News – Friends of Mount Majura
Jul 152017
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the July edition of the FoMM newsletter. Thanks again to everyone who voted for the location of the 25th ParkCare Anniversary bench on Mt Majura. See the photo below of the newly installed bench on Majura ridge (the old sheep camp) with Chris Lampert (left) and Phil Selmes, the rangers who installed the bench for us. Thanks guys! Check it out next time you are on the mountain.
Jo Lynch, FoMM Secretary

Working Party @ The Fair – Sunday 16 July 2017, 1pm to 4pm
Give our native plants a head start! Come and help us prepare for National Tree Day 2017. The plan is to mix water crystals with the soil at the bottom of the planting holes (they have been dug already) and back fill some soil to provide a good growth environment for the seedlings (root / soil contact is crucial). Give as little or as much time as you can. No previous experience required, just an interest in making a difference!
Where: Meet at The Fair, nature park access Tay St, North Watson.
Bring: Sun protection, long sleeves and pants; garden gloves if you have them. Tools and hot drinks will be provided.
Enquiries: Email or 6247 7515
Click here for more information and read about assisted regeneration of native diversity and planting at The Fair.


Blue Devil, (Eryngium ovinum) planted @ The Fair. This species is intolerant of heavy grazing when the young leaves appear in spring. (Photo: Waltraud Pix) 

National Tree Day 2017 – Planting on Mount Majura – 30 July 2017, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Join FoMM to celebrate National Tree Day 2017 and help with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants! This will be our 5th National Tree Day community planting in the nature park behind (east of) The Fair and the 10th consecutive mass planting of trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Mt Majura nature reserve on a National Tree Day. The planting holes will be dug prior to the event and water delivered so all we need are volunteers to help with planting, watering and mulching the seedlings. Volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm. Please come early for a demonstration on “How to plant”. What we will plant: List of species with photos.
Where: Mount Majura nature reserve behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson. Access park entrance at the intersection Tay St and Ian Nicol St close to the volunteer registration point or via nature park entrance Antill St roughly opposite Carotel for a 5-10 minutes walk to the planting site.
Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance; limited car parking space at The Fair and along Aspinall Street / Solstice.
What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.
What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one. Important: please label your items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.
Enquiries: email or Ph. 6247 7515. Contact number during event: 0435 357 172
Download: How to plant: 10 steps to help your seedling survive
A big thank you to the Molonglo Catchment Group and EnviroAg for providing funds from the 2017 Small Grants Program for FoMM to purchase tube stock (from Greening Australia) and equipment for this planting event! Also, on Friday 14 July a group of 16 university students, school students and staff will come to the Fair to undertake 2 hours of erosion control works at the gully and spread more mulch before planting, which will further help the revegetation of the site!

The joy of planting together. (Photo: Steve Bittinger from National Tree Day 2016)

ParkCare Clothing survey
Alison McLeod, the Community Programs Coordinator, has put together this very quick (only two questions) survey to get an idea of which hats and jumpers you would like her to include in the next clothing order for ParkCare volunteers. Everyone has one vote for a hat and one vote for a green jumper. Download this PDF document to see what the different options look like, then click here to select your preferences!

Other news and events:

Fringe Forum: Grassland Habitat Research – Thursday 13 July 2017, 5-6pm
Come and listen to Brett Howland- research and monitoring officer as he shares the latest information on kangaroos, biodiversity and grassland habitats. Ground Floor Function Room- Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis Street Dickson. RSVP: Alison McLeod (Community Programs Coordinator).

2017 ParkCare/ Landcare Forum survey
Parks and Conservation Service will be delivering another ParkCare/Landcare Forum later in 2017 and they’d love your input. To collate your ideas and deliver a forum which is designed for the volunteer community, complete this survey and tell them what you want! The results (along with feedback from the last forum) will be taken to the committee which will be tasked with delivering the 2017 Forum. There is also an opportunity in the survey to register your interest in joining the committee.

