Dear Friends

An industrious group assembled for the October gathering and tackled the Cootamundra Wattles, Pines,  Prunus and worst of all the rampant Privet and Cotoneaster. Still left in the gully below Tank Track is a formidable stand of Sweet Briar and that is to be sprayed by Parks crew. It was amazing to see the Chocolate Lilies, young Varnish Wattles and grasses persisting despite the weed pressure.

There is a heavy infestation of Cootamundra Wattles in the water reserve adjacent to the park and moves are underway to effect removal as they are a major source of seed.

After a late morning tea we took a walk along Wallaby Track which was pleasant but provided only a few wildflowers and fewer birds. As we neared the end of the walk Turquoise Parrots were calling tantalizingly and moving about even more so. Eventually one of our group who had not seen them before was rewarded with good views.

Magenta Mine was our next stop and here we encountered the beautiful “Georgie georgie” call of the Painted Honeyeater. Philip Seely’s sharp eyes soon tracked it down resulting in a tick for two people. Not many birds were recorded so quality not quantity was the order of the day. A Grey Shrike-thrush is feeding her young in a nest tucked safely out of reach in the mine shaft while several pairs of Welcome Swallows are also taking advantage of the security of the site. A White-throated treecreeper also emerged from the shaft.

A long and lazy lunch at Cyanide Dam followed. It was a busy place too, the Canberra Bird Watchers had gathered there for lunch and parking space was tight. The last car to arrive contained an American couple who were delighted with our honeyeaters and later joined us on a walk up Bar Trail. Usually along this walk we hear lots of Sacred Kingfishers but today just a lone call was heard. Probably an indication of the dry conditions. Also missing from the list for the day was the call of the Rufous Songlark a common spring visitor.

Pied Butcher-birds, once seen only west and north of Chiltern, seem to be spreading their range. Now they are frequently seen along the Beechworth Road as far out as Mt Pilot area. It would be worthwhile anyone spotting them south of the freeway to make a record of the location and send it to me.

Rainfallfor September totaled 63mm and fell over 11 days. It was welcome but not enough.

Bridal Creeper and Leaf Hoppers.

  The Woodland Walk at Coolart is infested with this weed and a biocontrol method using Leaf Hoppers raised by the local schoolchildren was held on September 19th. Coolart has benefited from earlier releases of this little insect. Much better than herbicide. Source: Friends Network Newsletter

From the meeting :

1. Change of signatories to the cheques. Neville Bartlett and Christine Watson replace Barry Traill who left the committee.

2. 100 plastic tree guards have been donated to the Chiltern Primary School in preparation for a tree planting activity.

3. A donation of $200 was passed for the VNPA Box Ironbark Campaign.

4. Volunteers will be required to assist with manning the P.V. tent at the Ironbark Festival on Sunday October 20th.

5. The Vic-group of the Bird Observers Club will be joining us at the November  meeting.



 The afternoon walk with Neville Walsh, Chief Botanist from the Herbarium is planned for the Chiltern-Mt Pilot Park and will leave the Post Office at 1pm sharp.

If you plan to be present at this gathering please contact Christine Watson on 57 261 398 or Eileen on 57 261 484 to make sure there have been no changes for the day.

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