Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #322 November 2022
FRIENDS OF CHILTERN MT-PILOT NATIONAL PARK, Inc.
President : Neville Bartlett
Reptile Walk and Talk
Searching near the summit of Mt Pilot Photo: Neville Bartlett
After gathering at the Chiltern Post Office, we car-pooled and headed to the car park at the summit of Mt Pilot. Fortunately there were very few mosquitoes and the area was reasonably warm. Dr. Damian Michael, of Charles Sturt University, located several species of reptile: stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus), copper-tailed skink (Ctenotus taeniolatus), Boulenger’s skink (Morethia boulengeri) and a dragon species that was too quick to get an ID, either Jacky Lizard (Amphibolurus muricatus) or Nobbi (Diporiphera nobbi).
stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus) Photo by Sally Fegan
, copper-tailed gecko (Ctenotus taeniolatus) Photo by Sally Fegan
After the walk, Damian gave an interesting presentation, at the Chiltern Senior Citizens hall, about the range of reptiles that can be found in the park, their habitat requirements, status and characteristics. We all now have a much better appreciation of reptiles. Anyone wanting to find out more can purchase his book with David Lindenmayer at: https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7725/
As a follow-up Dr Michael supplied us with a complete set of images for the 39 speies of reptiles that can be found in the park and these images will be displayed on the Friends’ website and will be featured in our newsletters and calendars. A big thankyou to Damian for this wonderful contribution. Here are two examples:
Stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus) Photo: Damian Michael
copper-tailed gecko (Ctenotus taeniolatus)Photo: Damian Michael
The Friends annual report was tabled, discussed and approved.
The value of having a Friends calendar was emphasized with various ideas and suggestions put forward. Every effort will be made to continue having them each year.
Our annual financial report was tabled and approved.
Office bearers for 2022-23 are:
President – vacant
Vice-president – vacant
Secretary/Public Officer – Tony Murnane
Treasurer – Tony Murnane
Committee: Jennifer Davidson, Helen Carse, John Hawker, Neville Bartlett (newsletter editor), Quentin Bell and Richard Jerome.
While not having a president or vice-president is a little unusual, we have been operating for much of this year with many members making important contributions and responsibilities have been shared. In the interim, we will continue in a similar fashion with the committee appointing a chair to run each committee meeting. Should someone be prepared to take on the role of president or vice-president, they will be welcomed by a team of people prepared to contribute and work together. There are a number of members who make very important contributions to the Friends group and the park without being members of the committee. Such contributions are greatly valued.
Note: a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the dinner and helped clean-up afterwards.
A wet season is great for Leek (and Onion) orchids and this is true in the park. The Leek orchid in the Park is Prasophyllum sp. aff. Validum with pics on the website. The easiest direction to give is in Donchi Hill. Go to the junction of Peakes Track with the Donchi Hill road, walk about 15 metres down Peakes Track and you will see on your right a narrow walking track(s), go along this track 5-10 metres and you will be amongst a good number of them, some of them flattened by animals or humans. Good flowering now but may finish quickly.
Leek orchid (Prasophyllum sp. aff. Validum) Photos: Neil Blair
The continuing wet weather is having a significant impact on park roads and infrastructure. Many roads are quite risky to drive on at present due to large washouts, blocked culverts and falling trees so we ask everyone to take care whilst in the park.
High numbers of trees are falling so roads can be blocked at any time. Many minor tracks are either closed or impassable. We expect it will be some time before these conditions will change.
Off road vehicle use is still prevalent and a number of offenders have been issued with infringement notices.
Recent trapping has seen a number of feral pigs caught within the park and monitoring is showing numbers are increasing.
The 2023 calendars, in A3 and A4 format, are being printed. Delivery of the calendars has been delayed and they are expected to be available in about one to two weeks. Details, and the order form, are available in the flyer that accompanies this newsletter.
Thank you very much to the photographers who have contributed images: Jan Palmer, Leshya Perkins, John Hawker, David Skinner, Mick Webster, Philip Dubbin, Brian Pritchard, Neville Bartlett and Robert Boehm.
Rainfall October 2022: 236mm, the wettest October since records began in 1885.
Total for the year-to-date 2022: 1,017mm, already the wettest year since 2010.
The corresponding total to the end of October 2021 was 703mm with the full year 2021 being 887mm. The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.
Data supplied by Mick Webster.
Anyone interested in finding out why it continues to be so wet this year can find out more from this article: https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/you-know-nina-and-sam-now-meet-julian-another-culprit-for-our-soggy-spring-20221011-p5borp.html
NEXT MEETING – SUNDAY 4th DECEMBER 2022
End-of-year gathering in the late afternoon/evening on the hill at the Grasslands Block.
Bring your own food, drink, chair and insect repellent.
A table will be provided for food that can be shared.
Meet from 4:00pm onwards.
Please enter from Fisher Road (at the Northern end) as the track at the Southern end
of the block is still likely to very wet.
Upcoming field days:
Sunday 5th February 2023: activity TBA.
Saturday 4th March 2023: activity TBA.
Dates for 2023
For 2023: Sunday 5th February, Saturday 4th March, Sunday 2nd April, Saturday 6th May, Sunday 4th June, Saturday 1st July, Sunday 6th August, Saturday 2nd September, Sunday 1st October, Saturday 4th November and Sunday 3rd December 2023.
Rule of Thumb: For even months, the field day is held on the first Sunday of the month and for odd months, it is held on the first Saturday of the month.