Newsletter 091 November 2001

Dear Friends
A pleasantly warm spring day and an extremely dusty, freshly graded Mt Pleasant Road greeted us for our November gathering. Sorry everyone for the added chore of car cleaning! Undeterred, ten of us tackled the block between Curtain Road and Chinese Track in search of Olives and any other feral plant in sight. The Olive tally was 60 plants with a few Peppercorns, Cootamundra Wattles and a Prunus tree for good measure. Thank you everyone for a job well done. There will be a repeat search next year, perhaps in winter and without the dust.
After morning tea we visited Depot Dam. The trees planted at the last meeting are doing well. The roos managed to get three before John arranged the heavy wire guards. The area around each tree was sprayed to conserve moisture and some weeding was undertaken. Lunch and a brief meeting under the Ironbarks on the edge of the dam was welcome. During lunch there was a lot of bird sound but very few birds were visible so after lunch it was decided that an hour or so bird watching would be desirable. Not only was it a good idea but it was extremely rewarding, providing two new species for two amongst us.
Highlights of the hour plus which yielded 36 species,were the nest building activities of a pair of Varied Sitellas and a pair of Leaden Flycatchers. The Sitellas worked frantically ignoring the watching group while the flycatchers did the same. A Western Gerygone warbled away all the time but we were unable to determine whether it was breeding. Looking over the paddock along Gilman's Boundary track we saw three Wedge-tailed Eagles sailing quite low on the breeze. Nine Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes were busy gleaning insects from the sedge patch near the paddock dam. Amongst others on the list were Crested Shrike-tits, Collared Sparrowhawk,Spotted Pardalote, Fan-tailed and Pallid Cuckoos, an immature Golden Whistler { an unsual record for this time of the year} and a Masked Woodswallow.
Around the Park: The last of the spring flowers are providing colour on the ground. Tall yellow Tiger Orchids, Diuris sulphurea ,have enjoyed the wet spring and look stunning. The last of the pea species, Bush Pea Pultenaea foliosa is at its best while the Narrow-leafed Bitter-peas, Daviesia leptophylla are showing off their triangular seed pods which are tinged with red and looking spectacular if seen back-lit by the sun.
The mauve Speedwell and Finger-flower are striking amongst the Golden Everlastings. Some Grass Trees are displaying lovely tall cream spikes which are oozing nectar and attracting honeyeaters.
Riley's Road and Mt Pleasant Road have been graded in preparation for surfacing with fine quarry stone. Cyanide Road was surfaced last year and the reduction in dust level was noticeable. Stop press : John has informed me that the surfacing is complete and further roads will be done when finance is available.
Ironbark Festival: Many thanks to those who gave their time to assist with manning the display and assisting with the walks.
January outing: Members are considering an overnight trip to the high country in mid-late January. If you are interested please send your ideas/suggestions to me as soon as possible.
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NEXT MEETING SUNDAY DECEMBER 2nd
Meet at CYANIDE DAM {Honeyeater Picnic area} at 2pm
Afternoon walk, shared tea and a spotlight walk. BYO everything including torch and repellant.
NO WORK!!!! All welcome.

FRIENDS OF THE WARBYS MEET SUNDAY NOVEMBER 11
SATURDAY DECEMBER 8 AND SUNDAY JANUARY 13
Contact Helen on 03 57 218 937 for details.