The run of wet meeting days continued for July. Three of us braved the drizzle and achieved our task for the day by completing the planting around the hide at Valley No 2. We thought we would be filling in where shrubs had died but the plants there are thriving, particularly the White Cypress Pines, so we were digging holes! Morning tea and chat was enjoyed in the shelter of the hide. The outlook over a very grey lake was sombre, a couple of swans, two pelicans perched on the dead logs, ducks too far off to identify and a pair of eagles (possibly Little Eagles) interacting in the distance.
The wallabies and kangaroos, with very wet coats, were in the surrounding bushland and wrens and robins were in the entrance carpark. Neville captured some nice shots of all three species.
Around the Park:
The soaking rain and mild weather has encouraged peas to flower. The Golden Wattle which is now colouring the park was first spotted in flower on June 3rd, quite early.
Honeyeater Picnic area has been very popular with birdwatchers in recent weeks. White-throated Treecreepers and Crested Shrike-tits have been very obliging and Max, one very young budding birdo was happy to make their acquaintance. Thrilled by his visit to Chiltern, Max, aged six, wrote out his bird list for me. It is uplifting to meet such a keen and observant young birdo.
The greenhood orchids are beginning to flower and it seems this is a very good year for the lovely tall Emerald Greenhood, Pterostylis smaragdyna.
As usual there are carpets of Nodding Greenhoods and patches of the dainty Pterostylis nana.
Fungi abound in these damp conditions so there is always something of interest in the bush.
Weed man Mick has continued his assault on feral plants in the Pilot section of the park. It is amazing just where the odd Cootamundra Wattle is found. A large specimen, daring to show off its golden glory, was spotted while we were on a survey on Skeleton Track and was tagged and removed the next day.
Friends have invested in some very efficient small light spray units. Holding only 1.5 litres they are perfect for spot spraying Bridal Creeper. Easy to carry with no drips they will be employed while we are doing nest box surveys to eliminate isolated Bridal Creeper.
MID-MONTH MEETING SUNDAY JUNE 15TH
A wonderful team of 16 turned out for the big plant out at the Natural Features Reserve on cool sunny morning. The task was completed by 11am, a fantastic effort! Thankfully the rain during the week paused for a day then resumed on Monday to water the plants in. A big thankyou to Jennifer who spot sprayed the 300 individual sites to suppress emergent weeds. The understorey plants are sparse on the block so this planting will help to replace missing species.
A happy group enjoyed the customary morning tea while we welcomed new members and chatted. Afterwards everyone did the activity of choice. Some went to inspect nest boxes, some hoed out thistles and others went on olive and boxthorn patrol and removal. The reduction in larger olives is now quite obvious and smaller seedlings are a joy to pull out by hand! We discovered that the boxthorns that have been poisoned have many seedlings around the dead plants. Tackling them is the next activity.
A great day’s work by a fantastic team. Thankyou! PS not a Brown Snake in sight this time!!
Thankyou to everyone who has renewed their membership with us. We are specially appreciative of the support from those who live far away. It is wonderful that you care about this special park and support the Friends work.
Annual General Meeting: Saturday September 6th
The afternoon will be spent in the park after which we will gather for dinner at the Senior Citizens’ rooms.
After dinner there will be a brief AGM. Further details will be in the August newsletter.
Our guest speaker for 2014 is Richard Loyn who will share his experiences from a recent trip to Madagascar. You may be assured of an interesting evening.
Richard has had a long career in ecology & wildlife conservation, mostly with the Victorian government (Forests Commission and Departments of Conservation etc), a lot of it based at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. He has worked mainly on ecology of forests, fire, wetlands and threatened species, trying to integrate the needs of people and wildlife.
He now has a part-time Research Fellowship at La Trobe University and runs a consultancy firm called Eco Insights, which keeps him busy, most recently helping train foresters in Papua New Guinea to conserve habitat for wildlife.
Richard has just been awarded the D. L. Serventy Medal for services to ornithology. The D.L. Serventy Medal may be awarded annually for outstanding published work on birds in the Australasian region. It has been awarded for the last 20 years and is the highest award offered to professional ornithologists by BirdLife Australia.
Next Monthly Meeting Sunday August 3rd
Meet at the Chiltern Post office at 9.00am. Bring lunch, chair, binoculars. The main activity will be decided closer to the day but will include nest box monitoring. Contact in the field 0407 486 480
Friends Facebook Page Mick Webster has created a Facebook page for Friends https://www.facebook.com/groups/556332777763388/
Rainfall: June 75.8 mm over 6 days. Year to date: 379.2mm
FRIENDS OF CHILTERN Mt PILOT NATIONAL PARK inc MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS are due
Click here for membership renewal