After the rain, and following misty days, Sunday dawned frosty and clear, a perfect day for the planned activity of nest log checking and looking for birds and early orchids.
With ladders, checklists, compasses, torches and a GPS we set about the ask of finding logs which had not been checked for a couple of years. Our original mapping was done, pre GPS technology, with a compass and measurements by steps so part of our task today was to update these maps with GPS readings.
Our very first log yielded a glider which was determined to be a Squirrel Glider. The next log contained a green leafy nest which indicated a Squirrel Glider had occupied it. The last log in the group was quite empty.
Buoyed by the findings so early we tackled the next group of logs only to find them all empty, but all was not lost as a Swift Parrot flew over and others were heard nearby. The next two groups were the same. The last group of three proved rather hard to find as log one was missing. After some neat calculations and some searching we eventually found the second log which had a green leafy nest in it but no occupant. Close by was a long coppiced Ironbark with the centre stump looking just like a nest log. Lisa was curious to see if it was in use and found scraps of fur on the inside. This was collected for identification as was the fur found on a plant close to the ground next to the hollow.
The final group of logs on Gillman’s Track showed no signs of use. By now it was nearly 4pm and time to pack up for the day. Many thanks to June and Peter who carried the ladder for the day and to all the searchers. Everyone had plenty of exercise for the day. Lunch was enjoyed in the sun at Magenta Mine with quite a few birds for company. We hope to complete the log survey in July.
Around the park:
The rain has encouraged the awakening of the plant life. Mosses, lichens and fungi have responded quickly. Orchid rosettes of Pterostylis sp, Sun Orchid leaves, Yam Daisy leaves, lilies and countless seedlings of Grevillea alpina give promise of a good spring display. Hovea was in bud and will be the first of the colourful flowers of winter Genoplesiums, Midge Orchids, were past their best but some robust specimens of Red-tip Greenhoods, Pterostylis parviflora, were seen.
Wattles are in heavy bud and the end of June should see the first of the Golden Wattle flower.
Swift Parrots chuckling in the Grey Box gave everyone a lot of pleasure but no Regents were found. The flowering of the Ironbark has declined but hopefully the White Box will provide follow on flowering for Swift Parrots at least.
Friends of the Warbys:
Next meeting days are Saturday July 10th and Saturday August 14th Contact: Helen 03 57 218937.
Rainfall: Rainfall in May was 45.2mm over 8 days. The yearly total is now 93.2mm. in 1912 the same period received just 47.7mm and 1920, 1923, 1965 and 1967 all had totals to the end of May under 100mm.
Contributions: Anyone wishing to contribute to the newsletter please email their article to me.
NEXT MEETING SATURDAY JULY 3RD
Meet at Chiltern Post Office at 9.00 am. Nest log/box surveying. The lunch spot will be decided on the day. BYO lunch, gloves, a small torch and a compass if you have one and of course, energy. You will see a lot of the park on this day. Organiser: Neville 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.