Newsletter No. 33 July 1996

Dear Friends

A very small band worked on covering the ripped area on the Howlong Road. Dead material was difficult to find in this Grey Box area. Most of the material used came from dead wattles. The two main revegetation areas are now fairly well covered  so providing shelter for the emerging seedlings. In late summer we will gather native grass seed to spread on both areas.

The Golden Wattlle will be at its best over the next three weeks. Last year the regenerating wattles along Curtain`s Road  were good, this year they will be spectacular so treat yourself to a visit. Lots of Nodding Greenhoods and Tiny Greenhoods are out, fungi is fantastic, birds are noisy, Hovea and Hardenbergia are providing some early colour.

Judging by the number of visitors and enquiries for bird information Chiltern has at last come of age!

The Ironbarks are still producing flowers and attracting plenty of honeyeaters. The Noisy Friar-birds have decreased in numbers so it is now possible to hear the calls of the smaller birds.

 Dusky Wood swallows, an occasional Oriole and even a Curlew have overwintered. Rose Robins can be seen on Depot Road and Swift Parrots are throughout the park in small flocks. Painted Button Quail are in small groups of up to seven birds at the present. They are frequently encountered scratching in leaf litter at the edge of the road.

Brown Goshawks and honeyeaters. While monitoring Regent Honeyeaters we have become very aware of the panic that little birds exhibit when this predator appears. The Yellow-tufted H/es give a continuous piping alarm call. The bush becomes silent and Friar-birds, Wattle-birds and flocks of little birds flee to shelter.  The silence lasts for up to eight minutes. It`s funny to watch but frustrating when one is tracking a Regent by its call!

The information board for the walk at the Chiltern Park Rest Area on the freeway was erected in June. We hope that travellers will  use and enjoy the walk as a break in their journey. Friends will have lunch at the freeway stop after the August meeting.

As we work through the park mapping the rare and threatened plants  new  plant records are emerging. The latest find is a small stand of Acacia buxifolia, Box-leaf Wattle. This hardy and attractive plant is native to the Beechworth region.

Dumping of garden rubbish continues to be a problem both in the park and along the roadsides.

Chiltern Sojourn by Tony Marsh

Recently I spent three nights camping at Cyanide Dam. It may have not been the best weather to visit Chiltern but I still had a great time. On Wednesday night I met a couple from Adelaide who were keen bird observers (Keith and Claire Martin who are actually Scottish), and had lived in Australia for four years. They had not seen  Turquoise Parrots so we went to Bartley’s early Thursday morning (after seeing a Peregrine Falcon at the fogged in dam). We were greeted by a flock of fifty to sixty birds, much to the Martin`s glee.

We checked the nest box at Bartley’s paddock and it had two squirrel gliders in it. We then went in search of Regent Honeyeaters and just as Eileen had suggested we found them on Klotz Track about seven hundred metres from Riley’s Rd. I was surprised at their size as it was the first time I had seen them. We also saw Swift Parrots on Klotz Track (before the Regents) which was a first for me as well. We then went to the six nest boxes in the Ryan`s Track area and the first box we checked (44),  much to our delight  had a Feather-tail Glider in it. We then went our separate ways and I went back to Cyanide to walk the White Box  Trail

 I was amazed at the number of people that visited Cyanide while I was there – it’s great to see the area being valued. Bruce’s nest boxes were installed ten years ago this July and they have certainly stood the test of time. I`m looking forward to the weeks ahead as the Golden Wattles start to bloom.

Thank you Tony for this contribution to the newsletter. At the time of writing these Regents have moved to the bee site on Greenhill Road. They are still in a flock and calling well  but should soon break up into smaller breeding groups.

September meeting. This will be held at Chiltern Valley No. 2 Dam. We will be planting 250 trees and shrubs in a revegetation plan. We will need as many people as possible to help with this task. VNPA will be supporting this activity. There will be a free barbecue lunch. If you can`t plant trees perhaps you could help with lunch. Be assured, there will be a job for everyone on this day and we`d like you to be there. Details next newsletter.


Sunday 11th August                  Saturday 14th September            Sunday 13 October

Contact:Dick 057 212955        Contact Helen 057 218937         Contact Scott 057 281619

Saturday 9th November            Sunday 8th December

Contact Joan 057 216558        Contact Jan 057 212955


Meet at corner of Rutherglen Road and Depot Road.

Bring gloves and lunch. Activity: remove guards from trees at the tip reserve.Lunch at the southbound freeway stop. Bring food to barbecue if you wish. Afternoon walk for orchids, fungi and birds.

Subscriptions are now due. This will be the last newsletter for 1995-6 subscribers.

We wish to thank WAW Credit Union for their contribution to Friends of Chiltern through the printing of our newsletter for 1996


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