Native Bee and Pollinator Workshop – Friday 28 July, 9am – 3pm
Are you interested in learning about native bees and pollinators? Learn about their importance, how to support native bee populations and build bee hotels. To be held at Riverside Oval Clubhouse, 14-20 Carinya St, Queanbeyan. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

19th NSW Weeds Conference 2017 – Armidale, 16 – 19 October 2017
Registrations are now open! More than $1,200 worth of prizes to win when you register. With the introduction of the new  Biosecurity Act 2015 and proposed Regulation in 2016 that  provides a framework for the prevention, elimination and minimisation of biosecurity risks posed by pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants to the economy, environment and communities of NSW, coupled with the Invasive Species Plan 2015- 2022 objectives, there has never been a more important time for weed professionals to be able to meet the challenges of the practical implementation of these changes within the industry. Our theme of ‘Experience the highs – working smarter together’ looks to build on the successes of the past whilst looking to the future as we transition into this new era in weed management and control, an approach that must be based on regional cooperation as well as providing a common focus for the actions of the numerous land managers across all tenures. With this in mind Session themes will broadly revolve around Biosecurity in Action; Technology & Innovation; Community, Extension & Social Marketing; Collaboration & Case Studies with a special feature being the Open Debate. Read more and register here.

2017 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference – Albury, 25 – 27 October 2017
The 2017 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference will be held at the Albury Entertainment Centre. The Conference is being hosted by Landcare NSW and Murray Local Land Services, and is being coordinated in partnership with local Landcare and community groups. The theme for the Conference is ‘Sharing our Stories’. Conference topics will focus on agriculture, biodiversity, water and Aboriginal Landcare. Renowned science communicator, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, will be the keynote speaker at the conference. This conference is the premier event to showcase sustainability, Landcare and volunteering across NSW and includes the annual Landcare Muster and the NSW State Landcare Awards. Don’t miss this chance to gather with around 300 people from Landcare and community groups, farmers, Aboriginal groups, industry and government representatives from across NSW and Australia. Click here for more information and to register.

Jul 052017
 

The joy of planting together (S.Bittinger)

Join the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) to celebrate National Tree Day 2017 on Sunday 30 July and help with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants. Bring your friends and family and enjoy an afternoon of fun out in the bush.

Mount Majura planting veteran Shane Rattenbury, MLA will be kicking off the event with a demonstration on how to plant a tree at 1pm.

This will be our 5th National Tree Day community planting in the nature park behind (east of) “The Fair” and the 10th consecutive mass planting of trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Mount Majura nature reserve on a National Tree Day.

The planting holes will be dug prior to the event and water delivered so all we need are volunteers to help with planting, watering and mulching the seedlings.

Shane Rattenbury, MLA will be kicking off the event with a demonstration on how to plant a tree (L. Barnsley).

When: Sunday 30 July 2017, from 1.00pm to 4.00pm; volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm;
Please come early for a demonstration on “How to plant”.
Where: Mount Majura nature reserve behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson; click on this map to view the planting area and volunteer registration point;
Warm up drinks and Timtams will be provided.
Access: park entrance intersection Tay St and Ian Nicol St close to the volunteer registration point or via nature park entrance Antill St roughly opposite Carotel for a 5-10 minutes walk to the planting site.
Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance; limited car parking space at The Fair and along Aspinall Street / Solstice.
What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.
What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one.

Important: Please label your items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.

What we will plant: List of species with photos

Enquiries: e-mail secretary@majura.org, phone 6247 7515

Contact number during event: 0435 357 172

Promote National Tree Day 2017 on Mount Majura: download this poster

Click on this little pamphlet How to plant: 10 steps to help your seedling survive

National Tree Day 2016 planting at The Fair (S. Bittinger); see photographs of the 2016 planting spectacle here

National Tree Day is held annually by Planet Ark which runs the Australian wide project to encourage mass tree plantings and to communicate the merit of trees.

Jun 302017
 

Early Wattle, Acacia genistifolia wrapped in spider webs on a winter morning (W.Pix). The wattle is a key habitat species planted at The Fair.

Give native plants a head start! Come and help preparing National Tree Day 2017.

