Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #300 November 2020

Dear Friends,

An excellent last working field day for the year. Mick Webster led a group that went to Grasslands block and planted 30 acacia seedlings (A. aspera, A. pycnantha and A. paradoxa) around two of the dams, then had a leisurely morning tea with Chiltern Bakery bun admiring the view from the hill top.

Grasslands 1 - Mick Webster


Grasslands 2 - Mick Webster


Grasslands 3 - Mick Webster

Planting of Acacias and the effect of the exclusion fence – photos: Mick Webster

Today’s other working group weeded the Bitter Cryptandra (Cryptandra amara) site where the plants are protected from grazing with tree guards. We then moved to Bartley’s Block for morning tea with Chiltern Bakery bun. After that we cleared a section of the Tuan Walking Track. The track has been difficult to find so a search party re-traced it and then it was cleared using rakes and a leaf blower. The track is now easy to find after debris has been removed. Caper Spurge were removed and the Wallaby Grass seedlings (planted in October) were watered.

Cryptandra weeding - Neville Bartlett


Tuan Track 1 - Neville Bartlett

Tuan Track 2 - Neville Bartlett

Cryptandra weeding and Tuan Track (before and after) – photos: Neville Bartlett


After lunch, Mick led a team of 3 to the Wheel Cactus infestation along Old Coach Rd and removed every flower and bud we could find, to hopefully prevent any seeding this year.

Wheel Cactus 1 - Mick Webster

Wheel Cactus 2 - Mick Webster

Careful handling of Wheel Cactus – photos: Mick Webster

Mayflies – Eileen Collins

Mayflies are uncommon insects belonging to the order Ephemeroptera.  As the order suggests they are indeed ephemeral, living just a day or so.  During their brief life they do not feed, their sole purpose is to mate.

This they do in flight after which the female deposits hundreds of eggs on the surface of clear running water.

The life cycle begins again as the eggs sink to the bottom of the stream where they hatch.

The nymphs feed upon algae and detritus and progress through many moults to maturity, emerging  as adult Mayflies in spring.

This one is a species of Atalophlebidae, family Leptophlebiidae.

Mayfly Atalophlebidae sp. – photo: Neil Blair

Mayfly  Atalophlebia sp. -   Neil Blair


Further reading and photographs can be found at :

Chiltern Recreation Reserve mural project – Neville Bartlett

Local artist Kirrily Anderson has been commissioned by DELWP to produce a mural at the sports reserve at Chiltern.

The mural has been completed and now has an interpretative sign erected. It is a very impressive piece of work.

Mural sign (0126) - Neville Bartlett


Mural (0128) - Neville Bartlett


The mural and the nearby sign – photos: Neville Bartlett

The site is well worth a visit. The QR code on the sign takes one to a website where more information can be found:

Two other signs will be placed at the north-bound (Ironbark) and south-bound (Chiltern Park) wayside stops on the Hume Highway near Chiltern and each will have the same QR code link as the main mural.

An official launch is planned for early 2021 depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Friends 2021 Calendar – Neville Bartlett

The first print run for the calendar has sold out quickly. Everyone who has already ordered or purchased calendars can expect them soon if they have not already received them. The next batch will be available within three weeks in plenty of time for Christmas. An order form is provided below.


Ranger’s Report

Frogmouth nest (4176) - Brian Pritchard

November has seen the park rapidly drying but there is still an abundance of flowering plants, birds are still nesting and insects are prolific.

Our crews have completed pre fire season clearing of tracks but windy conditions will mean it will require follow up. Slashing of grass is completed at most areas.

Spraying of St Johns Wort at grasslands block and Rutherglen NCR have been completed.

The viewing platform at Yeddonba will remain closed until further notice whilst we source funding and contractors to repair the structure.

Dumping of rubbish continues to be an issue and there are a few vehicles still be removed from the park.

Ranger Hannah has commenced a secondment in another role with Parks Victoria for the next 12 months and our long-term Field Services staff, Russell Pritchard, has also elected to retire next month.

Recruitment for replacement of these roles will commence once they are approved.

The frogmouth fledged 2 young 100 metres from my house.

Frogmouth at nest – photo: Brian Pritchard

Friends AGM

This year, we are having the AGM via email/telephone. The poll is being conducted by Secretary/Treasurer, Tony Murnane (

The annual report of activity, the financial report and the minutes of the 2019 AGM have been sent out to members who were financial for 2019-20 and the current year. The following nominations for office-bearers and the committee were received:

President: Neville Bartlett        

Vice-president: Simon Bennett

Secretary/Public Officer: Tony Murnane

Treasurer: Tony Murnane

Newsletter Editor: Neville Bartlett

Webmaster: Tony Marsh

Committee: Eileen Collins

Committee: Mick Webster

Committee: Helen Carse

Committee: Jennifer Davidson 

Committee: Bill Boulton          

Committee: John Hawker

Committee: Peter Gotham.

Voting is now open and due by Saturday 28th November 2020: The ‘AGM’ day.  Results will be reported back to members. The AGM results will then be formally reported to Consumer Affairs Victoria as required for all registered organisations.

Around the Park – Neville Bartlett

The Eastern Rosellas (Platycercus eximius) nest featured in last month’s newsletter continued with all chicks fledging.

Rainfall    For October:  89 mm. Total for 2020 year-to-date: 712 mm. In 2019 we had 369 mm up to the end of October. The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.


This will be our Christmas gathering where we can celebrate making it through the year and look forward to 2021.

Meet at the picnic area at Chiltern Valley No 1 Dam at 4:00pm (AEDT). Please bring a chair, some food that can be shared, and what you would like to drink.

Contacts for the day: Neville – 0412 399 239.


Friends 2021 Calendar – Order Form


NOTE: Copies can be ordered at the Chiltern Post Office.

The 2021 calendars cost $20 each plus postage/packaging if you need to have them posted.

Postage + packaging costs:

    1 calendar: $8.95 + $2.25 = $11.20.     Total cost: $31.20.

    2 calendars: $12.20 + $2.25 = $14.45.  Total cost: $54.45.

    3 calendars: $15.35 + $2.25 = $17.60.  Total cost: $77.60.

Postage is now a flat rate countrywide.

Please forward your order and payment to Tony Murnane (

Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park,

69 Conness Street, Chiltern Vic 3683.

A limited number will be printed.

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 Tony ( when you have made the payment to help us keep track of payments.





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