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Placement GIFNewsletter of the Friends of Scott Creek
Conservation Park

No. 157, January-March, 2015

The President's Words:

Tom’s writings in this issue are quite expansive. Here is his President’s report given to our A.G.M. in November, and followed by an update bringing us up to the present.

AGM Address November 2014

It was another busy year for the group with the Almanda Fund Raising Project taking centre stage for several months. This was a great success and deserved to raise more than it did given the effort put in. However $10,409 was raised which is a great start. I would like to give a special mention to the time and dedication given by John Wamsley on this project. Having come up with the idea he made sure the momentum was maintained throughout, sending out thousands of emails and letterbox dropping. John and Proo have both donated generously to this cause and provided us with a venue to spruik our wares during their open garden weekend. My thanks and appreciation goes to both.

With regard to this project, work has already begun with botanical surveys of the areas to be targeted and these have already brought to light several rare species not listed for the park. Blackberry spraying will begin soon, so our ten year plan for creekline restoration throughout the park will be well underway by the New Year.     

Another highlight of the year was the planting of Hakea tubestock activities with Scott Creek and Aldgate Primary Schools. All these kids worked really well –even paid attention to instructions- and had the tubes planted in no time at all. We have already organized return visits for the future so hopefully over many years they will be able to watch these areas expand into much needed habitat for our Black Cockatoos.

On the all important pest plant control, work across the park continues apace including the recently burnt Neville Rd/Bandicoot track area. As the boneseed regeneration was remarkable to behold, and this area had been in pretty good condition for many years, it was well worth the effort to get in early and the whole area has now been covered and will require one big follow-up next year.

John Wamsley’s Almanda Ck site has become a showcase of the regenerative power of native plants with many damp area species thriving in their new found liberated ground. John has put in many hours of BB removal and planting species propagated from plants in the park. I would also like to thank Jane and Barb for their efforts at Gate 3 where sparaxis has galloped away post burn. The job is enormous but they are pegging away at the best areas and making progress. As a Group we have put in well over 1000 hours this past year, with Bird Banding adding another 425 hours plus Don’s data entry and secretarial work of over 100 hours.

I’d like to thank our NRM Volunteer Support Officer Mel Pettigrew for all the work she has put in, helping with grants and ensuring ongoing funding of $5000 for the next three years. Mel has also helped out with our plantings and continues to assist us in many behind the scenes ways. That and a very enthusiastic, cheerful approach make Mel an outstanding asset for our Group.  

And, of course, I must thank all of you who continue to put in so much effort over the years, my only hope is we can continue to recruit the odd fifty year old to try and lower our group’s average age to something below seventy.  

President’s Words-February 2015

So here we are in our 25th year and still so much to do. However, as mentioned above, the Almanda Project is steaming ahead with surveys completed of the three creeklines targeted this year, tracks slashed in Bushrat and Almanda Creeklines and blackberry spraying in three creeklines already completed.

Being able to walk the midsection of Bushrat has revealed a really beautiful Manna Gum dominated creekline, one which will look really stunning once restored. A couple of “before” photos have been included below. Probably one of the first mammals to appreciate the new track in Bushrat Creek were deer as their scats were all along the length of it when we walked the track the other day. I hope this year will see a concerted effort by DEWNR to reduce the numbers of this ever increasing pest as, together with rabbits, they delay and inhibit the regeneration of many native species, and this seed bank is crucial for a successful outcome. Several rare species, a couple new for the park, have been found during the botanical surveys and have given us a focus for a new working bee site to remove Yorkshire Fog Grass from a colony of the tiny annual Water-blinks (Montia fontana), whose flowers measure something less than 4mm across.    

 Our last few working bees have been exceptionally well attended too, and it is heartening to see this level of enthusiasm all these years on. I mentioned the burn site in the AGM address and how well we’d done there. We have since revisited the site and been brought back to earth by the amount of boneseed still to be removed, such is life after a burn!!

