Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) November 2011 Newsletter

Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter November 2011 (link to pdf)

Dear Friends

Meetings were held with the rangers during October and the exciting news is that the rabbit control contractors should start their work on 18th January. This means that time is quite short for us to organize a re-mapping of Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie to identify all the currently active rabbit warrens.  Posters have been displayed to advertise a meeting on Tuesday  November 8th at the Phillip Street entrance to the reserve from 6-7 pm for everyone who has an interest in helping with the rabbit mapping project.  Our local ranger will be there to talk about the project and show people how to identify active warrens and there are plenty of example warrens in that area!  Volunteers will be encouraged to adopt a mapping block and sign up for a GPS training session. See more details below or at this link or ring Margaret on 62475561. If this time or date is not possible but you want to take part then please call Margaret.

A valuable vegetation monitoring workshop is planned for November (see Free BioDiversity Monitoring Training Flyer).  This one is targeted especially at Parkcare groups and will be invaluable in helping us to assess and plan our activities. It would be great if some of you could attend these sessions if you can spare the time.  If interested please email Waltraud.

A new Chemcert training will be run if there are sufficient numbers for this.  It is a very useful one day course which equips you with a lot of knowledge about the chemical sprays we use, safety procedures and a whole lot more.  The more people we have trained the better, so please email Waltraud if you are interested. Parkcare covers the cost of the course.

Finally – African Lovegrass is a huge problem around Canberra and a workshop is offered in identifying and treating this noxious weed.  It is difficult to identify and can easily be confused with other grasses.  Is there someone out there who would like to become our African Lovegrass specialist ?  Think how good it would look on your resume!!  Again, let Waltraud know if the idea appeals.

Plenty of activities happened during October.  In particular there was a working party at the Majura Paddock on October 16th.  One of the volunteers from that working party, Will Floyd, a Crowajingalong scout, wrote a lovely description of the working party and this account and its accompanying photos can be seen on the website at Report-on-spring-working-party link

About 20 people enjoyed the sunny afternoon walk on October 30th. There were fewer flowers than last year, perhaps because of the dry conditions in October. Michael Doherty was still able to show the group a large variety of wildflowers with many people noting the names on the list of plants on Mt Majura. The highlight of the walk was the baby shingle back lizard whose image was captured by 3 women from Slovakia. As always, Michael was a font of knowledge on all matters botanical, answering a stream of questions from the participants. Thank you Michael!

October 16-22 was the week for the annual Frogwatch census.  I can say from personal experience that the unusually dry conditions for most of October led to a very quiet frogwatching event!  Last year at the Lower Majura Dam (up the Blue Metal Track from the McKenzie Street entrance) the night was filled with a cacophony of frog noises with at least four different species being identified.  This year during my recording period one, solitary whistling tree frog was calling out over the dam.  The water level in the dam seemed to be dropping as I watched.  Luckily in the last few days of October we had some welcome rain and the frogs and the new seedlings at the Majura Paddock were all very grateful.

The Mt Majura/Mt Ainslie Bird Walk to be led by ornithologist, Terry Munro on November 13th has already been oversubscribed and there is a waiting list of people who are hopeful that another walk can be planned.

This month’s working party joint with the Watson Woodlanders will be on Sunday November 20th from 9am-noon    Please come and help us tackle woody weeds on the north-west slope of Mount Majura.  More details and links for this event are shown below.

No news to report on the Centenary Trail.

I hope Waltraud is enjoying her time away from Mt Majura and that she returns refreshed and rested.  Somehow I doubt she is relaxing on a beach and suspect she is working as hard as ever!

Best wishes Louisa Barnsley

Rabbit Mapping Volunteer Meeting – Tuesday 8 November
Tuesday, 8 November 2011, 6 – 7pm
Mt Majura nature at the Phillip Street entrance
Access and car parking available off Kellaway Street; click on Kellaway Street parking to see parking area and park entrance.
: Meet the ranger, learns about identifying active warrens, adopt a mapping block and sign up for a GPS training session.
Click on this link for a poster you can download and distribute to advertise this meeting.
Please contact us if this time is not convenient but you do wish to take part.
click on this link for more info.

Woody Weeds Working Party – Sunday 20 November
Sunday, 20 November 2011, 9.00 am – 12.00 noon
Mt Majura nature park off Antill Street south of “The Fair” construction site, north Watson
Access and car parking opposite Prime TV; walk along the horse track towards “The Fair” until you hit the PCS trailer; click on this map to view the meeting point and working area. Note: due to stormwater augmentation work, the nature park access and car park further north will be not accessible until further notice.
What: Cut-&-daub Sweet Briar, hawthorns, and frilling of Cootamundra wattles.
: Sun protection, appropriate shoes, body-covering clothing; tools and morning tea will be provided.
Please come early for an introduction.
Enquiries and more information:
visit this link

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