FoMM Newsletter – June 2023

Third Sunday Working Bee 18 June 1-4pm – a bit of everything

Join us at the watercourse near the Hackett water tank for planting, weed removal and spreading mulch. No experience necessary and kids will enjoy some of these activities.

We will plant Hardenbergia, native Raspberry and a local Glycine pea to fill gaps and prevent weed infestation. We will also remove weeds, place mulch around our plantings and logs over the water to provide bird perches.

Meet at the watercourse close to the Rivett Street entrance to the nature park near French Street, Hackett (see this map) at 1pm – give just as much time as you can spare. Bring sun protection, drinking water; wear sturdy shoes and clothes which cover your limbs and garden gloves if you have them. We provide sanitiser, tools, gloves, and a delicious cake for afternoon tea.

More information here.

For the first time we will plant Glycine pea (Glycine tabacina) which we hope will be enjoyed by Mt Majura’s native bees. Photo Waltraud Pix.

Swift Parrots

The watercourse is a haven for birds who bathe in it and drink from it. Swift parrots (Lathamus discolor) visit the ACT in autumn and winter and have been sighted recently in the nature park at Hackett. This critically endangered bird migrates from Tasmania, feeding on Eucalypt nectar, flowers and the lerp secretion. Read more about Swift parrots on Mount Majura here.

A Swift parrot in flight at Hackett. Photo courtesy Canberra Nature Map.

Twilight Walks in Canberra Tree Week

Jenni Marsh led two successful twilight walks on evenings just before the full moon. Fifteen scouts from Mount Taylor enjoyed a walk on 4 May followed by a FoMM group of 30 the following evening. The weather favoured us, with no rain and a clear night sky. The walkers followed gravel trails along the lower slopes of Mount Majura. The nocturnal animals sighted or heard included a barn owl, a bat, sugar gliders, frogs, kangaroos and a handful of rabbits.

Friends of Mount Majura gather for the twilight walk on 5 May. Photo Phil Jones.

Mondays at the Fair

Every week a group of FoMM volunteers works at The Fair site in North Watson. Meet us any Monday at 9.30am at the nature park entrance near Tay & Ian Nicol Streets. No experience necessary – you will learn from others who will share their knowledge. We are currently tackling Cootamundra wattles and other woody weeds like Hawthorn, Briar Rose and even Barberries on the slopes below the Centenary Trail. The convivial group includes one keen observer of bird life who alerts us to birds he sees and hears, including a recently spotted White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea), and an adult Golden whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis), with a spectacular yellow breast, both birds which favour native woodland.

Photos courtesy Canberra Ornithologists Group.

Gang-gangs Feeding in Canberra Trees

Canberra Nature Map contributor Michael Mulvaney is mapping where Gang-gang cockatoos have been observed feeding in trees in and around Canberra. If you see Gang-gangs feeding, take some pictures (with location switched on) and upload them to the Canberra Nature Map noting the number of birds and how many were males (with the red top-knots).

Blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus) are most popular with the birds, followed, somewhat disturbingly, by the introduced weeds Hawthorn, Liquidambar, Cypress, Pistachio and Cotoneaster. Please do not plant these in your garden to encourage Gang-gangs!

Michael also wants to know about any nesting sites which are spotted in Mt Majura and Watson woodlands.

Three Gang-gangs in a Blue gum at Watson. Photo courtesy Veronica Walker.

Saving Blakely’s Red Gum at Hackett, Saturday 17 June 9am -12 noon

Conservation researchers within the ACT Government Department of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development are testing whether mulching may reduce die-back in old growth trees. Poor tree health may be linked to soil nitrate: leaves with higher nitrogen content being more palatable to insects, leading to more herbivory and eventual tree death.

Adding carbohydrates to soil provides food for soil microbes, which grow and in turn reduce soil nitrates.

If you have energy to move mulch to spread around the base of the Blakely’s (Eucalyptus Blakelyi) please register here with on the ParkCare hub. The meeting site will be the access gate on Antill Street at Watson, Point 1 on this map .

Blakely’s in flower. Photo courtesy Canberra Nature Map.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.