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FOBB


Geelong Field Naturalists Fauna Surveys
The results from the recent fauna surveys have been disappointing. We have not recorded any native mammals except Swamp wallabies, Kangaroos and Koala but the bird results have been very encouraging.


It looks like we still have good habitat, it’s just that the feral cats, foxes and rats are out competing the native marsupials. These will have to be controlled before the natives have a chance to recover.

We are yet to do any spotlighting for possum or harp trapping for bats. 

To date the tile habitats have not shown up any reptiles but we know that Whip snakes and Tree Dragons are present.

While laying the tiles and setting the traps we encountered some lovely colonies of Fringed Midge-orchids (Corunastylis ciliata) and Mosquito Orchids (Acianthus pusillus. Multitudes of Dwarf Greenhood orchid rosettes also promised a great winter flowering.

Fringed Midge Orchid

Bird Report.
The Bird group from the Field Nats on Thursday May 25 recorded the following species in the North (North of the Golf Course) and South blocks (In the Manna Gum lowland section). The number in brackets is the number of birds sighted.

Australian Pelican (3), White-necked Heron (1), Collared Sparrowhawk (1), Laughing Kookaburra (4), Galah (2), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (1), Eastern Rosella (9), Rainbow Lorikeet (2), White-throated Treecreeper (1), Superb Fairy-wren (14), Yellow-faced Honeyeater (86), Red Wattlebird (25), White-plumed Honeyeater (19), New Holland Honeyeater (21), White-eared Honeyeater (3), White-naped Honeyeater (121), Brown-headed Honeyeater (11), Spotted Pardalote (17), Striated Pardalote (1), Brown Thornbill (1), Weebill (15), Australian Magpie (3), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (3), White-bellied Cuckooshrike (4), Grey Shrikethrush (5), Golden Whistler (2), Willie Wagtail (1), Grey Fantail (6), Little Raven (2), White-winged Chough (50), Eastern Yellow Robin (5), Silvereye (6).

Survey cameras.
We now have seven cameras operating throughout the reserve monitoring either wildlife or dodgy behaviour. 

The wildlife that have shown up on the cameras to date include, cats, foxes and rats but also on the brighter side, Swamp wallabies, Kangaroos, magpies (show-offs) Restless flycatchers, Superb Fairy Wrens

Fox caught on Survey Camera

 

Free Firewood and coppicing program
We now have a good group of very nice people taking advantage of the free firewood deal in return for two hours of volunteer coppicing. If you do two hours coppicing for us, you can take home a trailer load of wood. Bargain.

We have now completed coppicing of over 20,000 square meters in the Gatty coupe and several trailer loads of high grade firewood have been re housed.

There is still lots to do, so if you are happy to help managing these Sugar gum coupes for the next rotation in 15 or so years, please contact Stuart on M: 0438 904 961 or better, email; stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au, to do a deal. Dates and times depend on your own availability.

Meet the parents
Last week while carrying out some coppicing we met and talked with the parents of the lad who died when he collided with a Sugar Gum. They have a small shrine for him and visit it periodically.  FOBB and BEN had arranged for the loggers to leave this section untouched in tribute. And as a reminder of the risks involved.

Please note that if you have a legitimate reason to have access to the bush all you need to do is contact either myself or Roger from BEN and we can arrange access. Both our numbers are on the green signs on the gates.

FOBB Flora and Fauna brochure. 
Our new colourful brochure is now available. Contact me for a copy or you can buy them for $2 from Sharron at the fruit and veggie shop.

Twentieth Yellow Gum Flowering Festival Sunday July 23 10am.
This coming July 23rd will mark 20 years since FOBB and other supporters tackled Barwon Water and the old guard of Golden Plains Shire over the unnecessary destruction of protected Yellow Gum woodland to make way for the construction of sewage ponds. In the fullness of time these ponds have proved insufficient for the amount of sewage we produce and new ponds have been built right on the site we were told, with great authority, was quite unsuitable and that the trees just had to be removed. 

We all know better today and FOBB is proud of the work we have done throughout the district to educate the people and leaders of our community on the importance of conserving remnant vegetation.

You are all welcome to come along to our Festival, enjoy a nature walk and talk, partake of some pumpkin soup (its yellow) and gourmet damper and generally enjoy a drink around the fire and spin a few yarns.

We can also give you an update on the fauna surveys.

No more trail bikes
Our fencing and gating work has really paid off in terms of bush recovery. Most of the areas that have been damaged by thoughtless riding are recovering thanks to the recent rainfall but other damaged areas have been invaded by weeds that we will need to control over the next few weeks before they can set seed.

Sandy sections of the manna gum lowlands have also been severely eroded and these will take longer to recover as all the topsoil has been washed away. 

Large Rocks wanted 
As part of our MILL grant, BEN and FOBB will be placing some nice big rocks (about 1 x 0.5 metres) at selected locations to restrict illegal access to the reserve. If you have a pile of large rocks in your paddock that you would like to donate to a worthy cause please contact us. 

Coming Events:
Sunday June 25. FOBB working bee from 10 am till 2pm. Mostly mending fences.

Sundry Coppicing and firewood gathering by appointment.

Sunday July 23. Our Twentieth yellow Gum Flowering Festival. Big celebration this year. Be there.

Stuart McCallum,  Friends of Bannockburn Bush

Contact: 
Email: stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au  

Mob: 0438 904 961

 

Mosquito Orchid    Photo: Emily Noble

Birdwatchers in the Bannockburn Bush