Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park

Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #307 July 2021

Dear Friends,

The July field day was cold and bleak but the rain held off.  Two groups were formed with one group heading off to remove woody weeds in the Black Ball Mine Dam Bushland Reserve that is a small reserve on the outskirts of Chiltern on Conness Street East.

1. Succulents and bulbs before removal - Neville Bartlett

2. Pile of succulents - Neville Bartlett
3. Woody weeds - Neville Bartlett

A collection of succulents before and after removal and woody weeds after some pruning – Photos: Neville Bartlett

This reserve is easy to miss as one heads out of Chiltern towards Barnawartha but it is well worth a look as there is a large dam within it. It was the site of an 1880s stamping battery.

The second group got about 20 Cootamundra Wattles and 10 or so Mt Morgan Wattles out of Chiltern tip reserve, and 30 or so Coots and various fruit trees and Briar roses from along Tank Track in the Park. And we came across one of our rarest Wattles, an Acacia deanei deanei (pending confirmation as to the sub-species).

    

4. Chiltern tip reserve - Mick Webster

5. Acacia in bud - Mick Webster

6. Acacia deanei deanei - Mick Webster

Woody weed removal and Acacia deanei deanei -Photos: Mick Webster

 

Fungus Snout Moth – Sandava scitisignata – Eileen Collins

 The main flight period for this small, beautifully patterned moth is from September to April.

Only a few of this species come to light and I was lucky to spot one in early May.

Although the species is widespread in Australia not a great deal is known about them.

This is a new record for our area and has been added to the state database by Peter Marriot.

The male and female are similar with the antennae of the male being thicker.

According to Peter Marriot they are usually much darker than the specimen shown below.

The wingspan is just over two centimetres.

The caterpillars of this species feed on fungi found on dead trees.

They can also be reared on mushrooms and Steve Williams has tried this method.

He managed to rear them to the early instar stage of  ten days after which he had problems with the food supply.

The patterns in the developing eggs and early instar appear to reflect the patterns in the moth.

His photos show the results of his breeding attempts.

References: Atlas of Living Australia

Moths of Victoria Volume 8  P Marriot

Photos – Early stages: Steve Williams – Moth:  E Collins

Life History : Steve Williams with our appreciation.

 7. Egg laid March 26th - Steve Williams8. Egg laid 29th March - Steve Williams

 

9. Early instar April 4th - Steve Williams10. Sandava - Eileen Collins

Fungus Snout Moth – Sandava scitisignata – egg on 26th March, egg on 29th March, early instar on 4th April and adult moth

Photos: Steve Williams (early stages) and Eileen Collins (adult moth)

Ranger’s Report

The wet weather, new financial year and reintroduction of COVID restrictions are the current challenges. Volunteering is not allowed under the current guidelines (as of 21st July 2021).

The high number of trees falling over tracks are demanding most of our time, but we have been able to undertake some culvert and road maintenance work.

A mini cyclone in the park at Barambogie impacted significantly on vegetation and significant blocked a number of tracks. Most have now been cleared.

We are currently planning our roading, pest plant and animal program for the next year within our budget constraints.  Yeddonba remains closed as we seek funding to undertake repairs.

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Rainfall    June 2021:  94 mm. Total for year-to-date 2021: 392 mm. In 2020 we had 453 mm up to the end of June. The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.

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NEXT MEETING – SUNDAY 1st AUGUST 2021

We hope to have a field day next Sunday.

The activity will be advised a few days beforehand and will depend on the weather forecast and the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.

Bun will be provided as usual.

Meet at the Chiltern Post Office at 09:00am.

Contact for the day: Neville – 0412 399 239.

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Dates for 2021-22

 Sunday 1st August, Saturday 4th September, Sunday 3rd October, Saturday 6th November, Sunday 5th December 2021, and Sunday 6th February, Saturday 5th March, Sunday 3rd April, Saturday 7th May and Sunday 5th June 2022.

Rule of Thumb: For even months, the field day is held on the first Sunday of the month and for odd months, it is held on the first Saturday of the month.

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