Sue, Chris Thomson and I attended a mountain bike information session in December where international mountain biking trail specialist, Joey Klein explained how trails were built and what a huge business it was in America. He was an engaging speaker with a good understanding of all the issues. The information session also explained DEWNR’s role in facilitating the Government’s vision to establish the Mount Lofty Ranges as a national and international mountain bike tourist destination. Yes this is the next big thing with DEWNR apparently taking the lead role in rather than bothering the Tourist Dept which was not represented. The room was full of DEWNR employees and I was left thinking ‘would there be so many here if this was about the level of weed infestation in our parks and how are DEWNR addressing it?’ The scale of this activity in Australia can hardly be compared to that in America and I would doubt the financial returns to our parks would justify the investment. Presently, as mountain bikers do not have to pay to ride I can see little chance of convincing them to do otherwise. The major concern however is that of just where and how many trails are being planned and for which parks. Given recent developments in Sturt Gorge and Cleland there are grounds to believe that threats to our intact native vegetation will not just be from invasive weeds and feral mammals. 

The committee has been discussing ways to celebrate our quarter century and one suggestion has been a book with many photos of all aspects of Scott Creek CP as well as some of the sites we have restored and others that are still a work in progress. Photos of some birds, mammals and invertebrates too will be welcome. This is where you come in; if you have any photos you think could be of interest, please put them on a disc or USB, preferably with some indication of when and where and  any general information and bring them to a working bee or meeting or post to Don Reid at 224 Mt Bold Rd, Bradbury 5153.

Bushrat Ck- new deer access track

And some other ferals

Plant of the month – Pratia

John Wamsley

Our rare Pratias are rare no longer! In their wisdom the State Herbarium of South Australia, have seen fit to reclassify our Pratias as Lobelias* and lump two distinct species into one! This is extremely important. In one stroke of the pen one of our very rare plant species, Pratia puberula is no longer. As Ned Kelly would say, “Such is life”. Anyway! I thought it would be appropriate to signify their passing with a few photos.

First let’s have a look at Pratia (oops! Lobelia) pedunculata from the south east.

Next the white Swamp Pratia puberula (oops! Lobelia pedunculata) from Fox Bog in Scott Creek Conservation Park (SCCP).

Finally the blue Matted Pratia (oops! Lobelia pedunculata) from Almanda Creek in SCCP.

These pictures show some of the floral and morphological differences between the taxa. Other known taxonomic differences between these superficially similar species include the presence of hairs on anther cells and blue-purple corolla for P. pedunculata whereas P. puberula has glabrous anther cells and white corolla (Jessop & Toelken 1986).  

There are also subtle yet meaningful differences in the specific habitats occupied by these taxa. In the Mount Lofty Ranges P. pedunculata exhibits a requirement for waterways that experience water flow or seepage into summer. This is expressed in the species’ phenology which has a distinctly later flowering period than P. puberula. P. pedunculata also tends to occur beneath deeply shaded canopies whereas P. puberula is found in habitats where tree cover is less prominent and occurs on peat-like soils that begin drying out during spring (T. Jury pers. com. 2014). While hybridisation between the two species has previously been speculated (Willis 1972), the preference of the two species for different habitats is likely to give rise to separation and divergence.    

In the end, whether the taxa are the same or not, the important thing is that we don’t lose them beneath Blackberry and other weeds, or through climate change -just in case. If we do then it really doesn’t matter how they are labelled, as they end up filed under extinct anyway.


Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Willis, J.H. (1972) A handbook to plants in Victoria. Melbourne University Press

*Census of South Australian Plants State Herbarium of South Australia

List of current names and synonyms for the search term pratia

Pratia pedunculata (R.Br.) Benth. = Lobelia pedunculata
Pratia puberula Benth. = Lobelia pedunculata

Bird Banding:

Wonder of wonders! We have been able to work four weekends since early November. The weather has been kinder to us.

The results are as follows:

1-2/Nov..             Derwentia Ck.          10 species        19 captures      inc.       1 retrap

16/Nov.               Gate 7 site                5                     13                                4

29-30/Nov.          Scott Ck.                 5                       9                                4

17-18/Jan.            Gate 9 site                12                    50                                7

Numbers of birds captures were low to moderate at the first three sites, but Gate 9 came good. It has usually been one of our best areas, but lately has not been yielding as expected. It came up trumps this time, though.

