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Placement GIFNewsletter of the Friends of Scott Creek
Conservation Park

No. 153, January- February, 2013

The President's Words:  

An abbreviated version follows of the AGM address for those unfortunate enough to miss it.
It’s been another year full of on ground environmental activism; or put less romantically, we’ve done a lot of weeding. After 23 years we are winning on many of our thousand plus fronts but the reality of the, as yet, untackled sites requires a review of your schedule if you were planning an early getaway. Collectively we put in a total of over 1600 hours this year. Bushcare and planting accounted for nearly 1200 hrs with Bird Banding another 340. At least another 100 hours have gone into meetings, secretarial adminisitrivia, plus a reasonable amount of agonizing by John and me as where best to deploy the workers. (We still reserve the right to change the venue at the eleventh hour too). So it all equates to nearly a years work by a multi-talented and driven person with an “A” class banding permit.

As with previous years, we continue to make significant impacts over large areas of the park. Follow-up in numerous sites is very rewarding whilst at others we continue to be unpleasantly surprised at the regenerative powers of the exotics.

What has been a boost to our efforts is the addition of a couple of new members, Glen and Sarah, both already committed to the cause before joining us. Long termers Barb and Jane have adopted their own area to look after. John and Jenny continue to put in many hours over and above the call. John Wamsley too, deserves special mention as, apart from being a regular at WB’s, has put in many hours restoring a section of Almanda Creek as well as propagating many of the rarer species to return to these riparian and other habitats. Proo’s fruit cake deserves special mention too.

Our Ranger, Jen Pitman, continues to provide very positive support and a prompt response to most requests which is greatly appreciated. Mel Pettigrew has been a very supportive Volunteer Support Officer, organizing the big Scott Ck planting day and funding some very necessary pest plant control work. Tim Fuhlbohm has been doing a great job on the follow-up pest plant control in the burn areas. Having very good plant ID skills he was able to identify two species of conservation significance emerging in a recently burnt area, one being the Bitter Quandong of which we have only five or six in the whole park. I think we are close to the stage when there will be too much  post burn work than will be possible to adequately cope with given the meagre resources available.

We also have an opportunity with the recent planting along Scott Ck, to establish a new bird banding site to monitor the changes over time as the plants establish. As well as growing and planting with Scott Ck Primary we hope to do the same with Aldgate PS in the coming year and Sue is discussing this with some of the staff at present.
So thanks to all those who have contributed over the past year your efforts will be rewarded at a date hopefully far into the future.

Further to the above, I would like to repeat my annual invitation to anyone in the Group to contribute to this Newsletter and also to try and exhort your friends to join us as we really need to maintain our momentum to prevent many areas reverting to their former feral “who cares” condition

Our AGM guest speaker, Katja Hogendoorn, gave us a wonderful introduction to the world of native bees. Below are a few facts;

The web site listed below is really worth a look as it has all the information about native bee homes and how to make them as well as beautiful images of many variations on a theme.
As we will be having our own workshop at my place in March this site will give you a good idea as to what can be done.


Bird Banding Report:
Spring and early summer gave us better weather conditions than the previous reporting period.
Details of our banding sessions are as follows:

2-3/11              Derwentia                     15 captures including 4 recaptures
16/17-11          Mackereth Ck.             21                                3
14/15-12          Scott Ck.                     53                                13

Notable recaptures were a 4+ Whitethroated Treecreeper at Derwentia. Scott Creek gave us  6+ and a 7+New Holland Honeyeaters, 4+ and 6+ Superb Fairy Wrens and a 4+ Brown Thornbill. We also banded two Reed Warblers at Scott Creek, a species seldom seen in our nets.

Numbers caught at Derwentia and Mackereth Creek were down on expectations, considering the weather at the time, but Scott Creek kept us busy.


Image 1

Blue-banded Bee on native orchid-Spiranthes
Photo-Peter Charles

There is no need to comment on the following paragraph from the EPBC Newsletter, the intent says it all.
“The Australian Government has passed a motion in the Parliament disallowing the instruments which listed the River Murray and associated wetlands, floodplains and groundwater systems, from the junction with the Darling River to the sea (River Murray–Darling to Sea) and the Wetlands and inner floodplains of the Macquarie Marshes (Macquarie Marshes) ecological communities as critically endangered. This means the listings no longer have an effect. In coming to this decision, the Australian Government considered that any potential additional environmental benefits of listing the communities at such a scale would not sufficiently outweigh the uncertainty and potential regulatory burden for business and landholders in the region”.
Rick Williams’ Report of the FOSCCP Little Desert NP trip
Drizzle all day on the journey over to Dimboola did not bode well for the Friends of Scott Creek CP’s trip to Victoria’s Little Desert National Park on the first weekend in September – but we had all packed rain coats and hoped they were good. Over dinner at the hotel that night the four couples Jenny and John Dawes, John and Rosemary Butler, Arthur and Ann Ward and Rick and Kathie Williams planned our adventure. It was to be a combination of walks and drives.
Saturday started foggy as we made our way just a little south of Dimboola to the Horseshoe Bend camping ground on the Wimmera River, but that quickly lifted into a beautiful blue sky with full sunshine and light breeze. John D set up his portable amateur radio equipment and the rest of us set off on the 2 hour walk to Ackle Bend campsite and back. Wildflowers abounded, kangaroos bounded, and we strolled, admiring it all. Jenny especially enjoyed seeing a Chestnut Quail-thrush.