When: Sunday, 16 July, 1-4pm; give as little or as much time as you want.
Where: Meet at The Fair, nature park access Tay St, North Watson, view this map
What: Preparation for National Tree Day 2017.
Bring: Sun protection, long sleeves and pants; garden gloves if you have them. Tools and hot drinks will be provided.
No previous experience required, just an interest in making a difference!
Inquiries: projects@majura.org or 6247 7515

Assisted regeneration of native diversity.  About planting at The Fair.

The site adjacent to the The Fair is one of the four modified and heavily degraded areas in the nature reserve where the Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) run long term projects to reclaim and improve grassy woodland (other sites are the old sheep camp at Majura ridge, Majura paddock east of Rivett Street and the associated drainage line at the lower Hackett water tank, and a cleared section of the west slope). These sites have in common that much of the original vegetation was cleared and replaced by weeds. In addition ongoing overgrazing prevents natural regeneration which in turn benefits the weeds. Other issues are the loss of the surface crust that holds the top soil together, compaction of soil, and erosion and loss of topsoil which affects the ability of plants to establish.

The Fair project site in April 2014; view to the south (W. Pix)

As with all FoMM projects, work at The Fair began with an initial assessment in 2011/12, taking into account present introduced and native plants, the impact of rabbit and kangaroo grazing, the soil condition such as compaction, large bare areas, active erosion, and the lack of structural habitat elements such as fallen trees and logs.

We started treatment of weeds in 2012 at the least weed infested southern part of The Fair project site, removed large Briar Roses in the tree cleared area and conducted a mass planting on National Tree Day. Work continued in the past years and included collecting seeds of native ground cover plants on Mt Majura and direct seeding, tube stock planting of native shrubs and grassland forbs on National Tree Days, measures to protect the plantings against grazing damage, help with rabbit control and the reintroduction of structural habitat, many hours of weed control, and monitoring weeds, rabbits, signs of natural regeneration and the progress of assisted re-vegetation, and work to improve the compacted soil and control erosion.

Silver wattle, Acacia dealbata planted @ The Fair and damaged by grazing (W. Pix)

A great challenge is to replace woody and herbaceous weeds with local native plants under the present grazing pressure without compromising ecological values of the area such as wildlife habitat.

For instance Hawthorn, Briar Rose and other woody weeds that replaced the native shrubs in the area provided shelter for little woodland birds however on the other hand the weeds prevented native vegetation to re-establish and thrive. Our solution was to plant local native shrubs that provide the similar habitat value in a staged process, superseding and accompanying the removal of these woody weeds.

Blue Devil, Eryngium ovium planted @ The Fair. The species is intolerant of heavy grazing when the young leaves appear in spring (W. Pix)

Seeds of many grassy woodland species do not persist in the soil seed bank and are unable to re-establish without assistance once they are lost from the standing vegetation through clearing, weed competition and overgrazing. We planted, and continue to plant, clumps of native understorey species at strategic sites and hope that the seeds of these “living seed banks” will spread out and one day will take-over sites which are currently weed infested.

The staged process of weed removal, assisted re-vegetation (tube stock planting and direct seeding) and protecting the plantings from being grazed is a much valued contribution of volunteers, and supported by the Canberra Ornithologists Group and the authorities charged with the management of conservation areas in the ACT such as the Mt Majura nature reserve.

The re-establishment of diversity improves the integrity of the grassy woodland and the drainage lines. It is a long term process and hard work and it is only sustainable if Government backs up our efforts and manages the grazing pressure that detrimentally impacts upon the grassy woodland and the native species within this endangered ecological community.

 

Establishing native plants under heavy grazing pressure is a challenge @ The Fair. Native grass fails to flower and set seeds and will be replaced by introduced species if overgrazing continues at the current rate (W. Pix 28.04.2014).

Jun 212017
 

Michael Doherty will be leading an information-packed tree walk.

Join ecologist Michael Doherty for an information-packed walk on the slopes of Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie on Sunday 25 June. Learn how to identify local woodland trees, see where they occur and hear how they survive fire and drought.

When: Sunday 25th June, from 2pm to 4pm.

