Wednesday Wildflower Wanders – Updated information

The first walk this year scheduled for September 8th had to be cancelled due to the recent lockdown.  We hope that we can hold the remaining sessions.  As of September 12th, groups of 10 are permitted on outdoor activities – if more than 10 people wish to come, we will have two groups of 10 (maximum 20 allowed) suitably separated. 

Provided there are no changes to the current rules, this week’s walk on Wednesday 15th will be in Kalimna Park, led by Peter and Rosemary Turner. 

Meet at the Octopus (U3A building) opposite the motel in Duke Street.  We will leave at 4 pm and should be back no later than 5.30 pm.  The tracks are mostly level but rocky in places, so a walking pole may be advisable in addition to good walking shoes, water and hat. 

Excursion – Sat 11 Sept – Chewton Bushlands, led by Antoinette Birkenbeil

SUBJECT TO COVID RESTRICTIONS

The excursion will go ahead if the Government permits outside groups of 10 or more.

The walk will take place in three stages, starting at the Coliban Reserve in Kennedys Lane about 200m off Harmony Way. We will first explore the granite sand area of the reserve, noted for its birdlife and spring flowering of Chocolate lilies, ground covers and orchids. Then we will travel on foot or by car further along Kennedys Lane to the top of the ridge to explore an area of regrowth forest and the denuded soils of the goldfields featuring a road through a steep gully of contrasting south and north facing slopes with many less frequently seen plants. Finally we will travel to view a recent project of the Chewton Bushlands Association funded by a Community Grant from Mount Alexander Shire Council to rehabilitate a dam to increase biodiversity and environmental resilience followed by our normal coffee/tea break.

Meet: 1.30pm at the Octopus, Duke St, opposite the Castle Motel, Castlemaine

Bring: Wet weather gear, stout shoes, cameras and afternoon tea.

Please comply with Government COVID-safe requirements on the day.
The Field Trip will be cancelled in extreme weather conditions.

10 September Antarctic Trip Report – Cathrine Harboe-Ree

In October-November 2018, Cathrine Harboe-Ree and Brian Cutler travelled with Canadian company GAdventures to the Falklands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the Antarctic Peninsula and several islands in its vicinity. Their trip was bookended by short visits to the Chilean coast and Tierra del Fuego. On the Antarctic cruise they were 2 of 134 passengers led by an expert team comprising sea mammal and bird experts, geologists, climatologists, historians, a photographer and an artist. The presentation will provide a flavour of these fascinating and environmentally endangered places, with a focus on bird and mammal life.

The meeting will be held by Zoom.  If you have not joined earlier webinars and wish to attend, please email Peter Turner at munrodsl@iinet.net.au

The Great Southern Bioblitz is coming October 22-25, 2021

The Great Southern Bioblitz is coming (October 22-25, 2021)!

To help you prepare the organizing team is offering online iNaturalist training sessions.

Beginner: Tues 17th August and Tues 28th September at 7:30pm.

Advanced: Tues 7th September at 7:30pm.

See below for registration details.

This year the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club is hosting the Great Southern Bioblitz for our region, i.e. the Mt Alexander Shire and the eastern half of Hepburn Shire.  A map of this region is shown on our local pageAll are welcome and encouraged to contribute. You simply photograph as many plants and animals as you can in the region during the Bioblitz period, October 22-25, and load your sightings into iNaturalist. Even if you unable to record your own sightings you can still contribute by identifying the observations that others have loaded.

The Great Southern Bioblitz is not only fun, but an important way of recording the life-forms that are present in our area.  Once you add a sighting to iNaturalist, others can help with or verify the identification. Data are then fed into repositories such as Atlas of Living Australia (Museums & CSIRO) and state biodiversity databases such as Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (DELWP).  To find out more visit Home | Great Southern Bioblitz (wixsite.com) and our local page.  A full list of the 71 groups (10 in Victoria) so-far taking part can be seen at the Umbrella Project page.

You can register using Eventbrite at the links below.  This training will be useful beyond the Bioblitz as it will enable you to submit sightings from anywhere at any time.

