Newsletter No 64 June 1999

Dear Friends

The June gathering coincided with World Environment Day, therefore it was appropriate that we were again planting trees. Chiltern Valley No 2 Dam was the venue where we filled in a previous planting with 40 Blakeley’s Gums which were grown by member Steve Bush. The dam was murky following the heavy rains but the subsoil was still quite dry. Since the planting another 28mm of rain has fallen.

Two Little Eagles were recorded soaring over the dam and the White-browed Babblers were busy carrying nesting material into a peppercorn tree. A lone White-browed Wood swallow was spotted amongst a small flock of Dusky Wood swallows.

While some of us were planting others reclaimed hollow timber for converting into nesting logs and erected some nest boxes on the Trust For Nature property. Put together it was a very productive morning.

After morning tea and a meeting we set out to search for Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters and anything else interesting. This proved to be hard work. After searching until one o’clock with only a faint Regent call we broke for lunch near where we heard the call. Sure enough a single bird appeared where we sat enjoying lunch. In this area four days previously there were 20 birds. There was very little bird sound and the predicted rain was on the way. An Australian Hobby silenced what bird calls there were as it swept over the canopy in search of a meal.

After lunch Greenhill Road was searched for Swift Parrots and two were recorded. The bee site on Greenhill Road has been vacated, indicating that the nectar flow has diminished although there are still plenty of Noisy Friar-birds in the area. Greenhill Dam area was very quiet.

There is a noticeable absence of lerp this year and in turn Pardalotes are very scarce. Although there is a good range of honeyeaters present in the park the numbers of White-naped, Brown-headed, Yellow-faced and Black-chinned are low.

For your interest:

1. One of the Regent Honeyeaters banded at Lavington in February was recovered from a private swimming pool in Thurgoona during April. It had moved ~5kms east in a couple of months.

2. Killawarra search in May turned up 4 Regents and ~250 Swift Parrots.

3. Australia’s Top Twenty Weeds Of National Significance has been released. We have five of these in our area: Blackberry, Bridal creeper, *Chilean needle grass, Gorse and *Serrated tussock. * indicates species not yet recorded in the park.

4. Bruce Quin spent 10 days in the park surveying the nest logs and boxes. Tuans, Squirrel Gliders, Sugar Gliders, Ringtail and Brushtail Possums were found occupying boxes and logs.

5. New Information Boards are in place at Honeyeater Picnic area and the Freeway Rest Stop. They look great.

6. Members have noted the pressure placed on the park flora and adjacent grassland by Kangaroos.

7. The fuel reduction burn carried out along the Brick Kiln Rd. boundary has resulted in the appearance of some very interesting fungi. A seldom seen fungi “Blackfellow’s Bread” Polyporus mylittae, which fruits after fire has made an appearance. Looks good but smells awful when maturing! An orange, ground hugging fungi is abundant. The rain also ensured that all the plants produced new growth.

For Your Diary:

1 June 12-14th Regent Honeyeater search at Killawarra. Phone David on 1800 621 056 for information.

2. AGM Saturday August 7. This will be an afternoon gathering in the park, with tea and guest speaker at the Senior Citizens Hall in the evening. Meeting place: Chiltern Post Office. Details next month.

3. Friends Network Seminar “Into 200” Saturday July 10 in the Auditorium, Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne. 9.30-4pm Cost $10.00. Parks Victoria is subsidising travel costs for one car per Friends Group. Ring 03 57161 484 for further information and registration form.

4. Memberships for 1999-2000 are now due see overleaf for form.

NEXT MEETING SUNDAY JULY 4 MEET AT CHILTERN POST OFFICE AT 9.00AM Bring trowel, gloves, lunch, binoculars energy and a friend. Activity to be decided. Please ring for the work venue if you are unable to arrive at 9.00.

Friends acknowledge the support given by WAW Credit Union through the printing of the newsletter. FRIENDS OF CHILTERN NATIONAL PARK INC MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL P.O.BOX 60 CHILTERN 3683 Friends continue to help support and enhance the National Park. Surveys for flora, fauna and fungi are ongoing. Weed control and tree planting are undertaken as necessary. We value your support for our activities and trust you will renew your membership. Membership expires on June 30th. Thank you. Please find enclosed my membership fee of $8.00 for 1999-2000. Membership covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters. Name……………………………..Telephone………………….. Address…………………………………..Postcode…………….

WILDLIFE IN BOX-IRONBARK FORESTS A SPECIAL PRESENTATION This presentation is presented for Friends groups and Field Naturalists DATE: WEDNESDAY JUNE 23 1999 TIME: 7:00-9.00PM VENUE: THEATERETTE, new NRE NORTH EAST REGIONAL OFFICE 35, SYDNEY RD., BENALLA Speakers include Lindy Lumsden, NRE, and Jenny Wilson, Deakin University. Contact: Jerry Alexander, 03 5761 1611

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