Newsletter 074 May 2000

FRIENDS OF CHILTERN NATIONAL PARK INC
Convenor: E. Collins 0357 261 484

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http://www.albury.net.au/~focbinp

Dear Friends

Welcome rains fell across the north-east during the first week of May. Chiltern recorded 39mm for the week and the temperature remained very mild for the time of the year. However, the night before the meeting, the wind turned to a brisk south-westerly to remind us that cooler days are on the way.

The task at hand, to cover bare patches on the Freeway Walk Track, ensured no one was cold for too long. A huge pile of gravel, a couple of wheelbarrows and a selection of rakes and shovels greeted the ? eager members and the many bare patches on the track begged to be covered. Everyone present had a turn at the shovelling and boy was the stuff heavy after the rain! A 10.30 deadline for morning tea and Apple Ring soon came around as did the 11.30 deadline for packing up and lunch. Some creative thinking by the barrow wheelers saw loaded barrows hurtling down the slopes under their own steam. Yes it was hard yakka. Well done team!

Lunch and a brief meeting at Honeyeater picnic spot was thoroughly enjoyed. Our afternoon walk was spent in the Reference Area. Swift Parrots were the target species as they had been seen there frequently over the past couple of weeks but we were not successful. Some late Autumn Greenhoods, Pterostylis revoluta were seen along Coyle's Trail along with rosettes of other Greenhood species. A pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles soared lazily over the paddock at the top of the ridge. Many little birds were expending enormous energy "seeing them off". Their massive nest in a huge White Box looked in good order, perhaps ready for the breeding season.

Sharp eyes spotted a medium sized Goanna, Varanus varia, scrambling up a slender Eucalyptus blakelyi which had a rather small looking spout along its trunk. Goanna disappeared into it away from prying eyes. It was surprising to see the reptile so agile in the chill wind.

Turquoise Parrots were heard calling and a single Painted Button Quail was seen by some of the group. Choughs were turning over the soft earth and calls of the Pied Currawong sounded in the distance. Several male Flame Robins were seen together on the ridge top. Their brilliant breasts making them easy to track as they hunted insects. The most unexpected find of the day was a rather active Koala sitting in a slender gum tree. At our approach it scrambled up the tree and glared down offering views in various poses which were quite delightful since in daytime Koalas are usually rather quiet. Shortly after 4pm we headed for home after a truly rewarding day.

Note: There are no Regent Honeyeaters at Chiltern at the present time. Hopefully when the White Box, Stringybark and Red Box flower {they are all in good bud} some will turn up. The Ironbark does not appear to be producing bud at this stage. However the flowering in Central Victoria is reported to be phenomenal, attracting lots of Swift Parrots, Lorikeets and other honeyeaters so maybe Regent hunters should take a trip in that direction.
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY JUNE 4

Meet at Chiltern Post Office 9.00am. Activity will be tree planting at Conticchio's place.
Bring trowel, lunch, energy, and a friend. Afternoon activity to be arranged later.
Further information contact Jim Blackney : 0357 286 620
ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR CAMPERS

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they climbed into their tent, closed it up, and went to sleep. Some hours later Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
" Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, " I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?"
Watson pondered for a moment. " Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce the time is approximately a quarter past three.
Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.Meteorologically, I suspect we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?
Holmes was silent for a moment, then he spoke.
"Watson, you idiot! It tells me that someone has stolen our tent!"
From the meeting:

1. Membership falls due at the end of June and will remain at $8.00. Please mark envelopes "Membership" to assist the person who will be processing them.


2. A decision was made to apply for an ABN in accordance with the GST requirements.