We had some outstanding recaptures in the above. The most notable was a Whitenaped Honeyeater at Scott Creek, who turned up 10 years after its  capture, which was at Gate 3 Crossroads, about 800 metres east. Also at Scott Creek, we recaptured a male Superb Fairy Wren, resplendent in his full male plumage and at least 7 years old. This is very mature for these little fellows

Notable at the Gate 9 site was the preponderance of honeyeaters. 24 out of 50 birds. The most common species were Crescent Honeyeater (12) and Superb Fairy Wren (12).

Laratinga Visit:

A group of 8 paid a visit to the Laratinga Wetlands at Mt. Barker on the 1st. of February. The weather was unseasonably cool and drizzly, but birds were in their usual abundance, especially the corellas. Here is the list of species we saw.

Australasian Grebe

Black Duck + young


Blackfronted Plover

Bluewinged Shoveller

Common Bronzewing


Crested Pigeon

Crimson Rosella

Dusky Moorhen


Grey Shrikethrush


Little Corella

Little Grassbird

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Raven

Longbilled Corella

Magpie Lark


Masked lapwing

New Holland HE


Pinkeared Duck

Purple Swamphen

Red Wattlebird

Redkneed Plover Redrumped Parrot

Reed Warbler

Royal Spoonbill

Silver Gull


Strawnecked Ibis

Striated Thornbill

Superb Fairy Wren

Tree Martin

Welcome Swallow

White Ibis

Whitefaced Heron

Whiteplumed HE

Willy Wagtail

Wood Duck

Yellowbilled Spoonbill

Note the absence of crakes and rails. John Dawes caught a glimpse of one, but it was too quick to be identified. They remained well hidden from the rest of us.

We finally retired to Millies’, which supplied us with coffee and sticky buns.

. Officebearers:

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

President:         Tom Hands       8388 2150, Mob. 0417869349, 68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157                                                               

Secretary/Bird Banding Coordinator:

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


Treasurer:         Donella Peters  83395639, 10 Boomerang Cres, Aldgate, 5154


Saturday Working Bee Coordinator:                                    

Tom Hands  8388 2150, Mob. 0417869349,

68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157                                                                               Email:

Programme Feb - May 2015

All working bees meet at 9.00am at Gate 16 Almanda Car Park









Sunday Working bee

Cactus & bulbs-Scott Ck paddock area 21-Matthews Road



Bird banding

Mackereth Creek, 7.00 am.



Saturday Working bee

Broom, Hadrian Gully, W of G4, Area 2



Tuesday Working Bee

Broom & Erica, North Viminaria Ck, G6



Sunday Working bee

Erica & Broom Bushrat Ck ford S of G4-Area 2



Business Meeting

Butler’s residence, 5 Trevelyan Ct, Coromandel Valley.  7.30



Bird banding

Derwentia Creek, 7.00 am.



Saturday Working bee

Erica Viminaria Ck- Enter Gate 5



Social Committee

Meet at Arlene’s Hillview Village, 221/18 McHarg Rd Happy Valley at 12pm.



Good Friday Walk

Gate 3 –Bandicoot Track to Currawong & Twisted Chimney, 9.30 am.



Tuesday Working Bee

Broom, Erica E of G5



Sunday Working Bee

Erica & Broom N of Stringybark Tk (G9)



Bird banding

Kangaroo Gully, 7.00 am.



Saturday Working bee

Broom & bulbs, Upper Bushrat Ck, G7



Bird banding

Gate 4, 7.00 am.



Belair Open Day

Belair Nat Park-We will have a promotional stall 



Tuesday Working bee




Sunday Working bee




Business Meeting




Bird banding

Gate 3 Crossroads, 7.30 am.



Saturday Working bee





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

President:         Tom Hands        8388 2150, Mob. 0417869349, 68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157                                                               

Secretary/Bird Banding Coordinator:

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


Treasurer:         Donella Peters  83395639, 10 Boomerang Cres, Aldgate, 5154                         Email:

Saturday Working Bee Coordinator:         Tom Hands   8388 2150, Mob. 0417869349, 68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157       Email:

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