Newsletter No.42 May 1997

Dear Friends

It seems that we only have to plant trees to command rain. Perhaps  having the wrong day and date on the meeting note was designed by some higher power but it worked well! I apologise to anyone who was caused inconvenience.

Members worked as a great team and  160 understorey plants  now fill an area of reclaimed shire road and we will take pleasure in watching them beautify this area which the shire was using as a gravel dump. As we planted small groups of Swift Parrots flew over. The mobile water supply provided by ranger John made the watering  fast and easy. The promise of a piece of Elephant’s Foot for morning tea ensured sustained effort. A barbecue lunch was enjoyed at the Pioneer Cemetery after which we enjoyed watching the Regent Honeyeaters coming to drink and bathe.

On the topic of  Regents we are pleased to report that another 7 birds were banded recently bringing the total of Chiltern banded birds to 14. If you find Regents in your travels please take a moment to inspect the legs for colour bands. If they are present make a note of the colours and report your information either to Natasha on 1800 621 056 or to me on 0357 261 484.  Recently two of our members sighted Regents at Burrowa Pine NP and the reporting network worked very well.

Visit to Mt Samaria S.P.

 Members joined the North-east Field Nats  in a most enjoyable trip to this wet forest region. Tall Blue Gums, Peppermints and Red Stringybarks, many with great hollows, dominated the area we visited. Despite the dry conditions we managed to record a Pilot Bird which was busy collecting food from the roadside oblivious to we, the watchers. A Bassian Thrush  preened itself on a secluded mossy log and occasionally probed the earth for a tasty snack while everyone admired its plumage and enjoyed the performance. Not so easy to pin down were the Crescent Honeyeaters. Despite their constant calling it took some  time to get good views. Speaking of views, which are so much a part of the Samaria Park, the smoke from the fuel reduction burns cast a fog over the valleys below us. I heard a lady from Bright remark, “No one disputes the need for this work but the timing could be better!” Since tourism is an important industry in this region she certainly had a point.

From the Meeting

1. Fencing of Chiltern Valley No.2  will commence soon. Several members volunteered assistance.

2. Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater surveys have been scheduled for the same days, May 11-12. All reports will go to Natasha Schedvin for processing.

3. Accounts were passed for payment. Friends purchased the plants for the Howlong Road project.

4. Waterbird surveys recorded Pink-eared Ducks and a Shoveler at Valley No.1 Dam.

5. Replanting will need to be undertaken at Valley No.2 Dam. New plantings are planned for the Old Depot and another small area of reclaimed road. Volunteers for these tasks are needed. All areas are ripped. Revegetation signs have been erected.

6. John outlined plans for improvements in the park. The Depot site will be re-ripped and weeds sprayed. Railing will be erected to protect the area. Howlong Rd. bend is ready for planting. Protective railing will be added to the site.

7. Members discussed the idea of having an excursion  between meetings. Ideas welcome.

8. Next Field Nats meeting: Sunday May  18. To Reef Hills Park. Meet at The Centre, Chisholm St. Wangaratta at 9.00.



This should be a most interesting and informative day. Come along and be in the field with someone who has knowledge of  fascinating  fungi. Bring lunch,  friends and enthusiasm and a hand lens if you have one.


P.O.Box 60  CHILTERN  3683

Friends have achieved a great deal during the past year. Possibly the most significant achievement was the success of the campaign  to have  Chiltern retained in the name of the National Park. Your support for our activities is valued and your membership renewal is vital to our cause. Membership expires on June 30th.

 Please find enclosed my membership of  $8.00 for 1997-8. The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.

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