Just as well it was like a summer’s day as the task at hand was a wet one. Removal of a water weed from one of the dams was our target. Some had gum boots, some had waders, some were unprepared and stayed at the edge and the brave ones stripped off and went in waist deep to tackle the job. Everyone ended up covered in grey mud acquired by various means, and providing sport for the deep water chuckers! Leeches saw to it that the chuckers got their just dues and good fun was had by all. Other wildlife encountered during the operation included Yabbies, Water-spider and a large Water-beetle. Unperturbed by all the disturbance twelve or so Peaceful Doves came to drink at the water’s edge and their calls persisted throughout the morning.
A quick visit to the Depot re-vegetation site was next. The Kangaroos are taking a heavy toll of the plants which protrude from the guards. One group of trees had their guards removed by some persons whose need was desperate and as a result the trees were savagely chewed. The Ironbarks planted in early summer are doing very well. Further planting will take place after the autumn break, hopefully at the May meeting.
A rather tired group settled down at Greenhill Dam for lunch expecting to be entertained by the bird life. For once they failed us. Some of us went for a walk after lunch to check out the Grey Box area on Klotz/Riley’s Road for any flowering. It was incredibly quiet with no sign of flowering but it was good to see some Grey Box with good a quantity of bud. All being well it should flower after the break and be a possible winter site for Regent Honeyeaters.
Birds spotted in that area were Dusky Woodswallows, three Fan-tailed Cuckoos, one adult and two juveniles, Yellow Robins, Grey Fantails, Fuscous Honeyeaters, a beautifully coloured Olive-backed Oriole and the ever faithful Willie Wagtails which took an occasional half-hearted swipe at the Cuckoos.
Around the Park
A huge load of mulched Cootamundra Wattle and its limbs was dumped on Bartley’s Track. Thanks to June and Peter, Barry and Susie who carted it away and made good use of it.
The Mistletoe flowering has been profuse this season and is still going strong. There are hundreds of Imperial White Butterflies, Delias harpalyce, flitting about and feeding on its nectar. The Mistletoe is the food plant for their dark brown caterpillar stage.
The huge golden webs of the Orb-weaving Spiders are waiting to tangle unsuspecting insects and humans.
Flowering in the park is scarce. Anyone looking for birding spots will find some Apple Box in flower at the junction of Cyanide and All Nations Roads and some Long-leaf Box coming into flower at the eastern end of Cyanide Road.
Several weeks ago Neville and I sat at Greenhill Dam and recorded 30 species of birds, best among them were Wedge-tailed Eagle, Diamond Fire-tail, Crested Shrike-tits and Turquoise Parrots. A highlight was seeing a Yellow-footed Antechinus come down to drink on three occasions, a rare sighting indeed.
The first greenhoods are showing up, Pterostylis parviflora, the Red-tip Greenhood has been seen a few times. Parson’s Bands should be about soon and perhaps the Autumn Greenhood, Pterostylis revoluta.
Baillon’s Crake and five Red-kneed Dotterels were recorded at Chiltern Valley No 1 Dam in March. It is good to note that the Cumbungi patch has recovered and is providing nesting spots and cover for the smaller birds.
Naming of the proposed park
The community has been invited to put forward suggestions for the name of the proposed park. Friends decided at the meeting to put forward Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park, reasoning that it was short and identified the area appropriately.
A bus tour from BOCA will visit the area on June 15, 16, 17th. Guides may be required.
Broken Creek Field Nats visit August 25th.
Friends of the Warbys: Saturday May 11th; Sunday June 9th; Saturday July 13th. Contact Helen :57 218 937
Perhaps a group of us could visit on one of these days.
NEXT MEETING SATURDAY MAY 4TH 9.00AM AT CHILTERN POST OFFICE.
Tree planting and weeds. BYO gloves, secateurs, trowel, lunch and energy.
Contact: Eileen 57 261 484