Newsletter 121 August 2004

Dear Friends,

The forecast rain did not arrive giving us perfect sunny, calm day for the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot survey. Twelve members worked in groups to cover the prospective sites and converged on Honeyeater Picnic spot to compare findings and have lunch with the usual company of  cheeky Brown  Treecreepers, Wrens and Yellow Robins. Phillip’s group drew the “hot” spot which although turning out to be a coolish spot did in fact turn up a single Regent. Hearing this report everyone decided they would have to prove their sighting after lunch. This they did to the delight of many who had not seen the bird before and to two visitors from Melbourne who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Further searching in days to come hopefully will turn up a few more birds. The Swift Parrots recorded were “flying over”, just two birds for the day. In all a disappointing day from the survey aspect but a great day for an outing.

Over the past two weeks the Noisy Friar-birds and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have disappeared as have the Swift Parrots, the latter being regularly seen along Depot Rd. Interestingly not one Pied Currawong was seen or heard for the day until we returned to the town. Many people remarked upon the numbers of  Eastern Spinebills being recorded, birds not usually seen in such numbers within the park. Brilliantly coloured and tiny were Spotted Pardalotes actively gleaning from the eucalypt leaves. Among the parrots were Turquoise, immature Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots all seen at Bartley’s. Also recorded at Bartley’s late in the day was a small group of Little Friar-birds along with Jacky Winters and White-browed Babblers.

Those interested in looking on the ground noted the first flowers of Tiny Greenhoods, Pterostylis nana, Nodding Greenhoods, P. nutans, Striped Greenhoods, P. alata. Three species of wattle are flowering at present, Spreading Wattle, Acacia genistifolia, ( a rather uncommon plant in the park) Golden Wattle A. pycnantha, which is brightening up the bush and roadsides, and the small cream-flowered Ploughshare Wattle, A gunnii which gets its common name from the shape of its tough, prickly leaves. Early purple flowers of Hovea, and a few buttercups completed the list of flowering plants. The Ironbark blossoms are coming to an end and it will now be up to the White Box, hybrids and Blakely’s Gum to produce flowering. White Box bud is patchy but Blakely’s Gum is loaded with bud but it so often fails to attract birds when flowering. Perhaps a wetter winter may induce a good nectar flow.

Rutherglen Landcare:

Invites interested persons to a seminar on “The Private Life of Birds of our District” featuring Grey-crowned Babblers, Apostle birds and Brolgas on Friday August 6th at 7.30pm in St Stephens Hall, Rutherglen. Guest speakers are wildlife scientists , Dr Doug Robinson and Iain Woxfold. All welcome , supper provided.  Field trip  Sat Aug 7th


Rainfall: Rainfall in July 63.4  mm over  13   days. Yearly total: 261.0   mm over 49  days. A very wet August is badly needed!

Contributions: Anyone wishing to contribute to the newsletter please email their article to me.


NEXT MEETING  SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4th

Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00 am. Leaving the P.O. at 9.10am. Activities will be varied this meeting, weeds, planting (minor job) and flora and bird recording. The  lunch spot will be decided on the day. BYO lunch and binoculars. Organiser: N Bartlett 0260 208 632   If the weather is at all doubtful please phone the organiser to check  that the activity will go ahead.     


FRIENDS OF CHILTERN NATIONAL PARK inc  MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

P.O.Box 26   CHILTERN  3683  To assist, please mark the envelope Membership.

Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring of mammal boxes, tree planting and weed control 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.  Thank you.

Please find enclosed my membership of  $10 for 2004-5.   The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.