Newsletter 070 December 1999

Summer is definitely upon us! We gathered at Bartley’s Block for our final meeting of the century and spent an hour birdwatching in the shade from the comfort of our chairs waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. The Caper Spurge was pulled and our socks became very seedy! We were pleased that the grassy area had been slashed as it made walking much safer. Bartley’s Block is well known for large snakes. Back to the chairs to de-seed the socks then off for a walk to the Howlong Road Genista site, birdwatching as we went. There were only a few stunted seedlings which were removed quickly so we decided to inspect the Cemetery Genista site. On the way we noted quite a few feral plants which will require attention in the cooler months. There were very few plants at the Cemetery site which was pleasing.

On our return trip through the park we found the Hop Bush, Dodonea viscosa ssp cuneata, displaying its coloured hops and shedding plenty of seed. A few Finger Flowers were braving the heat and the everlastings were dry and crisp. Chandler’s Boundary Track had been freshly graded and was very dusty.

At the junction of Riley’s Road and the Howlong Road we found some Privet plants and noted that there were quite a few ferals which will require our attention on cooler days. It was good to note the Bridal Creeper wilting under the spraying programme.

Tea was shared at 6.00pm accompanied by lovely bird song, Trillers, Sacred Kingfishers, Mistletoe Bird, Jacky Winter and Wrens while a couple of Sitellas were busy manicuring the trees.

After tea and a meeting we walked up Bartley’s Paddock to the dams. A Mistletoe Bird nest, with the female perched at the opening, was a highlight. Two Snipe were flushed from the Sedge patch and a mob of macropods disturbed from the top dam.

We found a nice patch of Goodenia macbaronii flowering on the edge of the dam. This is one of our endangered species so it was good to see it doing well. Several unknown plants were collected for identification at the Herbarium.

Fisher’s Road was the spotlighting site. The only mammal we turned up was a bat. Roosting Galahs, Noisy Miners and Magpies and lots of little jewel spiders were caught in the light. Despite the lack of life we had glorious views of the stars on a crystal clear night but sadly none among us had any celestial knowledge.

From the Ranger:

Tracks have been graded in preparation for the summer season. The slashing and spraying programmes have been completed.

Some summer ecological burns have been planned for small patches. Their implementation will depend largely on the weather conditions.

Flora Booklet: We are on track to meet our March deadline.

Barnawartha Road rehabilitation:

Following the destruction of the understorey and disturbance to the soil by Rail Services Australia contractors Friends approached RSA with about making good the damage. RSA have agreed to pay Friends for the cost of repair work to this Crown Land reserve block. We expect to undertake this work in the autumn in conjunction with other tree planting works.

Attached to this newsletter please find your programme for the year 2000 along with a pamphlet from the World Wildlife Fund.

There will be no newsletter and no meeting in January 2000.

I wish you all a Safe and Happy Festive Season and thank you for your input for this year.

Eileen