Where: Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie nature reserves; meet at the Kellaway Street entrance near the end of Phillip Avenue, view this map

Bring: Sun protection and wear sturdy foot wear and appropriate clothes for the weather.

Bundy, Eucalyptus goniocalyx, flowers and buds (W. Pix)

Tree guides will be available at the walk.

Gold coin donations are welcome to support Friends of Mt Majura conservation work.

No booking required.

Enquiries: secretary@majura.org

Download this Tree Walk Poster for promotion

Read about The Eucalypts and Wattles (Michael Doherty, August 2012)

View some features of eucalypts and other trees in this Picture Gallery.

The walk is hosted by the Friends of Mount Majura ParkCare group.

Jun 132017
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the June edition of the FoMM newsletter. Hope you have all been enjoying the clear and crisp winter weather lately to get out and about on Mt Majura. We had a fantastic work party last month removing around four cubic meters of Japanese honeysuckle and some English Ivy from the bottom part of the drain line off the lower Hackett reservoir. Participants even spotted a fox and a frog! Read more below. Many woodland birds have also recently been seen at The Fair including Golden whistlers, Scarlet robins, Speckled warblers and more. We highly recommend a ramble here but don’t forget to take your binoculars! And if you get a good bird photo, please register it on Canberra Nature Map.
See you on the mountain.
Jo Lynch, FoMM Secretary

Working Party at The Fair – Sunday 18 June 2017, 1pm to 4pm
Give a hand and help transform Mount Majura’s weedy woodland east of The Fair into native wildlife habitat, enjoy the little woodland birds foraging amongst the planted trees and shrubs and learn about the work of volunteers to reclaim grassy woodland in the area. Help with spreading wood chip mulch (this reduces erosion and works as a soil conditioner that helps native plants to establish), direct seeding Kangaroo grass and installing protective wire mesh guards around existing plants. Much of the native ground layer has been lost and replaced by herbaceous weeds as a result of overgrazing and other degrading activities. The reintroduction of native grasses and local wildflowers complements weed control, increases plant diversity, reduces erosion and provides habitat for local invertebrates, lizards and birds. Give as much of your time as you want; please come early for an introduction if you can.
Where: Meet at the Nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets, The Fair, North Watson.
Bring: Sun protection, sturdy shoes and appropriate clothes; tools and afternoon tea will be provided.
Enquiries: Email

Click here for more information.


Speckled Warbler, Chthonicola sagittata spotted recently in the nature reserve. (Photo: Dusty, Canberra Nature Map)

Tree Walk – Sunday 25 June 2017, 2pm – 4pm
Join ecologist Michael Doherty for an information-packed walk on the slopes of Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie. Learn how to identify local woodland trees, see where they occur and hear how they survive fire and drought. Tree guides will be available at the walk. Gold coin donations are welcome to support FoMM’s conservation work. No booking required. Read about The Eucalypts and Wattles (Michael Doherty, August 2012). View some features of eucalypts and other trees in this Picture Gallery.
Where: Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie nature reserves; meet at the Kellaway Street entrance near the end of Phillip Avenue.
Bring: Sun protection and wear sturdy foot wear and appropriate clothes for the weather.
Enquiries: Email

Michael Doherty will be leading an information-packed tree walk.National Tree Day 2017 Planting on Mount Majura – 30 July 2017, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Join FoMM to celebrate National Tree Day 2017 and help with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants! This will be our 5th National Tree Day community planting in the nature park at “The Fair” and the 10th consecutive mass planting in the Mt Majura nature reserve on a National Tree Day. The planting holes will be dug prior to the event and water delivered so all we need are volunteers to help with planting, watering and mulching the seedlings. Volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm. Please come early for a demonstration on “How to plant”. What we will plant: List of species with photos. The Majura Mountain scouts and parents will again be on board to extend their planting from last year on National Tree Day. We still need a few more volunteers to help out on the day as ‘planting buddies’, to welcome and direct volunteers, ensure sign on sheets are completed, or help out on the Sunday morning or Saturday beforehand.
Where: Mount Majura nature reserve behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson. Access park entrance at the intersection Tay St and Ian Nicol St close to the volunteer registration point or via nature park entrance Antill St roughly opposite Carotel for a 5-10 minutes walk to the planting site.
Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance; limited car parking space at The Fair and along Aspinall Street / Solstice.
What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.
What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one. Important: please label your items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.
Enquiries: email, Ph. 6247 7515  Contact number during event: 0435 357 172
A big thank you to the Molonglo Catchment Group and EnviroAg for providing funds from the 2017 Small Grants Program for FoMM to purchase tube stock (from Greening Australia) and equipment for this planting event!

