Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter 254 September 2016

Dear Friends,

Spring turned on a glorious day for our afternoon walk on AGM day. After enjoying lunch at Honeyeater picnic area
We took an afternoon amble along part of White Box Walk and Ballarat and Cyanide Roads. Our guest Rudie shared his orchid knowledge with those interested. Although we looked for pollinators on the orchids we found none.
The young members amongst us were budding naturalists and photographers. Among the discoveries was a small skink, found under some bark it was photographed and duly returned to its home. While Bryce was photographing an orchid a beautiful male Red-headed Mouse Spider, Missulena occatoria, emerged from the litter causing a bit of excitement. Caution was needed here as the bite of this highly venomous spider is very nasty. When provoked it rears up ready to attack.

Mouse Spider male

Orchids were abundant, four species of greenhoods were seen, and there were carpets of Dusky Caladenias, C fuscata. The Donkey Orchids, Diuris pardina were fresh and bright, the lovely purple Waxlips Glossodia major were in full bloom. Golden Yam Daisies were beginning to flower as were the various pea species and grevilleas. Waxlip and raindrops

The fungi was not to be outdone in the colour stakes when Steve found a gorgeous red Slime Mould, Tubifera ferruginosa (yes even slime moulds can be gorgeous!) However the spectacular red colour is a short lived stage of its life. Two days later it was a purplish brown as it matured.

Tubifera ferruginosa Slime Mould

Some photos From our budding photographer naturalists, Bridie and Bryce

Inspecting an orchid

Early Nancy by Bridie

Early Nancy with pollinator

A lovely earthy coloured bracket fungus from Bryce.

Fungi by Bryce

 We also have a budding floral artist in Jessica whose subject was a Waxlip Orchid. Well done to you all. Waxlip drawing by Jessica

The amble turned out to be quite a lengthy one and all were happy to retreat to the hall for pre-dinner refreshments accompanied by music on the harp played by Steve.
Forty-one members and friends enjoyed a delicious smorgasbord meal. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful meal and to those who helped with the kitchen duties afterwards.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM was brief. Neville presented copies of the Annual Report and Peter gave the financial report.
Election of office bearers was conducted. The AGM report will be available on the website soon.
Annual General Meeting Saturday September 3rd.
The following persons were elected as office bearers for 2017:
President: Eileen Collins
Vice-president: Mick Webster
Secretary: Neville Bartlett New
Treasurer: Neville Bartlett
Committee (7): Steven Pitman, Richard Jerome, Peter Gotham, John Hawker, Neil Blair, Jennifer Davidson, Phillip Seely.
Peter Gotham has retired as treasurer and we thank him for his years of service to Friends. We welcome Steve Pitman to the committee. My personal thanks go to Neville for taking the treasurer’s positon.

Orchid Pollinators of Victoria

Presentation by Rudie Kuiter, Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot NP AGM 3rd Sept 2016
Victorian orchids, which are with very few exceptions terrestrial, have evolved uniquely from Gondwanian times. Importantly they mass their pollen as waxy packages (pollinia) rather than release masses of fine grains and rely on pollinators to distribute these packages.
The pollinators are, with only occasional exceptions, all insects with most coming from two Orders, Hymenoptera whose winged members have 4 wings (bees, wasps, sawflies, ants etc.) and Diptera whose winged members have 2 wings (fungus gnats, hoverflies, etc.). Apart from the flying pollinators, ants have been shown to pollinate Microtis sp. and Beetles and Spiders have been found with pollinia but are thought to be accidental pollinators.
The orchids largely use deception to attract their pollinators, either scent (imitating female sex pheromones or food) or appearance (imitating a food plant). Longtitudinal studies of the same orchid colonies, over years of drought, wet, fire, clearing etc., have revealed that the once held belief of “one plant, one pollinator” is now much more complicated and can change with the above climate and event changes. This has revealed very real dangers of local extinction due to regular intervention such as “controlled burning” if the ecology of pollinators and their plants is ignored.
All this information was accompanied by wonderful photos of all the pollinator species interacting with their host plants. We were left marvelling at the skill and patience of the photographers to capture such images. Neil Blair. Thank you Neil for this contribution.

Regent Honeyeaters

Presently the only known birds are on the Rutherglen Road site at the western edge of the park. A lot of patience is needed to locate them. There is one wild bird along with maybe four banded birds. Neville captured this cheeky shot of Blue Blue last week as it came down from feeding in the White Box, to sit on the fence and chatter to us. This bird was last seen 30km west of the park at Brimin and to our surprise the initial photos revealed it was back!
If anyone has time to spare to search the area it would be appreciated. There is good White Box flowering along that section of Donchi Hill Rd west.

Regent Honeyeater

Flora Brochure

We have been successful in attaining an Indigo Shire grant of $1500 towards the printing of our flora brochure. We expect this to be ready early in 2017.

Weed Report

We are planning to have both the Capeweed at Tuan enclosure and the Freesias on Wallace’s Gully Road sprayed by a contractor.  Mick and his conscripts have been working hard on Olive removal at Mt  Ochtertyre bushland reserve as well as hunting for olives and other ferals in the park. Well done all of you.


Rainfall for August : 107.2 mm    Year to date: 646.2  Rainfall is still going strong in September too!

Next Monthly Meeting Sunday October 2

Since the weather has been so  unpredictable the activity will depend upon the weather and will be announced closer to the day. BYO lunch, binocs, repellant, chair and energy.  Contact in the field  0407 486 480

Membership Renewals Are Due For 2016-17

To everyone who has renewed their membership, thankyou. We appreciate your support.

Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring, maintaining and surveying mammal boxes, tree planting, weed control and provision of interpretive signage and park furniture 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 2016. Please ensure your contact details are current.

Method 1 Fill out this online form and mail the membership fee or pay electronically

Click here to achieve this

Method 2 Print and Complete and mail this application

Friends Of Chiltern Park Inc Membership Form for 2016 – 2017

Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2016-17.   The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters
Name……………………………………………… Telephone………………………
Please print and complete and mail this application to
P.O. Box 60 CHILTERN 3683
To assist, please mark the envelope Membership.

Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2016-2017 The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

P.O. Box  60   CHILTERN  3683

If you wish to pay electronically the details are:
Acc Name: Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park
Bank: WAW Credit Union Co-operative Ltd (Cuscal Limited)
BSB number: 803070
Acc number:  81167
Please add your surname to the transaction.
Please advise Neville ( when you have made the payment so that we can keep track of payments.

Friends Facebook Group now has 241 members

We are a group of people interested in Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park in North-Eastern Victoria. People can find much more information on the Park, activities of the Friends and membership details at

Why not become a Member, not just a Facebook member? only $15 a year!

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