Friends of Chiltern Newsletter no 67



Dear Friends

National Threatened Species Day fell on September 7 so our activities on Sunday appropriately marked the day. A small group of dedicated workers planted 350 trees on Vito and Linda Conticchio’s creek side property. Ivan Gugger kindly ripped the area prior to planting and the 33mm of rain which followed made conditions ideal for planting. As always something interesting happens on these days and this day was no exception. Someone stepped on a very large Brown Snake which was well concealed in the long grass and very sluggish. The heavy rain caused the creek to rise rapidly and the unfortunate reptile was probably driven from its shelter. When the planting was over Linda provided the planters with a delicious morning tea which was shared on the verandah of their home. That’s a treat we’re not used to!

The Pit Road planting was inspected and a few spots were replanted. Since the weather was cold and showery and it was Fathers Day the day finished at 1pm.

Around the park:

August and early September rainfall totaled 130mm and should ensure a great spring and provide good growing conditions for the regenerating understorey plants.

Birds are breeding, some winter migrants such as Pied Currawongs and Rose Robins are still around and the summer migrants are starting to arrive. Fan-tailed, Horsefield’s Bronze and Pallid Cuckoos, Reed Warblers and Fairy Martins are early arrivals.

Regent Honeyeaters cannot be found in the park at present however they are making attempts to breed in Thurgoona, north of Albury and at Bobbinawarrah. A few Swift Parrots are still about along Depot and Greenhill Roads.

Greenhoods are still in flower, best being Pterostylis curta, the Blunt Greenhood and Pterostylis pedunculata, Maroonhoods. Sharp eyes will find Gnat Orchids and Dainty Bird Orchids. Donkey Orchids, Diuris pardina, are at their best and the first Waxlips, Glossodia major, are adding colour along with Hardenbergia and Small-leaf Parrot Pea, Dillwynia phylicoides. This pea can be distinguished from other peas by its finely twisted leaves. Handsome Flat Pea, Platylobium formosum with its large showy flowers is particularly nice in the southern block of the park. Beard Heath, with its dainty fringed white flowers can be found almost everywhere.

Golden Wattles have faded and been replaced by the delicate Varnish Wattle and some plants of Juniper Wattle, Acacia ulicifolia are in flower. This is not a common Wattle in the park and is easily identified by its fine, needle-like foliage.

For your Diary:

1.Mobile number for Ranger, John MacDonald: 040 729 2553.

2. The Box Ironbark Ecology Course is on again. Where? Puckapunyal, When? 25-29th October, Cost? $550 includes accommodation and all meals. Enquiries: Dianne Marshall, 03 9412 4608.

3. Fungi Workshop with Tom May, dates not finalised but will be around the end of November in Wodonga. To register your interest phone John Julian on 03 5750 1796 or email

Thank you to the Friends for extending your assistance to areas outside the National Park. I am working with a wide range of people encouraging the protection of areas of bushland on private land. The remnant Box Ironbark Forests on private land support a wide range of plants and animals often containing very valuable larger trees which are not common within the park. The recent revegetation projects in the Chiltern area are improving habitat for a range of species including the Regent Honeyeater and Grey-crowned Babbler. Our efforts to date have involved landholders, the Friends, Parks Victoria, Indigo Shire, local schools and volunteers from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

I am currently working on a number of projects with the Trust For Nature. Trust For Nature aims to “ensure that all significant natural areas in private ownership in Victoria are protected. Our main areas of activity are a Conservation Covenant Program, Revolving Fund Program and community education. The Care of Remnants Scheme,{CORIS} is a Federal, National Heritage Trust program which provides an incentive of $2.00 per metre for landholders fencing out bushland areas. A number of projects have been completed and are underway in the Chiltern area using funds from the CORIS scheme. In addition, more and more people are registering their properties with the Land For Wildlife program. If you would like to know more about the programs or you know someone who may be interested I can be contacted on 03 5728 6620.

National Threatened Species Grant: The Friends of Chiltern submission has been successful. As a result the protection and enhancement of remnant vegetation on public and private land can continue. Thanks to Jim and David for their work on the application.

New Orchid for the National Park and Victoria. The tiny Acianthus which I didn’t recognise at the last meeting turned out to be puzzling since it fitted neither of the two Victorian species. Glen Johnson arranged for a specimen to be sent to the Herbarium and the speedy reply labelled it Acianthus collinus, and a new orchid species for the state. Since it didn’t have a common name Gary Backhouse, co-author of Orchids of Victoria, suggested that Inland Pixie Caps would be appropriate. I’m sure everyone who saw the dainty flower will go along with that.


In the afternoon make a nest box to attract some of the rare species that need a home and the evening we’ll go spotlighting to hopefully see some of them in the park. You can make a nest box for you own property or donate it to be placed in the park. Nest box expert, Jim Blackney, from Trust For Nature will be on hand to provide advice on the types of boxes needed to attract such gorgeous and rare beasts as Squirrel Gliders, Tuans and Turquoise Parrots.

Meet at Barry Traill and Susie Duncan’s place in McLean Street, Chiltern. Take the Chiltern Valley Road out of town {High Street}, cross Black Dog Creek bridge and take the first turn to the right and it’s the second house on the right. Come around the back. Bring saw, tinsnips, pliers, nails plus any other tools which may be useful. We will supply hollow logs and plank timber.

BBQ tea at Cyanide Dam from 6.15 onwards. BYO everything for tea.

Assemble for spotlighting at Cyanide Dam { Honeyeater Pinic Ground}no later than 7.30pm. BYO torches, spotlights and repellant.

What are your interests? In order to help cater for members’ interests it would be appreciated this survey form could be completed and returned.

My interest/s is/are ……………………………………………………………..



Task is to plant understorey on an Ironbark ridge block north of the park which supports Grey-crowned Babblers and is frequented by Apostle Birds as well as many more common species. The remnant has been fenced out under the CORIS Scheme {Care of Remnants}

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