A Beginners guide for using iNaturalist

Tue, 17 August 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30PM AEST

Sold Out

Advanced tips for using iNaturalist

Tue, 7 September 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30PM AEST

A Beginners guide for using iNaturalist

Tue, 28 September 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30PM AEST

CANCELLED – Excursion Saturday August 14“Fryers Ridge” with Rod Orr

Unfortunately the CFNC excursion to Fryers Ridge has had to be cancelled due to COVID restrictions limiting the number of people at outdoor gatherings.

Hopefully you will be able to join our monthly meeting on Friday August 13 (see previous Blog for how to join) where Rod will be the guest speaker.  Rod will guide us through the amazing array of wildflowers to be found on Fryers Ridge, so that we can search for these in our own time.

Excursion Sat August 14th, – Fryers Ridge – IF COVID RESTRICTIONS ALLOW

Rod Orr will lead a car tour along several roads in the Fryers Ridge area, stopping at key places for short walks, with a focus on seeing particular plants that were identified during his talk.

Bring: Wet weather gear, boots, cameras and afternoon tea.
Meet
: 1.30pm at the Octopus, Duke St, opposite the Castle Motel, Castlemaine,

to arrange car pooling.

Please comply with Government COVID-safe requirements on the day. The Field Trip will be cancelled in extreme weather conditions. If we are restricted to 10 people or less in outdoor gatherings, the excursion will not go ahead.

Friday 13 August, Rod Orr, “Native Plants of the Fryers Ridge area”

Meeting by Zoom (see details for joining on the back page) Rod Orr, Bendigo FNC

Rod Orr and his wife Jan have been visiting the bushland in the Fryers Ridge area for many years in all seasons, finding many plants, animals and fungi in the forests well known to many of us. Rod will show share with us his observations of the native plants organised by months to illustrate when they are flowering at their best, recognising that flowering times may often vary widely in responding to many natural factors and many species flower over several months. Rod will be asking those of us who also visit the area to mention any special plants he might not include in his presentation.

 If you have registered for our previous webinar meetings you will be sent the link for registering with Zoom. If you have not joined before and wish to attend, please email Peter Turner at munrodsl@iinet.net.au

Our guest speaker will follow the usual ‘observations’ session when members can share recent interesting sightings with an option to show a photo or two. If you have photos to be shown please email JPEG file(s) to Euan Moore at calamanthus5@bigpond.com by Noon on the day of the meeting. 

Saturday 10 July – Excursion – “Fungi on the Mount”

Join fungi expert Joy Clusker for a relaxed amble on Mount Alexander looking for fungi.  Joy will guide us on how to find and identify fungi, explaining their habitat preferences and important characteristics to look for in order to distinguish them. 

Bring: Wet weather gear, boots, cameras and small mirrors. Remember it’s cooler up on the Mount!

Meet:  1.30pm at the Octopus, Duke St, opposite the Castle Motel, Castlemaine, OR at 2pm in the Dog Rocks carpark, Joseph Young Drive, Mount Alexander.

Please comply with Government COVID-safe requirements on the day.

The Field Trip will be cancelled in extreme weather conditions.

Friday 9 July, Dr Greg Kerr, “Behavioural Ecology of the Sleepy Lizard”

Victorians will know the Sleepy Lizard as the Shingleback or Stumpytail. For our July monthly meeting, Dr Greg Kerr, Senior Ecologist, Nature Glenelg Trust, will give fascinating new insight into the social behaviour of this species. In mammal and bird species there are many advantages of monogamy, particularly where parental care is critical to successful reproduction. Sleepy lizards are socially monogamous and a male will closely follow a female for many weeks prior to mating. Greg’s research into the behavioural ecology of sleepy lizards leads to a rejection of the old idea that males are guarding the females, but rather suggests that it is the female who wears the pants in this relationship!

The meeting will be held by Zoom.  If you have not joined earlier webinars and wish to attend, please email Peter Turner at munrodsl@iinet.net.au

CANCELLED – Excursion Saturday June 12 Nardoo Hills, Bush Heritage Reserve

Unfortunately the excursion to Nardoo Hills has had to be cancelled due to uncertainties relating to COVID restrictions and numbers of people at activities. 

We will try to reschedule this visit to later in the year.

Friday June 11, 7.30pm – Monthly Meeting (by Zoom)

The talk by Julie Radford of Bush Heritage on “Seeds of Resilience” will go ahead as scheduled: June 11, 7.30pm.

Email Peter Turner at munrodsl@iinet.net.au for the link to join the Zoom meeting.