Newsletter 288 October 2019

Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #288 Oct 2019

FRIENDS OF CHILTERN MT-PILOT NATIONAL PARK, Inc.

President : Neville Bartlett

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Ph: 0412 399 239

Correspondence to: Tony Murnane Secretary/Treasurer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Newsletter: Neville Bartlett:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://www.friendsofchiltern.org.au/

Dear Friends,

October Field Day

The spring weather was lovely and the group divided into two teams. One team tackled the task of planting some replacement Hedge Wattles (Acacia paradoxa) near the eroded sections of the Grasslands Block.

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Friends (0674)

Hedge Wattle planting and watering – photos: Mick Webster

 A second group headed to the lower sections of the Grasslands Block to remove tree guards that were limiting the growth of shrubs that were planted in August 2018.

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Examples showing the rate of growth – photos: Neville Bartlett

 Friends (5035)

A wattle free at last

Recycling tree guards

Murray packing up guards – photos: Neville Bartlett

Eileen Collins – OAM Celebration

A celebration of Eileen Collins receiving the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) was held at the picnic area near the bird hide at Chiltern Valley No 2 Dam on 20th October 2019. About 50 people attended an informal BBQ and enjoyed the pleasant spring weather to catch up with old acquaintances as several people made a special effort to attend. In a short speech, Eileen thanked everyone for coming and the contribution that many people had made over the years. She especially singled out quite a list of passionate supporters who had since passed away.

 Eileen Collins

Eileen addressing the gathering – Photo: Brian Pritchard

  The celebratory cake

The celebration cake – Photo: Vanessa Collins

 Regent Honeyeater Tracking – Dean Ingwersen

 Regent Honeyeater monitoring using satellite tracking is about to be trialled by Taronga Zoo. Each transmitter has ended up costing about $6,000 by the time it has been imported from the US, and there are 5 of them in hand. They weigh just over 2 grams each, and because of this the old harness can’t be used because the combination would be too heavy.

So the captive trial is designed to evaluate a couple of harnesses of similar shape and structure to what we use now, but instead of hat elastic we will be using 3D printed plastic which is much lighter. The trial will evaluate potential issues with the new harness material and design causing things like rubbing of skin or feathers, etc. The captive trial will use dummy transmitters manufactured to mimic the real ones.

If successful I’ll look to deploy the first couple of transmitters later in the year.  When deployed the transmitter can provide multiple locations each day, at times with an accuracy of only a hundred metres from where the bird is.  From our banding data we have a decent dataset of birds moving from point of banding to where they get resighted, but we have no idea where they ‘travel’ in between those times. Further, from January to April we have very few sightings of the species at all, and it is hoped that by tracking them we will be able to work out where they go. In turn this will hopefully identify sites we don’t know are important, and/or where we need to focus extra conservation effort.

 Book Review – Neil Blair

  • Caterpillars, Moths and their Plants of Southern Australia – McQuillan, Forrest, Keane and Grund.

There is a new book out on Moths that will be of great interest and assistance for those members with an interest in identifying Moths and their Caterpillars, including their food plants. Produced by Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc. it covers 280 species in Southern Australia with great photos and information. Furthermore it is very well priced at $30 with $8.50 postage. The book can be ordered online at the Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc. website home page – Shop.

 P1130415

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Ranger’s Report – Brian Pritchard

With the dry conditions it looks like being an early summer. Our project fire fighters have started to come on line and have commenced track clearing and fire protection works.

There has been an influx of people visiting the park to view the Crimson Chats.

Red capped robin

 Crimson Chat - Female

Crimson Chat male (above) and female (below) – photos: Chris Edwards  and Brian Pritchard 

Contractors are undertaking control of bridal veil creeper around Chiltern and will soon undertake fox control and pig control in the Mt Pilot sections of the park

Vandals have stolen the bbq at Donchi Hill so we are assessing whether usage at the site warrants replacement.

2020 Friends Calendars - Available mid-November

Chiltern 2020 Calendar Cover

The 2020 calendars will cost $20 each plus $11.20 postage/packaging. This is now the flat rate for ONE calendar countrywide and includes the cost of a padded bag.

Postage for 2 to 3 calendars in same bag in Victoria or interstate (max 3 per bag)  $14.45

Please forward your order and cheque to:

Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot N.P., 69 Conness Street, Chiltern Vic 3683.

A limited number will be printed.

I...................................................enclose payment of  $..............    for............calendar(s)

Address: ............................................................................................................................Phone:...................................

email:.................................................................................................................................................

If you wish to use electronic payment the details are:

Acc Name: Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park

Bank: WAW Credit Union Co-operative Ltd (Cuscal Limited)

BSB number: 803070

Acc number:  81167

Please add your surname to the transaction.

Advise Tony (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) when you have made the payment so that we can keep track of payments. Thankyou for your support.

Rainfall    For September: 31 mm. Year to date: 360 mm. Last year we had 276.5 for the year up to the end of September.

NEXT MEETING – SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2019

We will be weeding at Bartley’s Block on Howlong Road.

Meet at the Post Office at 9:00am.  Field contact: Jennifer on 0418 169 917

Membership It's Time to Renew

Memberships expired on June 30th. Thank you to all who have taken out membership this year. We hope you will continue your support.  Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring, maintaining and surveying mammal boxes, tree planting, weed control and provision of brochures, interpretive signage and park furniture are just some of our contributions. Your support for our activities is valued and your membership renewal is vital to our cause. Membership expires on June 30th of each year.

Please ensure your contact details are current.

Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2019-20. The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

Name:.................................................................................................. Telephone:..........................................

Email:.................................................................................................. Receipt required: Yes / No

Address:…………………………………………………………………………………... Postcode: ……....

If you wish to use electronic payment the details are:

Acc Name: Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park

Bank: WAW Credit Union Co-operative Ltd (Cuscal Limited)

BSB number: 803070

Acc number: 81167

Please add your surname to the transaction.

Please advise Tony (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Neville (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) when you have made the payment to help us keep track of payments.