Newsletter 222 October 2013

 
FRIENDS OF CHILTERN MT-PILOT NATIONAL PARK inc Newsletter No. 222  October  2013

 

Correspondence to: Neville Bartlett, Secretary
18 Barton Drive, Baranduda, 3691
Newsletter: Eileen Collins:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://friendsofchiltern.org.au

 

Dear Friends,
A pleasantly warm sunny day greeted us for our October meeting so with luck on our side weatherwise we began a day of nest box checking. Of course there is always more to nest box work that looking in boxes and this day was no exception. Attention often switched to the ground for flowers and insect life and overhead for birds. A number of boxes on the All Nations Road were occupied by Sugar and Squirrel Gliders with one box holding a family of Sugar Gliders in a very snug huddle. Web pic. Under an old fallen box lay a  handsome specimen of an Orange Footed Centipede, Cormocephalus aurantiipes. Orange-footed Centipede ECwhich offered a rare opportunity for photos.

 

After the customary and somewhat late morning tea we moved on the the Rutherglen Natural Features Reserve hoping to find a Tuan for our guest from Sydney. Unfortunately there were only Tuan nests this time around, and the usual gliders. The occupancy count for the day was really rewarding.Sugar Glider and youngThe Rutherglen block provided a different and interesting ground flora. Some plants recorded were Pimelia curviflora, Variable Glycine, G tabacina with its dainty mauve flower spikes, Slender Tick-trefoil Desmodium varians, an uncommon plant with an insignificant pale cream and pinkish flower spike. On the bare ground there were carpets of yellow Pygmy Sunray, with the long name of Triptilodiscus pygmaeus.

 

Olives were abundant and plans are afoot to wage war on them.

 

Around the park:

While in the Mt Pilot section of the park Neil and I came across a turreted structure about six centimetres high. Wondering what owned it we did a bit of “fishing” with a dry stem thinking we would get a spider. But no, out came an ant followed by a few more ants. They were not aggressive and they proceeded to drag the dry stem into their nest. The “turreted” entrance was beautifully constructed in the granitic soil with chewed up grasses and other debris.The ant was of the Campanotus species of Sugar Ants. Campanotus dragging grass into nest EC
There is a splendid show of wild flowers around the park. On the highest point of Tower Hill Road the Chocolate Lilies are spectacular and very hard to photograph well .Web pic

 

Musky Caladenias, C gracilis  are in full flower and the Blue Pincushions, Brunonia autralis are about to put on a good show. Some really lovely specimens of  Showy Podolepis P jaceoides were found on Koala Track where it runs off  Lancashire Gap Road. Podolepis jjaceoides with Hover Flies The Grey Grass Trees and various pea species are coming into flower Grey Grass Tree EC and scattered among the peas are lovely sun-orchids, both in blue and salmon shades along with stately Beard Orchids. Salmon Sun -orchids Thelymitra rubra ECBeard-orchid Calochilus robertsonii EC The Sundews are fading fast as the weather warms up and the early greenhoods are all in seed mode. All in all there are just not enough hours in the day to visit all the interesting spots. We are so lucky to have this environment surrounding our town and for it to be so accessible to all.

 

Bird news: A Rainbow Lorikeet was seen at the caravan park with a Musk Lorikeet. Painted Honeyeaters are at Bartley’s Block and at Depot Dam. Jan reported that there was good bird activity around Depot Dam.
The dams have been rather quiet but as the weather warms things should improve. During our nest box monitoring a large, noisy flock of White-browed Woodswallows was seen on Lancashire Gap Road.
Orioles, Cuckoo-shrikes, cuckoos, Sacred Kingfisher and the odd Currawong were also seen.
Other birds recorded over the week  were White-throated Warbler and quail sp on Skeleton Track east, Beeaters and  Wedgetailed Eagle. There are still a few Noisy Friarbirds about and the Little Friars are in great voice giving a variety of tricky calls until the bird is tracked down. Never a dull moment in the bird world.

 

Vale Dr Margaret Brownlie  the news of Margaret’s passing after a battle with a brain tumour has saddened all the members who knew her. Margaret travelled around Australia as a locum, enjoying her passion for birdwatching. On her frequent  visits to Chiltern she engaged in Friends’ activities with pleasure and energy and was very supportive of the group. She will be sadly missed.

 



Regent Honeyeater Release:  We are still seeking volunteers for ongoing searching. If you are able to assist  with this project please contact Glen Johnson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 



Rainfall:  September 59.5  mm  over 5 days. Year to date:  517.8 mm over  46  days.  


 

NEXT MEETING:  SATURDAY NOVEMBER 2ND
Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00 am   Byo lunch, binocs, sunscreen, hat, water   Contact in the field  : Eileen 0407 486 480  



2014  FRIENDS CALENDARS AVAILABLE FROM MID  NOVEMBER
The 2014 calendars will cost $22 plus $9.15 postage This is now the flat rate for ONE calendar countrywide.
For 2 to 3 calendars in same bag (max 3 per bag) add $5.00 Please forward your order and cheque to: P.O. Box 60  Chiltern 3683. A limited number will be printed.
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Acc Name: Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park
Bank: WAW Credit Union Co-operative Ltd (Cuscal Limited)

BSB number: 803070
Acc number:  81167
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