Newsletter No. 44 July 1997

 Dear Friends

A very frosty morning, -3 degrees, a Swift Parrot perched  atop a dead limb in the sunshine, an Antechinus coming out to feed ,some noisy Lorikeets and a pack of squabbling Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters  greeted us at the Donkey Hill meeting spot. Armed with compasses and map and the usual morning tea {you should come along and try it!} and accompanied by a visitor from Melbourne who had camped at Donkey Hill, we set off to locate the nest logs and record their condition.

All present had their compass skills fully tested and by the time we reached the last set of logs we were highly skilled. All logs were in good condition with only four requiring attention to their strapping. As we approached one log an Antechinus left it, climbed the tree and turned to stare at us.

As we worked through the park we noticed how dry the forest floor was. The scratching circles of the Painted Button-quail were plentiful, White-winged Choughs, a Crested Shrike-tit and about 60 kangaroos were noted.  Patches  of Golden Wattles were defoliated, evidence of the activity of the Processionary Caterpillars whose tent like shelter we found at the base of one leafless wattle.

Lunch was enjoyed at Depot Dam while watching birds bathing and feeding. After lunch 15 trees were planted in the Depot revegetation area to complete the project. This area has been transformed. The park staff have demolished the old tin shed and cleared much of the debris. The revegetation area has been fenced to protect it. During the next months Friends need to clear up the smaller bits of debris and mulch around the new trees. Anyone who can assist between meetings please give me a call. The bird life at the site can be enjoyed while one works!

Tree planting at the second Howlong Road site was completed by Neville between meetings. Fencing at Valley 2 Dam is complete and along with the new gate has given the area a much needed lift. The contribution of $2000 from the Australian Bird Environment Fund to fence the western boundary was much appreciated. The next task at Valley 2 is to assess last year’s tree planting and prepare to replace lost trees.

From the meeting:

1. Friends have received a grant of $555.00 to continue monitoring threatened plants.

2. The Park has been officially declared. We now await its official opening.

3. The new Parks Victoria “Guidelines for Friends Groups” have been published in Friends Network News.

4. The revised Charter for the Box-Ironbark Alliance has been received. I will publish it in the next newsletter if there is space.

5. Accounts were passed for payment.

Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater survey: August 2-3

This falls on our AGM meeting. However if any members are able to survey the following areas please ask for a record sheet.

Mt. Burrowa-Pine NP,  Mt Barambogie,  Killawarra SF,  Warby Range SP,  Mt Pilot,  or any area in our district which contains White Box and /or Mugga Ironbark. e.g. Jindera.

Grey-crowned Babblers.

Anyone recording Grey-crowned Babblers in our region in Victoria should send their record to Dr. Doug Robinson, State Co-ordinator of GCB Recovery Plan, C/- DNRE, 57 Bridge St. Benalla  3673.  Please record the road name, distance and direction from a landmark/intersection, number  of  birds seen along with any other observation made.

In recent roadside assessment work  Scott and I found many new sites. If you see the large stick nests in saplings take a moment to scan the area for the birds.

Our next meeting will be the AGM  on Saturday August 2.

Our Guest Speaker will be Tony Long, Chief Ranger for the North-east Region. Tony will talk to us about the plans for the our new National Park.

We meet at 12.00 noon at Cyanide Dam. Please bring lunch and gloves. After the afternoon session we will go the Senior Citizens  Hall in Conness Street for tea to be followed by the AGM and speaker. We will also show a few slides to illustrate the values of the park.  If you have slides  you would like to share bring them along.

Tea: Please bring a salad to share. Pizza, tea, coffee etc will be supplied. The room will be warm.

Come along and bring a friend.

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