two plants have been the subject of CNR botanists’ attention receatly. Both are new additions to our plant list. Both are rare plants. .
Goodia medicaginea, Western Golden-tip, is listed as rare in Victoria. There are two locations in the park and one on the railway reserve. Friends will be monitoring these sites and controlling weeds to facilitate regeneration. .
Brachyscome gracilis, the Dookie Daisy, listed as rare in Australia and vulnerable in Victoria. A specimen of this plant, found in Chiltern in the early 1980’s, is held at the Herbarium. Botanists came in search of it in October and happily it was found growing near where the specimen was collected. It was also found in another location. Confirmation of the identification is awaited from the Herbarium.
Dookie Daisy is a small annual plant with a very short life. The daisy flowers are white with a yellow centre. Despite its fragile appearance it seems to favour quite harsh areas often among rocks.


Turquoise Parrot Survey
The December survey marks the end of this programme. The information gathered indicates that hollows are much sought after by many species. Gliders, tuans,  treecreepers, bats, frogs and possums in particular. Bruce extends his thanks to all Friends who participated in this long and demanding project.
From the Meeting:
1. Discussion re arrangements and activities for December meeting.
2. Decision to supply new chain for the chain saw which has worked so hard removing feral trees!
NEXT MEETING SA TURDAY DECEMBER 2 AT CYANIDE DAM AT 8.00AM
THIS IS A BREAKFAST MEETING
After breakfast we will go for a walk. Later we will go to the Genista site on the Howlong Road to hand weed seedlings from this spring’s growth. This is quite easy work and necessary to capitalise on the hard work done last autumn.
Bring breakfast, lunch, gloves and willing hands.
Contact No: 057 261 484