Park News – April, 2014

Autumn Bird Survey

  • The Autumn Bird Survey on Saturday, 26th April was the usual success thanks to participation from Friends, our expert group leaders, our organizers and providers of goodies for morning tea (take a bow Mary, Anthea, Andrea and co!).  This was despite a dull start and end to the survey, though sightings were excellent in the middle.
three galahs awaiting the warming sun

three galahs awaiting the warming sun – Furness Park

Bushland News

  • Watch out for the latest edition of the combined Creeklands and Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Bushland News newsletter coming to your e-mail in-box soon – for all the news of the Blackburn Bushland corridor.
  • Printed copies will be delivered to Friends without e-mail facilities.
  • Older editions are available here.

Maintenance Team Report

  • With the recent good rains, the 2014 planting season has started at last!  Our first foray was to plant out a small, formerly weed infested, area on the north side of the creek towards Blackburn Road – the idea being to stabilize the creek bank after the removal of blackberry (Rubis fruticosus)and wandering creeper (Tradescantia flumenensis) infestations.
creekbank stabilisation planting

creekbank stabilisation planting

  • We are now weeding and doing in-fill planting at the eastern end of the park to replace plants that succumbed due to the dry conditions.
  • First Friends Working Bee for 2014

Planting will continue at our first working bee for the year on Sunday, May 25th at 09:00.   The location is likely to be the Malcolm Street Billabong area.  We’ll confirm location details via an e-mail to Friends closer to the event.

Malcolm St / Sheehans Rd – Elephant Country?
elephant country

  • Friends interested in the history of the area, especially those in the Malcolm Street/ Sheehans Road area, will be interested to know we’ve recently posted a scanned monograph from our archives written by former Malcolm Street resident, teacher and historian Mr Os Green.  Originally published in 1987, it has links to the Creeklands 30th Anniversary last year – but also covers interesting facets of the residential development of the area from the mid 1950s – together with material on the earlier settlement of the area by orchardists.  You’ll learn of elephants grazing there, how the residents made their own road …  Click here here  if you’d like to read it.
  •  Interestingly, active Friend Peter S drew the graphics used in the brochure describing the location and topography of the Creeklands park for the Up the Creek! campaign 30+ years ago.
  •  For those interested in the history of the area, the next Noticeboard display will feature the Secrets of the Creeklands – a Whimsical Walk.  It will cover less well-known aspects of both recent and older history of the park.  We’ll let you know when it’s up…

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month is Australian Dusty Miller (Spyridium parvifolium).  It is a fairly dense shrub with attractive creamy floral leaves, other leaves are green and hairy, though lighter underneath.  It flowers July-November but is looking particularly good already – having recovered its looks following the recent rains.
  • This photo shows a specimen up on the NE hill of Furness Park:

dusty miller

Weed of the Month

  • Peoples’ choice for weed of the month is Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata ) which comes to us from South Africa.  It’s no relation to last month’s bad-guy though its leaves resemble those of English Ivy.  It is a light green creeper with green and sometimes purple stems and has a strong limey smell when crushed.
  • The plant will smother shrubs and trees and will also cover the ground intensively, preventing good seeds from germinating and growing.  The plant has been grown as an indoor ornamental and is now a significant pest here and in places like New Zealand and California.
  • It has clusters of bright yellow flowers in Autumn/Winter–making it more conspicuous and easier to find.  It drops seed in Spring – making the next few months a good time to try to get rid of it.   This example in Furness Park near the southern creek bank has recovered somewhat after our Monday weeders had one go at it a couple of months ago – they’ll be back soon:

cape ivy

  • It will also propagate from stem pieces that are left in contact with moist soil or left behind when stems break while being collected.  Our Friends know never to dump garden refuse in the park – this is one way it spreads.  It’s also illegal – one professional learned that lesson the hard way.

Sightings

There have been some interesting bird sightings in the area:

  • Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (including a fine showing during the bird survey).
  • Buff-banded Rail in the Wetlands area – its reddish colouring blending so well with the colours of the wet branches :

rail

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