Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park
Newsletter 237 March 2015
Autumn brought with it the demise of the long period of humidity and good weather for tackling the olive infestation.
Our working group of ten split into groups of two and under Mick’s direction we attacked our allotted areas. Steep gullies and slippery dry grass ensured we all had a physical workout while we worked. By noon we were all looking for lunch, no morning tea as part of this activity! So the bun was dessert! After a chat and a meeting to discuss future projects six of us spent part of the afternoon removing more olives.
It was most pleasant up on the ridge and although it was dry there were Crested Shrike-tits, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes and a few honeyeaters about.
It was decided to move the April meeting to Sunday the 12th to avoid Easter. A mid-month meeting will be held at the Rutherglen block to form a plan for the completion of the grant work. When a date is settled with the ranger everyone will be contacted by email. On the day we will also inspect the nest boxes, pull any olives that have benefited from the summer rains and assess the fencing requirements for the plantation. Some replanting will be required in the late autumn.
Last year we had a purge on Inkweed around the dams and in damp areas. If you see this bright green plant with its spikes of whitish flowers and developing seed heads please pull it up before its seeds ripen.
In the last two months there were several huge loads of rubbish deposited in the park. This raised the ire of many residents after a posting of the photos on Facebook. This activity shows complete disregard for the environment, and it wastes taxpayers money when parks staff have to remove it.
Olive report from Mick Webster
Had a good morning at the olives with Jan Heywood – 6-8 big ones drilled and poisoned, so I think now all the big fruiting trees North of Coyles Track have been done ( apart from the medium-sized ones in the thicket).
The really good news is that the trees we treated two weeks ago have already lost up to half their leaves, and the fruit is starting to shrivel up! Excellent – shows we’re on the right track.
Excellent field day today (7/3) – at least 1000 olives removed and a big swathe of very steep country cleared – we hope! The big thicket is no more, either dead or dying, so it will be very interesting to see it in a month or two. Many remote and hidden little ones have been ripped up by our energetic team of ten. Thanks to all who came along and didn’t complain! Eileen’s bun was never more welcome at lunchtime!
Now that all the fruiting trees have been dealt with, it becomes less urgent to mop up the little ones, but I’ll still be running mid-week days, the first this Thursday ( 12/3). Anyone is welcome to come along – contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or 0429017229. Thank you Mick for this report and for your organisation.
What was I ?
I was a living fossil called a “moth lacewing”. I am a neuropteran and not a lepidopteran.
My name is: Psychopsis mimica Psychopsidae, Neuroptera. Thanks to Dr Ken Walker from the museum for this ID and to Ross Heywood for the beautiful photo.
Two correct answers were received, the first from Rudie Kuiter and the second from Jan Palmer. Both too far away to receive the Mars Bar!!
From the Ranger’s Office
Controlled burns will be being carried out in various parts of the park over the coming months.
World of Insects
One cool morning a cluster of male native bees was noticed and photographed roosting on some Fen Sedge. Dr Ken Walker provided the ID : Lipotriches : Austronomia australica, Halictid bees.
On the subject of bees, for the budding apiarists, here’s an intriguing idea being kick started.
http://www.honeyflow.com/ This is quite an amazing creation.
Regent Honeyeater release dates are: Tuesday and Friday April 13th and 18th respectively.
“The best thing we can do for nature is simply spend more time in it.
there, reverence grows and action flows.”
M. Herring, 2013.
NEXT MONTHLY MEETING SUNDAY APRIL 12 TH 2015
Meet at 9.00 am at the post office. BYO all your needs, lunch, binoculars, sunscreen, repellent.
We will make a start on the annual inspection of nest boxes. Contact in the field 0407 486 480
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Rainfall for February: 66.9 mm over 4 days. Year 2015 : 172.40 mm over 9 days. We did much better than surrounding areas.