The joy of planting together. (Photo: Steve Bittinger from National Tree Day 2016)

Honeysuckle goes at the May work party!
On a perfect Canberra late autumn day, 10 volunteers helped remove four cubic meters of Japanese Honeysuckle from the lower part of the drainage gully close to the lower Hackett reservoir. A big Thank You to Grace, Lani, Sam, Felicity, Chris, Tanja, Margy, Max and Jochen for this wonderful and very satisfying massacre. It was particularly encouraging to have so many engaged young people and Margy’s delicious cake was a truly earned treat for everyone. Participants were startled by a fox hiding in the thickets! All weeds were pulled rather than cut and sprayed with herbicide. The drain line is known habitat for long necked turtles and frogs, and participants of the work party were delighted to spot a little frog of which Max took this photo! All Hackett residents can help by refraining from dumping garden waste in the reserve.
 
Grace, Lani and Sam having fun removing Honeysuckle at the May FoMM Working Party. (Photo: Waltraud Pix).


Can you spot the little frog? (Photo: Max Pouwer)

New Mount Majura ParkCare bench
In the April edition of the FoMM newsletter, we announced a survey for voting for your preferred location of a new commemorative park bench on Mt Majura as part of the 30th ParkCare anniversary celebration. The results are in – the favoured location from the five suggested locations for the new Mount Majura ParkCare bench, at 41.7%, is the old sheep camp at the bottom of the summit trail, on the saddle along the Casuarina Trail. Thanks to everyone who voted and to Aaron for conducting the survey. The new bench will be installed very soon!

Other news and events:
Fringe Forums
20th June 2017- Social Media for Volunteers

Did you know that 69% of Australians are on social media, and that the average user spends 12.5 hours a week on Facebook? Volunteer groups are starting to get in on the action and it’s a useful way of recruiting new members, promoting your events, retaining younger volunteers and to help the broader community understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Come along and learn how it all works, how to post text, photos and events, how to tag and interact with other pages and how to work collaboratively with other volunteer groups by using tagging, hashtags and sharing.
13th July 2017- Grassland Habitat Research
Come and listen to Brett Howland- research and monitoring officer as he shares the latest information on kangaroos, biodiversity and grassland habitats.
Fringe forums run from 5:00pm- 6:00pm (on the specified date)
Ground Floor Function Room- Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis Street Dickson
RSVP to either of these forums by sending an email to Alison McLeod (Community Programs Coordinator) with your name and any questions you’d like answered.

The Colour of Eucalyptus – An exhibition of eucalyptus colour specimens and artworks by Sally Blake – ANBG Canberra, 26 May – 25 June
Sally Blake’s solo exhibition at the Australian National Botanical Gardens Gallery, The Colour of Eucalyptus will feature textile, basket and paper-based works that have arisen from her eucalyptus dye research undertaken at the Gardens. Trained in the textiles workshop at the ANU, Blake uses her sensitivity with materials to create artworks that explore these dyes on a range of natural fibres and threads. During the project she recorded the colours from the leaves of 230 and the bark from 100 eucalypt species. The leaves which create these wonderful dyes are also highlighted in pressed leaf arrangements on paper. Small baskets, Hidden Mysteries have been made using a range of threads, each woven from the colours of one eucalypt species. Blake is also exhibiting her Eucalyptus Mantle works. She came to think of eucalypts as a mantle cloaking the country, their roots holding the soils and their leaves and branches providing habitat and shade. The Mantle works are made from the thousands of colours created on linen, wool and silk dyed during the project. The pattern references weave structures that might be used for a cloth mantle. Sally Blake will run 3 eucalyptus dye workshops in conjunction with the exhibition at the ANBG on the 7, 11 and 18 June.

