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Placement GIFNewsletter of the Friends of Scott Creek
Conservation Park

No. 150, April-June, 2013

The President's Words:  

Tom is out bush somewhere northwest of Ceduna, so the task of writing something   for this issue of “Tails” has fallen to your Secretary.

Fire is a good servant but a bad master. What has happened last week at Cox Scrub CP is a good example of the damage an uncontrolled fire can have on our environmental assets. A substantial part of this block of bush has been burnt and with it a lot of hard work over the years has been lost. It was reported that the area where a re-introduction of the endangered Southern Emu Wren has been carried out was part of the burnt area. The birds would have had little chance of escaping.

Recovery will inevitably take place and close monitoring will no doubt reveal something about the reactions of species, both animal and vegetable, to the aftermath of fire. Some species that benefit from fire will burgeon and then decline to dormancy, waiting for the next episode. We have seen something of this in the patches of Scott Creek which have been burnt, either deliberately or accidentally, when the burnt area is covered by African Daisy by the next spring and a forest of Acacia pycnantha springs up. Other successions take much longer and won’t be seen to reach maturity in our lifetimes.

We can only hope that a fire of the extent of that suffered by Cox Scrub never occurs in Scott Creek.

Better news comes from our most recent working bees. Our members who turned up at the Stockyard site and the area around the old quarry above the Almanda Mine found very few weeds in areas that had been originally over-run by broom, boneseed and various other assorted nasties. Many years of consistent working bees have paid off with the feral plant population at these two areas reaching very low levels. We will never exterminate every pest plant, but it is nice to see them under control in an increasing number of sites. However, John Butler’s GPS contains a long list of localities which still require a lot of work, which will feature in our programmes for the coming months (years).

Our meeting this Thursday will feature a talk by Jasmin Packer, who has been researching the lives of our park emblem, the Southern Brown Bandicoot. She will  reveal something of the secretive goings-on of these little animals.

In June, our normal Sunday working bee is being replaced by Saturday, the 8th. June  planting day in conjunction with DEWNR and Urban Forest in the paddock north of the Mackereth Cottage parking area. We will meet at Gate 3 at 9 am.

Meanwhile, good weeding!

Bird Banding:

We managed four weekends in March and April, and there was only one cancellation due to weather. Here is a summary of the results of our labours.

2nd. March        Derwentia Creek          19 captures including 2 recaptures

                                                            7 species captured

                                                            24 species observed

3rd March         Derwenta Creek           15 captures including 4 recaptures

                                                            9 species captured

                                                            18 species observed

16th. March      Gate 19 site                  10 captures including 3 recaptures

                                                            6 species captured

                                                            21 species observed

17th. March      Gate 19 site                  4 captures including 2 recaptures

                                                            4 species captured

14 species observed

6th. April           Gate 3 Crossroads       28 captures including 1 recapture

                                                            9 species captured

                                                            24 species observed

7th. April           Gate 3 Crossroads       14 captures including 3 recaptures

                                                            6 species captured

                                                            24 species observed    

20th. April         Gate 9 site                    15 species captured including 3 recaptures

                                                            7 species captured

                                                            14 species observed    

Highlights were the recapture of an 8+ Striated Thornbill at the gate 3 Crossroads, a 6+ Whitebrowed Scrubwren at the same site, and a 7+ male Superb Fairy Wren at Gate 9. The latter is our oldest male ever. They don’t last much longer than this.

What got the team really excited was the unexpected capture of a Collared Sparrowhawk at the Crossroads site. There was much initial trepidation about handling such a raptor, but it turned out to be a very placid bird. Many photos were taken, but in the end, the bird was not banded. It was a juvenile, its sex was uncertain, and as there is a substantial size difference in the relevant rings for male or female, it was decided that the bird should be released unbanded.

Liz Campbell is in the final stages of producing her report on our banding data. Her work has been interrupted by the arrival of Evie Campbell, 10 days early. Best wishes to mother and child from us all.

Arrangements have been made with Luke Price  and JasonVan Weenen of DEWNR, to supply them with our banding records for each site, for entry into their State database. This will be periodically updated. We have one of the few long-term data records available in this area of the state. Their particular interest is in the observed species at the various sites over the 20 years we have been banding.

Unexpected visitor

     Photo by Jim Spiker, of our unexpected guest

February – April  2013

All working bees meet at 9.00am at G18 (now Gate 16)

May

 7

Tuesday Working Bee

G16-Above Eys Tunnel- Erica etc

 

 9

General Meeting- 7.30

Thompson’s

Guest Speaker-Jasmin Packer - Bandicoot research in Scott Ck

 

12

Sunday Working Bee

Gate 13 - West and Central Mackereth Creek

 

18, 19

Bird Banding

Kangaroo Gully, Gate 3,7.30 am

 

25

Saturday Working Bee

TBA

June

1,2

Bird Banding

Gate 11, 7.30am

 

 4

Tuesday Working Bee

TBA

 

8

Saturday

Planting with DEWNR & Urban Forest near Mackereth Cottage-Park at Gate 3

N.B. Wed

19

Social Committee

Providore 12.00- Aldgate

 

22

Saturday Working Bee

TBA

 

29.30

Bird Banding

Gate 7, 7,30 am

July

 2

Tuesday Working Bee

TBA

 

14

Sunday Working Bee

Gate 7 – Bulb Digging, Business Meeting and Sausage sizzle after weeding.

 

20. 21

Bird Banding

Gate 3 Crossroads, 7.30 am.

 

27

Saturday working bee

TBA

PLEASE PUT THIS DATE ON YOUR CALENDAR

 JUNE 9th SUNDAY WORKING BEE, 9am: PLANTING IN SCOTT CK CON PARK OF TREES AND SHRUBS ALONG SCOTT CREEK IN PADDOCK JUST UP FROM MACKERETH COTTAGE CAR PARK

URBAN FOREST UNIT WILL BE BRINGING TOOLS AND A MARQUEE AND

120 HAKEA CARINATA TO GIVE AWAY ON THE DAY

 Any queries on Friends activities, please contact your office bearers.

President          Tom Hands       8388 2150         RMB 691, Cherry Gardens , 5157      Email: almanda11@bigpond.com

Secretary         Don Reid          8388 2123     224 Mt. Bold Road, Bradbury,  5153                         Email: dre00249@bigpond.net.au

Check this Treasurer          Donella Peters     8339 5639          P.O. Box 426, Blackwood , 5051 Email : dld@internode.on.net

Saturday Working Bee Coordinator: Tom Hands      8377 1749      8388 2150         RMB 691, Cherry Gardens , 5157      Email: almanda11@bigpond.com

Tuesday/Sunday Working Bees Coordinator: John Butler           8278 2773    5 Trevelyan Court , Coromandel Valley, 5051      Email: jhbutler@chariot.net.au :

Friends Website:  http://friendsofscottcreek.org

 

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