Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #299 October 2020

Dear Friends,

Two groups were formed so that the numbers did not exceed 10. One group headed to Chiltern Valley No 2 Dam.

Mick reports: Grass around hide cleared away, track along the dam was re-mowed, guards removed from dead plantings, nestboxes checked, thistles chipped, went for a walk to the old railway bridge across the outlet creek, visited Grasslands afterwards, all looking very good there, Callitris growing, Bathurst burr not showing... and NO snakes!

The other group tackled the cape weed and other growth at Bartley’s Block. An area was cleared and over 100 Wallaby grass seedlings were planted. Several sedge plants were relocated and planted in the lower parts of the cleared area. Caper Spurge were pulled up and thistles had flower heads removed so that they would not go to seed.

Friends (0031) - Neville

Friends (0023) - Neville

Friends (0014) - Neville

Friends (0033) - Neville

 Before clearing, clearing, planting Wallaby grass and the pile of weeds ready for removal – photos: Neville Bartlett

 Eye-spot Anthelid  - Anthelidae ocellata – Eileen Collins

Also known as Australian Woolly Bears

Moths from this family are only found in Australia and New Guinea.

Surprisingly, this one was found in August on a cold morning.

 

Anthela ocellata  Eye-spot Anthelid male -  N Blair

Anthela ocellata. Eye-spot Anthelid male Dorsal view. - N Blair JPG

The colourful caterpillars are very hairy and can cause skin irritation.

Their food plants include native and introduced grasses such as Chilean Needle Grass, Poa  species.

It is also a pest of cereal crops.

It pupates in soil or ground litter in a hard case.

Neil has captured the "Woolly Bear" description beautifully.

Victorian Malleefowl Recovery Program – Mick Webster

Two of us (Tony Murnane and I) spent the past week over in the Victorian Mallee monitoring Malleefowl nests and also maintaining the 60-odd camera traps we (the Victorian Malleefowl Recovery Program) have running out there, in 7 areas. The vegetation in the Mallee is really healthy this year after a good year of rain, with wildflowers in abundance (most of which we couldn't name!). We expect the birds to have a very good breeding season, with 16 active mounds in the 60 or so we visited (i.e. the birds are laying eggs in the mound) - a much better result than last year. A quick look through the memory cards we collected from the cameras show the usual suspects are still around,  both predators on Malleefowl (foxes, cats) and competitors for the birds' food (goats and pigs, as well as kangaroos and emus....). This is a very well-organised program and we always welcome new volunteers, so if you're interested talk to me or Tony.

Tony Murnane (1554) - Mick

Malleefowl Mound (1543) - Mick

Malleefowl (PICT0186) - Mick

Fox (PICT0041) - Mick

 

Friends 2021 Calendar – Neville Bartlett

Over 160 images were submitted for consideration and thank you to our judging panel of Eileen, Helen and Jennifer for picking ones to feature in the 2021 calendar. The calendar has gone off to the printer and will be available from mid-November. An order form is provided below.

Chiltern 2021 (JPEG) Cover

 

Ranger’s Report

Hopefully, everyone has been taking advantage of the great season to see the park at its best. Plants, animals and insects are all flourishing in the conditions including mass migration of huge numbers of Caper White Butterflies that were only around for a few days.

Caper White Butterfly - Brian

Contractors have completed spraying program for Bridal Creeper around Chiltern. Planning for other projects is underway but we are waiting on the State Budget for funding approvals.

Clearing of all tracks in the park prior to the fire season is almost complete but  wet and windy conditions will mean this is an ongoing task

Our project fire fighters will return over the next few weeks and focus on preparations for summer.

Friends AGM

Our usual form of AGM featuring a walk in the Park, dinner at the Senior Citizens hall, AGM and a talk is not appropriate while the current COVID-19 restrictions continue to shape how many of us can gather in one place.

Therefore, we are planning to have the AGM via email/telephone. The poll will be conducted by Secretary/Treasurer, Tony Murnane. The steps will be:

1.       Friday 6th November 2020: Send out the annual report of activity and a financial report to members financial for 2019-20 and current. Comments and suggestions will be most welcome. Along with these reports will be a call for nominations for office-bearers and the committee with a deadline for nominations (13th November 2020).

2.       Friday 13th November 2020: A list of resolutions to accept the reports and an election for the positions will be sent out to all members with responses by email or telephone required by the date of the ‘AGM’.

3.       Saturday 28th November 2020: The ‘AGM’ day.  Results will be reported back to members. The AGM results will then be formally reported to Consumer Affairs Victoria as required for all registered organisations.

Around the Park – Neville Bartlett

One pair of Eastern Rosellas (Platycercus eximius) are doing a great job of raising a brood of 6 chicks in a hollow fence post in the Park.  The two shots here are taken 11 days apart. It must be very cosy in there!

 

E Rosella Nest (0061) - Neville

  E Rosella Nest (0071) - Neville

Eastern Rosella nestlings – photos: Neville Bartlett

Rainfall    For September: 56 mm. Total for 2020 year-to-date: 623 mm. In 2019 we had 360 mm up to the end of September.

The higher rainfall this year is having a great impact on flowering in the park.  Weeds are also flourishing.

NEXT MEETING – SATURDAY 7th NOVEMBER 2020

We are currently limited to groups of 10 or less so we have two or more activities to carry out. Bun from the Chiltern Bakery will be supplied as usual for each group.

Selection of activities will be made nearer to the day.

Meet at the Chiltern Post Office at 9:00am (AEDT).

Contacts for the day: Neville – 0412 399 239 and Mick – 0429 017 229.


Friends 2021 Calendar – Order Form

NOTE: Copies can be ordered at the Chiltern Post Office.

The 2021 calendars cost $20 each plus postage/packaging if you need to have them posted.

Postage + packaging costs:

    1 calendar: $8.95 + $2.25 = $11.20.     Total cost: $31.20.

    2 calendars: $12.20 + $2.25 = $14.45.  Total cost: $54.45.

    3 calendars: $15.35 + $2.25 = $17.60.  Total cost: $77.60.

Postage is now a flat rate countrywide.

Please forward your order and payment to Tony Murnane (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.):

Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park,

69 Conness Street, Chiltern Vic 3683.

A limited number will be printed.

Name:.................................................................................................. Telephone:..........................................

Email:.................................................................................................. Receipt required: Yes / No

Address:…………………………………………………………………………………... Postcode: ……....

If you wish to use electronic payment the details are:

Acc Name: Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park

Bank: WAW Credit Union Co-operative Ltd (Cuscal Limited)

BSB number: 803070

Acc number: 81167

Please add your surname to the transaction.

Please advise Tony (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) when you have made the payment to help us keep track of payments.

 

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