14 July 2017 – Talk on ‘Birds of West Papua’

Guest speaker at the July 2017 meeting of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club (CFNC) is Nigel Harland.  A resident of Sutton Grange and immediate past president of the CFNC, Nigel is perhaps best well-known locally for his annual wildlife-watching trips to remote corners of the world.  He has recently visited West Papua and will be speaking about (and displaying photos of) the exotic birds and other sights from this great adventure.  Those of you that have attended previous presentations by Nigel will recall his talent as both a photographer and raconteur, and also conveying a depth of knowledge and interesting facts about the locations that he visits.

The presentation is to be on the evening of Friday 14 July 2017, in the Fellowship Room behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St in Castlemaine.  The Uniting Church is midway between Barker St and Kennedy St, and next door to the Castlemaine Art Gallery.  The evening commences at 7.30pm.  Entry is free, and both members and visitors are encouraged to come along.

The PhotoPoints Project

Ern Perkins initiated the recording of landscape and vegetation changes about 1990, culminating in the production by Connecting Country and CFNC in 2013 of a CD with over 1600 photographs taken at approximately 10 year intervals at sites around the Mt Alexander region.
At the June meeting of CFNC  George Broadway will review the history of the project, show us examples from the database, and describe the challenges involved in  recording photographs at  some of the many sites.
June General Meeting: 7.30pm on Friday 9th June.  Uniting Church Hall, Lyttleton St.
George will lead the excursion on Saturday 10th June.
We will visit several of the PhotoPoint project sites, including Frogmore Swap, Hamilton Crossing and Bell’s Swamp.  How have these areas changed over the decades?  We’ll see how difficult it can be to line up the original views, despite GPS and compass data and the original photos.
Excursion:  1.30 pm Saturday 10th June
– Meet at the U3A Octopus building on Duke St (Opposite the Castle Motel) – ready for departure at 1.30pm sharp.  Bring your afternoon tea and binoculars.  Car-pooling available.

Fungi of Forests and Farms – Alison Pouliot Photography

Alison Pouliot, an international Fungi and photographic expert, will be giving a presentation at the Ravenswood Valley Landcare Group’s next meeting on Wednesday 31st May at 7.30 pm at the North Harcourt Hall (corner of Chaplins Rd and McIvor Rd).
Alison will talk on the role of Fungi supporting Eucalypts, including paddock and forest trees.  Every Eucalypt, and most other trees, form beneficial relationships with fungi.  Fungi also make farm soils more resistant to drought and disease.  Alison will also bring a display of local fungi.

Visitors are welcome – please email the Secretary, Tricia Balmer, on  triciabalmer@me.com if you are attending.  Supper will be served after the meeting. 

Swift Parrot survey – 20/21 May

Teams of bird watchers across Victoria will be out on the weekend of 20/21 May to look for Swift Parrots, one of the threatened species being monitored in Autumn each year after they arrive from Tasmania.  Surveys in areas around Castlemaine are being arranged by Beth Mellick.

If you are interested in participating and have not volunteered in previous years, contact Beth  by phone (0431 219 980) or email (beth@nwf.org.au).

18 May 2017 – CFNC Roadside Clean-up

Three or so times a year, the club cleans up the rubbish that has accumulated along a high quality section of woodland along the roadside reserve of the Pyrenees Hwy to the west of Castlemaine.  The next Clean-up will be on Thursday 18th May, and again we are seeking members to join the effort.

If you are interested in helping out, meet at the corner of Pyrenees Hwy and Willy Milly Road (next to Tait Decorative Iron) at 9am on Thursday 18th May.  Gloves provided, but bring own if you’d prefer.  Sturdy boots and long pants recommended.  It is usually all finished by 11am.

May Excursion

The excursion on Saturday May 13 2017 will be to Eureka Reef. We’ll check out the birds and  flora and fauna of interest, and check for bats.

Meet at the Octopus (Opposite the Castle Motel in Duke Street) ready to depart at 1.30 pm.  Bring your afternoon tea and clothing suitable for the weather.

To see the full CFNC event calendar for coming weeks and months, click here.

General Meeting – 12 May 2017 – 7.30 pm

At our May meeting  Jason Edwards, distinguished wildlife photographer, will tell us about an expedition along the southern coast of New Guinea from the west to the far east exploring the seas and peoples of this remarkable region –  from the remote and pristine reefs of West Papua and Raja Amat, to the headhunters of the Asmat; the friendly tribes of the Trobriand and the fire frenzy of the Baining people of Papua New Guinea.
Location: Fellowship room, Uniting Church (UCA) Hall.  Enter from Lyttleton St.  Doors open from 7.15 for 7.30 start.