Bushfire Management: Balancing the Risk – Friday 21 & Saturday 22 July
Community symposium discussing research, strategies and expectations for fire management in the ACT in a changing environment, with the National Parks Association ACT, Conservation Council ACT Region, Parks and Conservation Service and Emergency Services Agency. You can obtain more information here or just go straight to bookings which are available now.

Albert Morris Ecological Restoration Field Trip and Award – Broken Hill, 22-24 August 2017
Many interested people from all over Australia are converging on Broken Hill in early Spring to celebrate the 80th anniversary of one of the world’s earliest restoration projects: the Broken Hill Regeneration Reserves. This will mark the inauguration of the Albert Morris Ecological Restoration Award hosted by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Greening Australia and the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia. Read more here, watch this video about the upcoming event and read the special Broken Hill issue of AABR News.

Jun 122017
 

Down in Hackett – all in mist and fog.

I love these foggy winter mornings.  Walk up the mountain and the world turns magic. Many walkers joined in this pleasure on this Queens Birthday holiday.

Waltraud Monday, 12 June 2017

Thousands and thousands of spider webs – you are in a fairy tale.

Reach the summit you are on the top of the world.

May 292017
 

Speckled Warbler, Chthonicola sagittata spotted in the nature reserve by Dusty (CNM)

Give a hand on Sunday, 18 June and help transform Mount Majura’s weedy woodland east of The Fair into native wildlife habitat; enjoy the little woodland birds foraging among planted trees and shrubs and learn about the work of volunteers to reclaim grassy woodland in the area.

When: Sunday, 18 June, 1pm – 4pm; give as much of your time as you want; please come early for an introduction if you can.
Meet:
Nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets, The Fair, North Watson; view this map
Bring: Sun protection, sturdy shoes and appropriate clothes; tools and afternoon tea will be provided.
Inquiries: projects@majura.org
Download this poster to promote the working party

Flowering Kangaroo grass, Themeda australis (W.Pix). The iconic species once common of grassy ecosystems has been almost lost in the Mt Majura nature reserve.

Help with these tasks
Spreading wood chip mulch.
Mulch reduces erosion and works as a soil conditioner that helps native plants to establish.

Direct seeding Kangaroo grass and installing protective wire mesh guards. Much of the native ground layer has been lost and replaced by herbaceous weeds as a result of overgrazing and other degrading activities. The reintroduction of native grass and local wildflowers complements weed control, increases plant diversity, reduces erosion and provides habitat for local invertebrates, lizards and birds.

About The Fair Project
Since the start of The Fair project in 2012 volunteers replaced hundreds of woody weeds with local shrubs and trees to provide food, nesting and protective habitat for declining woodland birds that visit and live in the nature reserve east of The Fair. We hope our work ensures vulnerable species such as Scarlet Robins and Speckled Warblers will be visiting the area for many years to come.

Starting in the south and working towards the north volunteers spent 1000s of hours to improve the ground cover layer by controlling herbaceous weeds *, manually loosening compacted soil, spreading wood chip mulch and woody debris – making best use of removed woody weeds, collecting seeds, direct seeding various local grasses and planting wildflowers.

*The most common herbaceous weeds are Paterson’s Curse,  St John’s Wort, Saffron thistle, Scotch thistle, Slender thistle, Spear thistle, Variegated thistle, Hirschfeldia, Horehound, Serrated Tussock.

Work in Progress
The photographs below show northwest and northeast views of an area in the reserve east of The Fair taken over 4 years from May 2014 to April 2017. The most noticeable weed, Paterson’s Curse formed dense carpets in autumn 2014. Many volunteer’s hours later in autumn 2017, this weed occurs in a few scattered stands hardly visible among the native grass that had been direct seeded in a cover of wood chip mulch.

