Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter 275 August  2018

Dear Friends,

The weather gods were kind to us for the big planting days. Saturday was dry but very cold and windy and on Sunday morning we were greeted by a sunny day.

In conjunction with Trust For Nature and Birds Australia, Friends agreed to plant 4000 trees and shrubs for a project to enhance Regent Honeyeater habitat on a section of the Grasslands block.
An offer of a planting machine came from our member Jan Palmer. The offer of this magic machine, “Tiger Scrub” turned out to be a gift from the gods! 

Tiger Scrub

A planning and test run day on Friday ensured that we would be ready for the Saturday volunteers to start work.
As “Tiger Scrub” started work team one followed the machine, placing guards and stakes ready for team two to install them. All together it resembled a military style operation. Keeping up with the machine kept the team of plant packers on their toes, removing plants from tubes and stacking them in poly boxes to feed the machine.

Friends at work

Another group of workers set about hand planting in another section and once again the team work was excellent.

By midday everyone was ready to enjoy the BBQ lunch provided by the Chiltern Guides.

Lunch 2

By the end of day one we had just 600 plants left to hand plant on Sunday. The work was completed by 11.30 am on Sunday and we enjoyed a lunch of soup and sandwiches provided by Chiltern Red Cross Ladies.

Work station

Many thanks to Jan and her daughter for operating the magic machine and for her donation of 1000 weed mats which were used on the hand planted shrubs.

Tiger Scrub and Jan

Thank you to the Friends for the pre planting organisation on Friday and to the many volunteers who came from Whitfield, Wodonga and Bethanga and to Bob and Carol, visitors from New Zealand, who were very happy to join in the work.

A great team effort once more.
Around the Park

While undertaking Noisy Miner work, Dan Pendavingh from DELWP, came across a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Hylacola pyrrhopygia. This usually shy bird was perched on a low stump and posed for Dan to photograph it as evidence. This little bird prefers low scrubby habitat and has obviously found that in the regrowth in the burnt area of the park. Thank you Dan for sharing this photo

Chestnut-rumped Heathwren

The Cryptandra patch on Riley’s Road is in flower. There is an exclosure around part of the population and many others have been individually guarded. The photo shows the stand of plants in the mid 1990’s was when it was first recorded. The increased pressure from the browsing kangaroos and wallabies has sadly reduced this once stunning patch to a mass of stunted plants.

Cryptandra amara Riley's Rd

Swainsona recta plantings have taken place this month. Two hundred and thirty were planted at the Coyle’s Track sites and a further forty-six at Grasslands. It was nice to see children helping out at Grasslands.

Panting Swainsona at Grasslands

Another forty have been planted in the Rutherglen Natural Features reserve. 

A Rude Awakening

A gardener and a lizard were surprised as this hibernating Blue Tongue was unearthed. The latter expressed its disapproval. All threat and no damage.

Common (Eastern) Blue-tongue - Tiliqua scincoides subsp. scincoides (Scincidae)

Weed Report

Not a lot happening right now, with replanting taking up more time. Grasslands briars are still there in a few places. A few more Paddy Melons have been cleaned up. Two large figs were spotted off Wardens Rd, their removal will wait until they start sprouting in Spring. Never a dull moment with weeds Mick.

Thanks Mick and Tony.

Wetland news: Tracking banded waterbirds

If you are visiting wetlands or see flocks of Ibis on paddocks after rain you may like to scan for banded birds such as Straw-necked Ibis, Royal Spoonbill and Night Heron. The site below gives details of the CSIRO banding project and the amazing movement patterns of the birds. There have been a few sightings in our area.

Straw-necked Ibis EC pg

This photo shows a flock in paddock close to Chiltern. Please report any sightings to :
The Straw-necked Ibis control band is orange over metal on the right leg. Those of you who have been used to tracking Regent Honeyeaters with tiny bands should find identifying banded Ibis much easier as the bands are much larger. More information on the project at this site:

 Ranger’s Report

Luke Habeck commences in ranger role from 6th August. Hannah Clemen has been appointed as an additional ranger and will start in early September. Hannah is currently working as a ranger at Lake Eildon National Park.
We look forward to introducing our new staff and engaging them in working with the Friends Group.

Team Leader Brian will be on leave from 13th August until 5th October. A this stage any contact should be with Luke.
Work in the park is focused on basic maintenance tasks at the moment.
Brian Pritchard, Ranger Team Leader Beechworth. Thank you Brian for this summary.

Rainfall  for June 

For June : 76.4 mm For July 15.8mm over 4 days mm. Year to date: 199.4 mm 100 mm less than this time last year.

Looking Back To Newsletter Number 7 – 1994

The first of the park Cootamundra Wattles fell to the saw. This thicket was on the edge of Riley’s Rd at the Cryptandra site. Steve Bush and others made short work of it and oddly enough we have never seen seedlings at that site. The Clean up Australia Day team targeted the Howlong Road. Steve’s ute, FAB, took the rubbish to the shire tip. There was no recycling in the 1990’s and no Parks Victoria to cart it way!!

Collecting the load in Steve's ute 1994jpg

Membership It’s Time To Renew


Membership expires on June 30th. Thank you to all who have taken out membership this year. We hope you will continue your support.

P.O. Box 60 CHILTERN VIC 3683
To assist, please mark the envelope Membership.

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 brochures, 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.

Please ensure your contact details are current.

Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2018-19. The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.


Name:…………………………………………………………………………………….. Telephone:……………………………………

Email:…………………………………………………………………………………….. Receipt required: Yes / No

Address:…………………………………………………………………………………… Postcode: ……….

If you wish to use electronic payment 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 to help us keep track of payments.


Our guest speaker this year will be Sean Dooley, Editor of Birds Australia Magazine and bird watcher extrordinaire.
The day will take the form of a bush walk for some bird watching. Dinner and meeting in the Senior Citizens Hall in the evening.
Details of the afternoon activity closer to the day
RSVP for catering purposes would be appreciated by Monday August 27th to:










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