Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter October 2014

Well, what an exciting Spring it is turning out to be this year. Not only are the wildflowers beginning to bloom everywhere, but another four new orchid species have been recorded on Mt Majura for the very first time! They are Golden Moths (Diuris chryseopsis), Dusky Fingers (Petalochilus fuscatus), Swan Greenhoods (Hymenochilus cycnocephalus) and Parson’s Bands (Eriochilus cucullatus). However, the biggest news has been the discovery of what could be the second largest population of Canberra Spider Orchids (Arachnorchis actensis) in the ACT (and the world!) on the north west slopes! The Mount Ainslie Weeders have also found a new population on the east side of Mt Ainslie. These are very important findings as the Canberra Spider Orchid is critically endangered and only found in the ACT. Help us find more unknown treasures on our annual Rare Plant Survey this month, and you never know, you might even find some too! We also have a Wildflower Walk and another Bird Walk planned this Spring. And don’t forget to Like our Facebook page (search for Friends of Mount Majura) and share our posts with your family and friends! We are currently at 49 Likes, let’s get to 100 before the end of the year!
See you on the mountain.
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

FoMM activities and news:

Rare Plant Survey – Sunday 19 October 10am – 12pm
Mount Majura nature reserve is home to a number of rare and endangered plant species, some endemic to the ACT and some at their range distribution limit in the Territory. What are they and where are they? Join Dr. Michael Mulvaney, ACT Conservation, Planning and Research for a survey of Mount Majura’s rare plants.
Where: Meet at nature park entrance Antill Street, roughly opposite Carotel, North Watson.
Bring and wear: Sun protection, sturdy shoes, water, something to write on, and a camera if you have one. Some survey kits will be provided; the kits include a list of rare plants recorded within or in the vicinity of the Mount Majura nature reserve.
Inquiries: e-mail or ph. 6247 7515
Click here for more information.

One of the Canberra Spider Orchids recently found on Mt Majura. (Tony Wood).

Wildflower Walk – Sunday 26 October 2-4pm
Explore the wildflowers that are blooming this season on this delightful walk with plant ecologist Michael Doherty. See the different species found in the grassland, woodland and open forest, and enjoy the beauty of the nature reserve, its grasses, trees, and views whilst you go.
Where: Meet at the Kellaway St nature park entrance close to Phillip Ave, Hackett.
Bring and wear: Sun protection, suitable clothing for the expected weather, comfortable and appropriate footwear and a camera if you have one; an updated Flora List will be available for a gold coin donation.
Click here for more information.

Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) flowering on Mount Majura. (J. Lynch).

Bird Walk – Sunday 9 November, 8am – 10am
Accompany bird enthusiast Peter Miller for an early morning stroll and see, listen to and learn about Mt Majura’s birds that nest, fledge and sing in spring. The grassy woodlands and open forests of Mt Majura provide habitat to a wide range of resident and visiting birds from the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle to the tiny Weebill. There have been confirmed sightings of 112 different bird species in the nature reserve (Canberra Ornithologists Group) including some rare and endangered species such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo.
Where:  Meet at the nature park entrance Mackenzie Street roughly opposite Grayson St, Hackett.
Bring and wear: sun protection, sturdy shoes, binoculars, if you have them and a gold coin for a species list and pocket guide.
Inquiries: or ph. 6248 8955
Click here for more information

Glossy Black Cockatoo on Mt Majura. (T. Henshaw).

Help us remove Patersons Curse!
The wildflowers are not the only plants growing well at the moment, so are the weeds! Particularly Patersons Curse and Cape Weed. One way you can really help us out is when you go for a bushwalk, take a plastic bag with you and and spend 5 minutes patrolling and removing any Patersons Curse plants you can find, especially at Majura Paddock and surrounds towards the Casuarina Track, at the back of Hackett. The plants are very easily pulled from the ground but they need to be bagged at this stage as the flowers are already producing seeds. However, please make sure you can confidently identify Patersons Curse before you do so. Click here, here and here for more information and help with identification. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

Other items of interest:

ParkCare and Landcare Forum – Reflect, Explore and Inspire. Celebrating 25 years of ParkCare and Landcare in the ACT – Friday 17 October and Saturday 18 October 2014
This event, to be held at the Anne Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra, is free and open to all volunteers and individuals that have been involved in ParkCare and Landcare in the ACT. New and experienced volunteers are encouraged to participate and help imagine a future for ParkCare and Landcare in the ACT. A great variety of experienced and knowledgeable speakers will present and there are three field trips to choose from. Registrations close 7th October 2014. Click here for more information, see the program and to register.

Photo Competition – Reflect, Explore and Inspire – closes Wednesday 8 October
Get snapping. ACT Landcare is running a photo competition as part of the 25 year celebration of ParkCare and Landcare in the ACT. This is an opportunity to visually express your time spent volunteering and what it has meant to you. The top ten photos will be decided by an online voting poll from the 9th October to the 15th October and will be used to create a roving display with the intent of capturing and inspiring a future generation of ParkCarers and Landcarers. Click here for more information and how to enter.

Next ParkCare and Share workshop: Low Tech Bushcare at Mt Taylor reserve – Thursday 23 October 10am to 12pm
Enjoy a walk along Mt Taylor and look at the low tech techniques the Mt Taylor ParkCare group have used to improve their patch. Meet at the gate opposite Mannheim St, Kambah. Bring sturdy shoes and hat. Tea and snacks will be provided. To register for attendance, please contact Fiona Spier at the Southern ACT Catchment Group Inc. on Ph. 62966400 or

Grass half full or grass half empty? Valuing native grassy landscapes – 30 October to 1 November.
This forum is being organised by the Friends of Grasslands (FOG) and will be held at the CSIRO Discovery Centre. Registrations are now open until 22 October. Click here for more information

More Kangaroo Survey volunteers needed!
ACT Conservation, Planning and Research (CPR) are planning to undertake more sweep counts at Mt Painter and The Pinnacle next Wednesday (8th) and Thursday (9th) if anyone is available to assist? They need about 15 more people so please let them know if you can make it. Feel free to invite your family and friends! They are all day affairs (8am-4pm) and lunch is provided. RSVP: Dr Melissa Snape on 6205 0001, 0418 693723 or

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