The 2 sets of 4 photographs shown below were taken on 13 May 2014, 2 June 2015, 31 May 2016, and 11 April 2017. The first set shows a northwest view downhill towards gully in the north from close to the big conifer (visible on the left hand side) and the second set shows a northeast view from close to the conifer (the water container visible in the photograph sets is the same)

Northwest view

May 2014

June 2015

May 2016

 

 

 

 

April 2017

Northeast view

May 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2017

 

 

May 212017
 

Male Gang-gang Cockatoo (P. Fullagar)

Mother’s Day Bird walk 8-10am 14th May 2017

Sixteen of us met at the Mackenzie St car park entrance where we shared our names and recent bird sightings and observations. We reported on flocks of gang gangs and other parrots feasting on autumn fruits on street trees and in gardens, invading rainbow lorikeets, owls on backyard fences, and a discussion about the aggressive noisy miners.

The cloudy-bright autumn morning was calm, mild, and noisy. A cacophony of birdsong filled the air:  screeching sulphur crested cockatoos, calling currawongs, annoying noisy miners, whistling king parrots and crimson rosellas, all jostling for tree space and their slice of sky. By 9am everything was quietly back to normal, and most of the birds had disappeared into the bush or spread out into Hackett.

Laughing Kookaburra at Mount Majura (A. Clausen, CNM)

We watched a lone white faced heron hunting amongst rocks at the first dam. A mixed feeding flock of small birds swept through the dense woodland near the upper dam. Further up the hill in the Bursaria shrubbery was a thriving twittering colony of blue wrens. A couple of Kookaburras sat watchfully in the bright white scribbly gums.

Peter Miller was a brilliant walk leader. He can spot and name birds that we would never have seen on our own. He can describe the difference between one little brown bird and another, then name each one and describe their different calls. He also showed us how to attract birds by ‘phishing’- a sound which imitates an alarm call. Birds tend to move closer to stickybeak and find out what dangers they need to deal with.

Superb Fairy-wren at Mount Majura (Dusty, CNM)

The bird walk was enjoyable and informative with an interesting mix of people who had a wide range of knowledge to share. We were lucky with the weather as usual – rain bucketed down after the walk.

Report by Jenni Marsh

May 212017
 

Grace, Lani and Sam having fun (W.Pix)

On a perfect Canberra late autumn day ten volunteers helped removing four cubic meter of Japanese Honeysuckle from the lower part of the drainage gully close to the lower Hackett reservoir.

A big Thank You to Grace, Lani, Sam, Felicity, Chris, Tanja, Margy, Max and Jochen for this wonderful and very satisfying massacre. It was particularly encouraging to have so many engaged young people and Margy’s delicious cake was a truly earned treat for everyone.

Participants were startled by a fox hiding in the thickets.

Can you spot the little frog? (M. Pouwer)

All weeds were pulled rather than cut and sprayed with herbicide. The drain line is known habitat for long neck turtles and frogs and alas participants of the work party were delighted to spot a little frog of which Max took this photo.

Waltraud
21 May 2017

Honeysuckle clocks up the bottom part of the drain line (W.Pix)

Gone!

Piles of pulled Honeysuckle ready to be picked up and disposed off at Canberra Sand and Gravel Green Waste (W.Pix)

May 082017
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the May edition of the FoMM newsletter. The latest big news is that another new orchid species has been recorded for Mt Majura! A population of Little Dumpies (Diplodium truncatum) was recently found, the first record of this orchid for Mt Majura! See the photos here. Mt Majura sure is a special place for plants, making our restoration work even more important. So we appreciate any help you can provide to protect this wonderful reserve, whether this is volunteering at our working parties, keeping dogs on leashes, riding mountain bikes on formal trails only, contacting us if you see an unusual plant or animal, reporting any illegal activity like firewood collection, or spreading the word to other locals. It all helps!
See you on the mountain.
Jo Lynch, FoMM Secretary

One of the Little Dumpy (Diplodium truncatum) orchids found on Mt Majura. (Photo: Petersan on Canberra Nature Map)

Working Party – Sunday 21 May 2017, 1pm to 4pm
Join FoMM’s weeds working party and help remove Japanese Honeysuckle and other woody weeds growing in and around the drainage line close to the Hackett reservoir. Come early for an introduction and give as much time as you want. You need no experience to attend this event; instructions and tools will be provided on site.
Where: Meet at ParkCare notice board opposite of the water reservoir off Rivett Street and French Street intersection, Hackett.
Bring and wear: Sun protection, body covering garden clothing and sturdy shoes; if you have them bring your gum boots.
Enquiries: ph 6247 7515 or Email

Click here for more information.


