Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #332 October 2023

President : Neil Blair:

Correspondence to: Tony Murnane Secretary:

Treasurer/Newsletter Editor: Neville Bartlett – Email:

Report on 3rd FOCMPNP public Spring Wildflower Walk 1st October 2023 – Neil Blair

18 people participated in this walk which started in the Chiltern section of the Park on a cloudy, cooler morning. We went to a hillside off Lancashire Rd which had a Box-Ironbark-Stringybark upperstorey and a sparse taller understorey of Golden Wattle and Juniper Wattle. It was in the lower shrub and groundcover that the great biodiversity was found:

– amongst the small shrubs were 5 Pea species (Showy and Small-leaf Parrot-peas – Dillwynia sericea and phylicoides, Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea – Daviesia leptophylla, Mountain Flat-pea – Platylobium montanum, Common Wedge-pea – Gompholobium huegelii, Purple Coral-pea – Hardenbergia violacea), 2 Heaths (Daphne Heath – Brachyloma daphnoides, Common Beard-heath – Leucopogon virgatus), 2 Guinea-flowers (Erect and Grey Guinea-flowers – Hibbertia riparia and obtusifolia), a Grevillea (Mountain Grevillea – Grevillea alpina), a Hairy Geebung (Persoonia rigida) and a Slender Rice-flower – Pimelea linifolia).

– The lilies were well represented with Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), Early Nancy (Wurmbia dioica), Chocolate Lily (Arthropodium strictum), Grassland Trigger-plant (Stylidium graminifolium), Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata) and Twining Fringe-lily (Thysanotus patersonii).

– 3 orchid species were noted; Wax-lip Orchid (Glossodia major) , Purplish Beard-orchid (Calochilus robertsonii), Pink Fingers (Caladenia carnea).

– other finds included Multi-flowered Mat-rush (Lomandra multiflora), Common Raspwort (Gonocarpus tetragynus), Pale Sundew (Drosera hookeri) and Sticky Everlasting (Xerochrysum viscosum).

Our 2nd morning stop was in the Pilot Section of the Park off McGuinness Rd. This is granite country and we were in a more open woodland section.

– the highlight was hundreds of Large Green-comb Spider-orchids (Caladenia tentaculata) in full bloom. Other orchids found in lesser numbers were Pink Fingers (Caladenia carnea) many with double flowers, Gnat Orchids (Cyrtostylis reniformis), Musk Hood-orchid (Caladenia moschata) and in a nearby site the smaller Green-comb Spider-orchid (Caladenia parva). The Sun-orchids remained closed.

– the lilies were also well represented; Bulbine Lily (Bulbine bulbosa), Chocolate lily (Arthropodium strictum), Milkmaid (Burchardia umbellata), Nodding Blue-lily (Stypandra glauca), Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), Twining Fringe-lily (Thysanotus patersonii), Common Early Nancy (Wurmbia dioica).

– adding further to the floral display were Yam Daisies (Microseris walteri), Grass Trigger-plants (

Stylidium graminifolium), Thick-fruit Buttercups (Ranunculus pachycarpus) and Tall Sundews (Drosera auriculata).

At lunch the sun came out more continuously and the temperature rose, so we headed off to find some Sun Orchids in another part of the Mt Pilot section off Old Cemetery Rd and were richly rewarded.

– a large Scented Sun-orchid (Thelymitra megcalyptra) with most of its flowers open and emitting its lovely scent greeted us near our carpark. Soon after we found groups of the Salmon Sun-orchid (Thelymitra rubra) and numerous Slender Sun-orchids (Thelymitra pauciflora) all in full flower. Finally we found large numbers of Rabbit Ears (Thelymitra antennifera), a lovely yellow sun-orchid.

– also of interest was a group of tiny Foot Trigger-plants (Stylidium ecorne).

It was a lovely way to finish a lovely day.

New Friends website

Over the last several months, Tony Marsh has been upgrading our website so that uses more modern software and is easier to maintain. It has been quite an effort to transfer all of the functionality of the old website and links to the many thousands of images that are featured.

To check it out, go to:

We would welcome comments, corrections and suggestions. The new website is expected to replace the old one in the coming weeks.

1 - New Website

Pollination of the Large Duck-orchid (Caleana major) – October image in the 2023 calendar

This species is flowering at the moment and you may be lucky enough to observe pollination in action.

2 - Duck-orchid Pollination

Large Duck-orchid pollination (Caleana major). Photos: Leshya Perkins

2024 Friends calendar

The Friends calendar for 2024 will be available in two formats (A3 and A4) as was the case for the 2023 calendar. The calendars are at the printer and we expect them to be available by mid-November.

3 - Chiltern 2024 A3 - 1
4 - Chiltern 2024 A4 - 1

The calendars will be available from the Chiltern Post Office, the Rutherglen Information Centre and from our Secretary – Tony Murnane. Prices of the calendars have not changed but the postage has increased.

An order form is available in a separate flier.

Ranger’s Report – Brian Pritchard

Our focus at the moment is maintaining a park that is open to the public, with safe and clean facilities. Works have been limited recently due to staff leave and vacancies.

Jake Twycross has left Parks Victoria to pursue opportunities in the Northern Territory and we are waiting on approval to replace him. Laura Collins has been appointed to ongoing ranger position to replace Hannah Clemen who is now with Victoria Police. 

Rangers have been delivering education sessions at Chiltern Primary School and assisted with monitoring of orchid species in the park. Works to improve campsites and reduce tree risks have been undertaken at Kangaroo Crossing near Eldorado.

Contractors have recently completed spraying of Illyrian Thistle in the park and weeds at Rutherglen NCR.

Three motor cyclists detected riding off road in the park will be issued with infringement notices.

The research permit to conduct monitoring of artificial nest boxes in the park, that has long been supported by the Friends Group, has now expired.  As a result, no monitoring or disturbance of nest boxes can be undertaken. We are unsure whether a new permit will be sought or approved.

Friends Office-bearers and Committee for 2023-24

President: Neil Blair                                                                Vice-president: Jennifer Davidson

Secretary/Public Officer: Tony Murnane                                Treasurer: Neville Bartlett

Webmaster: Tony Marsh                                                        Newsletter Editor: Neville Bartlett

Committee: Helen Carse, Richard Jerome, Quentin Bell and John Hawker.

Rainfall  September 2023: 8 mm, the driest September since 1946.

                Total for the year to date 2023: 551 mm.
The corresponding total last year was 781 mm at the end of September.
The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.

Data supplied by Mick Webster.


There will be a bushwalk and a review of a prior revegetation project.

Meet at the Chiltern Post Office at 9:00am.

Please bring suitable footwear, sun protection and morning tea.

NOTE: Members attending are encouraged to register their attendance for the activity via ParkConnect. If unsure how to do this please bring your ParkConnect password to the activity and we will help you register.

Dates for the remainder of 2023 and 2024

For 2023: Sunday 3rd December 2023.

For 2024: Sunday 4th February, Saturday 2nd March, Sunday 7th April, Saturday 4th May, Sunday 2nd June, Saturday 6th July, Sunday 4th August, Saturday 7th September, Sunday 6th October, Saturday 2nd November and Sunday 1st December 2024.

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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