Meeting in the car park, Brad Law showed us a collection of what is probably the Maroubra Snail shells which he had found on site during the past week – this was to educate the group to the difference between the imported trump snail and the native endangered Maroubra Snail. Thus we were all to be on the alert for any snail found. Unfortunately, no one in the group found on this Saturday. The Museum has asked Brad to find one live Maroubra snail so that they can do DNA.
The group started the day with following up on Turkey Rhubarb on the two locations which were heavily infested with this hideous vine that sends out so many bulbs – even latterly along the root, it will be damn hard to completely get rid of it in these two places, but we shall preserver. There was also weeding around the Lomandra on the northern flat end – thistles, burr medic to name but a few with Jarrah, Lisa, Alex, Claire and John. Brad, Gen and Merrilyn planted 8 tube stock in and around the dying Westringa (where they will be sheltered over the coming summer) to get some different shrubs in for the birds and hopefully help increase the diversity of species on our site. We continue to find more and more fauna as the site improves from the previous mono culture of Bitou.
Unfortunately, Lisa found another and rather lengthy 3 stemmed, Star Burr (previous advise from Georgia Williams (NB Council) is that is from Western NSW – species unknown) quite some metres from the original find of this weed just of the track about 2 months ago. Next time Lisa will do a line search between the two finds and make sure there are no more.
Morning tea was fabulous this month as John brought a big pack of Anzac biscuits – along with a lovely red and white table cloth and divine moist banana bread. This was far better than my normal supermarket purchased muesli bar that I eat at morning tea – thank you John! Everyone was delighted and especially impressed with the little tablecloth. There was certainly some excitement with those Anzac biscuits as there not too many Anzac biscuits left, think most of us had 2.
After our indulgent morning tea, the group more or less dispersed heading west across the site and undertaking general weeding. However Jarrah found a horribly big crop of weed grass like bromus but smaller seed heads, and ‘bunny tails’ / ‘fluffy bums’/ so Alex, Jarrah, John and I went in to tackle these plants with seed heads before the seeds were released. Jarrah and Alex worked eastward, whilst John and I worked westward. Claire worked below this area on general weeding. Merrilyn, Gen and Brad worked in the gully area – where Gen found a small mammal skeleton in a small cliff face, she thinks it is either a baby rabbit or a rat and is going to try and identify it. Photos were taken, and she has taken the bones. Be rather thrilling if the bones can be identified. The kestrel was around most of the day, but whilst in the gully the team were very excited to see a Peregrine Falcon come in – so our site is definitely providing food for our native birds. All the effort is certainly worthwhile seeing this change with an increase in birds of prey.
Julie worked on the western slope with removal of small number of young Bitou seedlings along top fence and down slope. She checked Des’s plantings and remove weeds inside their wind covers. Julie then planted and watered 3 x Melaleuca hypericifolia (commonly known as Hillock Bush) well established tube stock in gaps in top slope – so hopefully, they will do well. Julie continued working on the large Bitou bushes by cut/ paint and scrape herbicide- along top slope at the interface with Coastal Tea-tree/ Wattle.