Dec 2018 General Meeting – Open Mic!

As per Castlemaine Field Nat tradition, the December 2018 general meeting is a chance for any member (or visitor) to make a short presentation.  People are encouraged to talk for up to 5 minutes about a topic related in some way to natural history.  It might be photos from a holiday to an exotic location, video footage of birds in your backyard, an analysis of recent weather patterns or reciting a poem about a forest.  It is only limited by your imagination.  There will be a projector, PC laptop and screen available for use.

The evening commences from 7.30pm on Friday 14th December in the Fellowship Room within the behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St (next door to the Art Gallery).  Members and visitors of all ages are welcome, and entry is free.

If you’d like, bring along a plate of food to share with everyone afterwards.


Apologies for the advertisements

The Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club are currently using the free version of WordPress for its website and associated blogs.  A downside of this ‘free’ version that we’ve recently discovered is that our emailed blogs are often reaching the recipients with added advertisements at the bottom of the page. states ‘we sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills‘ and also that the ‘displaying ads from the Automattic Ad Network. The ads you see change depending on factors like your location and the type of site you’re visiting, and may come from a number of ad partners.

The Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club do not endorse any of the companies or products advertised at the bottom of any of our blogs that you receive by email, nor do we receive any financial benefit.  We are investigated our options to return to an ad-free website and blog service as soon as possible.

9 Nov 2018 – CFNC talk reminder and venue change

The talk by Deanna Marshall of Trust for Nature about Plains-Wanderers is being moved slightly due to the high school exams taking place in the usual venue.  This presentation to the November 2018 meeting of the CFNC is now to be held in the Chapel room at the back of the main Uniting Church building.  Entry to the Chapel is from near the rear of the building, on the western side (towards the train line).  Start time remains the same, as do all other details (Click here for the original post about this presentation).  Apologies for the late notice!

9 Nov 2018 public talk: Plains for the Wanderer

Deanna Marshall is the guest presenter at the November general meeting of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club.  Both members are visitors are welcomed and encouraged to come along, and there is no cost for attendance.

Female and male Plains-wanderer. Photo by David Baker-Gabb.

About her talk, Deanna writes ‘Plains-wanderers are nationally critically endangered. They share a physical resemblance to quail, but in evolutionary terms, they are one of a kind – there’s no bird like it in the world. In Victoria, 95% of native grasslands that Plains-wanderers formerly occupied have been lost to cultivation and urban development. The protection and maintenance of the habitat of the Plains-wanderer is vital for the conservation of the species, but will this be enough?’.

Deanna is Trust for Nature’s North West Area Manager. For the past 7 years both her and her team of 5 have overseen the delivery of Trust for Nature programs and projects in the North Central and Mallee CMA regions. Prior to this, Deanna worked in the Biodiversity Group for the state government in the Loddon Mallee Region for 11 years.

The evenings event commences at 7.30pm on Friday 9 November in the Fellowship Room, located in the building behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine (next door to the Art Gallery and Museum).  Following Deanna’s talk and questions, tea and snacks will be available.

Ideal Plains-wanderer habitat. Photo from Trust for Nature


12 Oct 2018 – CFNC presentation by Pam Whiteley

The guest presenter at the October meeting of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club is Pam Whiteley.  Her talk will be about Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance, which – as its name suggestions – is involved in wildlife health issues and emergencies.  Pam has provided the following information:

With colleagues at the Melbourne Veterinary School of The University of Melbourne Pam Whiteley established Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance (WHV: S) in 2008.  Pam has worked in mixed vet practice, was the  first Vet then Vet/Curator at Healesville Sanctuary, then worked at the US National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Lab in Geelong and at the Victorian vet diagnostic lab.  She is an active member of the Wildlife Disease Association and WHV: S was re-elected to Wildlife Health Australia’s Management Committee.

Musk Lorikeet collected by Rosemary and provided to WHV:S for assessment. Photo supplied by Pam Whiteley

There is more background information about Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance on the following website (click here).

The meeting is on Friday 12 October and will commence at 7.30pm at the Fellowship Room behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine (next door to the Art Gallery/Museum).  Everyone is welcome to attend and their is no cost for entry.

On the following day (Sat 13 Oct), there will also be a club excursion to Porcupine Ridge to view the wildflowers.  The excursion will be led by Geraldine and Richard.  As per usual, it will depart at 1.30pm sharp from the carpark outside the U3A building on Duke St (also known as the Octopus building – located opposite the Castle Motel).  Bring along afternoon tea.  Car pooling is likely to be available

2018 Wednesday Wildflower Walks – dates for your diary

Continuing the annual Spring tradition, the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club will be running a series of afternoon wildflower walks for 4 weeks.  It’s a great opportunity for a leisurely stroll through some different areas of local bushland – to both see and learn about daisies, lilies and many other seasonal wildflowers indigenous to the greater Castlemaine area.   Everyone is welcome to attend, and each walk will be led by a local  botanist.  Walks will be canceled when it is raining or with other poor weather conditions.

The details:
Dates: 12 Sept, 19 Sept, 26 Sept, 3 October 2018
Departure location:  From the car-park at the U3A building (the ‘Octopus’ building), Duke St, opposite the Castle Motel, Castlemaine
Departure Time: Departing at 4pm sharp
Return Time: The aim is to return by 5.30pm
What to bring: Good walking shoes, water, hat, sunscreen
Travel:  Most sites will have a short drive to get there.  Some car-pooling likely to be available.
RSVP:  No need.  Just turn up ready to go by 4pm.  No cost for attendance.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Walk 1: Wednesday 12th:   Boundary Track, off the Castlemaine-Muckleford Rd.  Leaders Richard Piesse and Peter Turner
Walk 2: Wednesday 19th: Kalimna Park.  Leaders Rosemary and Peter Turner
Walk 3: Wednesday 26th: Muckleford Boronia walk.  Leader Phil Hopley
Walk 4: Wednesday 3rd: Whitegum track.  Leader Richard Piesse

If you aren’t able to make these walks, or a looking for something extra, the standard monthly excursion will also be held on Saturday 15 Sept (the day after the general CFNC meeting).  It will depart from the same location as the wildflower walks but at 1.30pm.  The excursion is to Maldon, lead by Richard Piesse with local expert David Elliott, and has a focus on orchids.  Don’t forget to bring your afternoon tea.  Car-pooling likely to be available.