Image 4
Enjoying a break among the Spring wildflowers on the edge of the Wimmera River


Returning to the cars for lunch, John greeted us with a big grin having made amateur radio contacts as far afield as Tasmania and Perth.
Then it was into the cars for a bit of track exploring and navigation exercises in the vicinity, ending up at another short walk at Pomponderoo Hill (all of 20m higher than surroundings), but with very different vegetation, dominated by Banksias all about 1½m high which had first been burned out in 1977, then again 2008 (see photo below)
We finished the day in town with ice-creams and coffee and a well-earned rest.
Image 6


Sunday we were back on the main road turning off at Kiata and south to the Park’s Keith Hateley Nature Walk in a beautiful piece of bushland with a nicely signed short walk. Amongst a great variety of lilies, orchids, shrubs and trees is a huge Malleefowl mound, looking like a waist-high volcano. What a sight to behold, especially when coming upon it unexpectedly.  Another significant sighting was of the Hairy-pod Wattle Acacia glandulicarpa, a rare plant with apparently just a few populations in this area and in Burra Gorge. John D once again set up his radio, this time even making contact with New Zealand.

Image 8

John Butler displays his enthusiasm for plants!

Then it was on to the Little Desert Nature Lodge for a comprehensive talk about the amazing Malleefowl and to see a pair of them and their even bigger mound in their aviary. There was also a pair of Stone Curlews and the sight of a White-winged Chough family kidnapping another family’s  teenager to help with their child-rearing. It was all very informative and the highlight of the trip. We followed that up with lunch and a walk at the Park’s nearby Stringybark Track. Once again, informative brochures could be borrowed and read at the track’s signposts. Another well-earned rest followed by a stroll around the historic Dimboola Common topped off the day.
Some headed home on the Monday while others headed north to Wyperfeld NP for a look at a different environment.  A very big thank you must go to Jenny Dawes for organising the trip and suggesting interesting places when the rest of us were out of ideas. It was a very enjoyable trip. Thank you Jenny and all who came.

ADDENDUM from Jenny D:  If travelling to Melbourne, it wouldn’t be difficult to incorporate the Keith Hateley Nature Walk and The Little Desert Lodge Malleefowl talk (about $15pp, bookings needed) into your trip. They aren’t that far off the highway.  The Mallee Fowl talk was very interesting in its detail.

 For a bit more on Mallee Fowl     see                                                                    – and  who says foxes won’t excavate their mounds – check out the photo in their most recent newsletter Lowanbehold (along with that of a Malleefowl ‘feeding frenzy’)!   



Programme January – April 2014
All working bees meet at 9.00am at Gate 16-Almanda Car Park
As many of the WB’s are a reasonable walk from cars it is always a good idea to bring a small back pack



Bird banding

Gate 9 site, 6.00 am. Enter at G9



Tuesday W Bee- Area 5&6

Bulbs & Erica-G7



Business Meeting

Reid’s – 7:30pm



Sunday W Bee

Erica –Sth Derwentia Gully -Area 29



Bird banding

Gate 7 site, 6.30am.

NB Tue


Social Committee

The Artisan – Blackwood 12pm



Saturday W Bee- Area 9

Broom, Agapanthus-G8-near Mt Bold Track



Bird Banding

Gate 9 site, 6.30 am.



Tuesday W Bee-Area 25

Briar/Broom- Almanda Gully



Sunday W Bee-Area 2

Broom and Erica, SW of Gate 4



Bird Banding

Gate 4 site, 7.00 am.



Saturday W Bee-Area 6

Broom, Erica, Lower Bushrat Ck., enter Gate 3 or 4



Laratinga Wetlands

Meet at entrance- 8am



Bird Banding

Scott Ck. site, 7.00 am.



Tuesday W Bee-Area 4

Erica and broom, Upper Viminaria Ck., Gate 7



Sunday W Bee-Area 5

Ivy, broom & Erica, Viminaria Ck, Gate 7



Business Meeting

TBA, 7.30pm.



Bird Banding

Derwentia site, enter G 24, 7.00 am.



Social Committee

The Artisan – Blackwood 12pm



Saturday W Bee-Area 4

Gate 5 Erica-Nth Viminaria Ck



Sunday – Nest Box WBee, Tom & Sue’s

10am -68 Mahar Rd, Cherry Gardens



Tuesday W Bee-Area 13

Boneseed-Lower Fern Gully



Bird Banding

Mackereth Ck site,enter from Neville Rd, 7.00 am.



Sunday W Bee




Good Friday Walk 

Greenhood Track-Start G18-10am



Saturday W Bee


Re the Nest Box Workshop- the aim is to make both native bee nest houses and bird nest boxes of varying sizes. I have lots of hollows but BYO if you have them. Also please bring jig-saws (sharp blades!) and drills, cordless drills & drill bits & screwdriver bits if you have them. Any solid blocks of hardwood that can be drilled for native bee homes would be good. I will supply screws. 


Image 10

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

President          Tom Hands       8388 2150         RMB 691, Cherry Gardens , 5157      Email:

Secretary         Don Reid          8388 2123     224 Mt. Bold Road, Bradbury,  5153                         Email:

Check this Treasurer          Donella Peters     8339 5639          P.O. Box 426, Blackwood , 5051 Email :

Saturday Working Bee Coordinator: Tom Hands      8377 1749      8388 2150         RMB 691, Cherry Gardens , 5157      Email:

Tuesday/Sunday Working Bees Coordinator: John Butler           8278 2773    5 Trevelyan Court , Coromandel Valley, 5051      Email: :

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