Newsletter 110 August 2003

Dear Friends

Another glorious, calm and sunny day, perfect for hearing bird calls and for the activity of the day, surveying.

From the Convenor:

The August meeting was dedicated to the survey of Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots.  Eight members broke up into groups of two and surveyed various sections of the park. All up the group sighted  8 Regent  Honeyeaters but no Swift Parrots, although we were rewarded with a sighting of Turquoise Parrots.  It appears the bush is putting the recent rain to good use and in addition to a cleansing, there was new growth, though the block at Depot Dam was a carpet of  Cape Weed.  It looks like a great spring wildflower season.

I must say that I am looking forward to the flora and weed survey at the next meeting.  At least the subjects of our interest will not have flown away, or moved to the back of the tree, just when you have got them in your binocular sights as I found with the birds.

Thank you Betty.


Rainfall: Welcome rain totaling 105 mm fell in July taking the yearly total to 311.6mm. Follow up rain over the next two months would be the icing on the cake.

Around the Park:

The new park signs are in place at the park entrances. In the Mt Pilot section of the park it is great to see the new signage on the tracks, now perhaps we won’t get lost!. The desolation in Mt Pilot is slowly being replaced by germinating Cypress Pines and Eucalypts, tiny seedlings of herbs, leaves of  Spider Orchids and Acianthus, all giving promise of some colour for spring.

A group of four Hooded Robins was seen on Donchi Hill. Sightings of Hooded Robins and Speckled Warblers are important. Please let me know where, when and how many birds are seen and I will send the records to the Victorian Database.

Turquoise Parrots, which  were very difficult to find last month, have appeared on the roadsides feeding on the introduced and winter flowering  grass, Poa annua. Currently there is a group of 12 birds on the Rutherglen Road at the entrance to Whistler Track.. They are feeding within 30 centimetres of the bitumen with cars flying past and they don’t turn a feather. However they are very wary of slow moving vehicles containing birdwatchers! We counted 12 birds and 10 were stunning males!

Following the heavy rain Cyanide Dam finally held water. However in the week that followed one of the pools had almost dried up and the level of the larger pool had gone down, presumably the subsoil has absorbed the water.

There is an influx of  Goldfinches around the town, some parties of 20 birds have been reported.

The survey of Killawarra Forest on Saturday 2nd was extremely disappointing. Nothing was flowering and birds were extremely scarce. It was estimated that less than 80 individual birds were seen for the day. Choughs, Galahs and small groups of Brown-headed Honeyeaters made up the bulk of these. It was good to see the success of the revegetation plots.


TRAVELLING BIRDS:  A DOCUMENTARY ON BIRD MIGRATION

COMING TO ALBURY ON  THURSDAY AUGUST 21ST, 7PM   AT THE CINEMA CENTRE

ONLY ON THE FIRST NIGHT WILL THIS STUNNING FILM BE SHOWN ON THE MEGA SCREEN.

Tickets cost $12 each and are for use only on the first night.  30% of the cost will be donated to a local conservation project.

Tickets available through Friends at P.O.Box 60 Chiltern or at  the CSU Student Association, 614 Olive Street Albury from 9.00am to 5pm Monday to Friday only. Only tickets sold through the Student Association and Friends are eligible for the conservation fund. I have a supply of tickets and would be pleased if they could all be sold.  Betty has suggested that a meal at the Electra Cafe prior to the film may be a nice idea.


FRIENDS OF THE WARBYS

Friends of the Warbys have arranged a programme of 6 walks in the Warbys as part of DSE’s September biodiversity week.

6th September -  9.0 am   The Friends Track, 4.5kms.       Leaders  Joy and Bill Rosser  03 57 221947

7th September  - 1.30pm  Salisbury Falls, 4.2kms.              Leaders  David and Catriona Ferguson   03 57 221 213

9th September - 9.00am  Pine Gully  3kms.                         Leader  Lois Tippett   03 57 251 785

11th September- 1.30pm  Alpine View Track  7.8kms       Leaders  Helen and Adrian Twitt   03 57 215 327

14th September - 9.0am    Pangarang Lookout  4.5kms    Leaders  Helen and Peter Curtis 03 57 218 937   

Participants will meet at ROTARY PARK IN EDWARDS STREET,  opposite the Barr Reserve. Wear strong footwear and carry water and morning or afternoon tea.



NEXT MEETING  SATURDAY SEPTEMBER  6TH   9.00am AT CHILTERN POST OFFICE

Dealing with weeds at Bartley’s Block and the Howlong Road sites and continuing the flora survey of the Mt Pleasant block as well as  removing the last few Olives. Afternoon walk for birds, orchids and fungi.

BYO trowel, gloves and lunch. Contact : Eileen  03 57 261 484