The drainage line in November 2013 after many volunteer hours over the years. The continuous supply of seeds from nearby gardens requires annual removal of woody weeds and vines from this area. (Photo: Waltraud Pix)

Walk through the woodlands with bird enthusiast Peter Miller to spot, observe, listen to, identify and learn about the amazing variety of birds on Mount Majura. We are particularly interested in the Scarlet Robin Petroica boodang. If you spot a Scarlet Robin please take a picture and register on Canberra Nature Map or let us know. The Scarlet Robin is declared a vulnerable species in the ACT and NSW – read this Canberra Times article.
Meet at nature reserve entrance Mackenzie Street, roughly opposite Grayson Street, Hackett.
Please bring: Binoculars, a camera if you have one, walking boots and a Gold Coin donation for a bird list.
Enquiries: 6248 8955 or Email
Click here for more information.

A male Scarlet Robin, Petroica boodang. The species is at risk of extinction and declared vulnerable in the ACT and NSW. (Photo: Canberra Nature Map, taken on Mt Majura)

Watch this great video where local Steve Bittinger takes us for a walk on Mount Majura and shows us some of Mount Majura’s wide variety of habitats and historical points of interest!

Other news and events:

Conservation Council ACT World Environment Day Dinner – Saturday 3 June
Join the Conservation Council annual dinner at the National Arboretum where Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering will cook up a treat using local, seasonal produce. A three course meal plus champagne and canapes to start and your ticket includes wine. The MC is Lish Fejer who is entertaining, energetic and environmental all in one. Book your ticket now.

Open Art Competition – ‘People Caring for the ACT Region’s Lands and Waters’
ACT Region Catchment Groups Art Exhibition and Prizes. Entries close 9 June 2017. Exhibition 22-30 June 2017, Fitters Workshop, Kingston Art Precinct. Exhibition open 10am to 5pm daily. The three catchment groups in the ACT see this as an opportunity to show other people how Parkcarers, Rangers and Waterwatchers care for the ACT Lands and Waters. Click here for more information.

Bushfire Management: Balancing the Risk – Friday 21 & Saturday 22 July
Community symposium discussing research, strategies and expectations for fire management in the ACT in a changing environment, with the National Parks Association ACT, Conservation Council ACT Region, Parks and Conservation Service and Emergency Services Agency. You can obtain more information here or just go straight to bookings which are available now.

Albert Morris Ecological Restoration Field Trip and Award – Broken Hill, 22-24 August 2017
Many interested people from all over Australia are converging on Broken Hill in early Spring to celebrate the 80th anniversary of one of the world’s earliest restoration projects: the Broken Hill Regeneration Reserves. This will mark the inauguration of the Albert Morris Ecological Restoration Award hosted by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Greening Australia and the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia. Read more here, watch this video about the upcoming event and read the special Broken Hill issue of AABR News.

Volunteer opportunity available at the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) Inc. office
Do you have an interest in plant conservation? Are you looking for volunteer work while studying, searching for a job or during retirement? A volunteer position at the ANPC’s National Office is now available one day a week on Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. The office is based in the Crosbie Morrison Building at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Volunteers receive a free annual parking permit for the Gardens and free ANPC membership. Specific Duties: office administration; marketing and promotion; website updating and maintenance; membership – assisting new and existing members, updating database etc; editing and production of Australasian Plant Conservation; and helping to organise conferences and workshops. What the position offers: an opportunity to increase skills, confidence and employment prospects; valuable experience working for a national non-profit organisation; experience in using various computer software packages; administration and organisation skills; scientific writing and publishing skills; and exposure to Australian plant conservation issues and projects. Click here for more information and to download the position description.