Sunday, 7 July 2013

Dates for the Diary

  • BIRD SURVEY - 4th July - around Coal Point
  • Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
    • July:  Carey Bay Wetlands- prepping for National Tree Day
    • Ring Robyn for details : 4959 1507
  • National Tree Day at Carey Bay Wetlands Sunday 28th July 9am-noon
    • Planting, Wetland Wander, Treasure Hunt and community BBQ
  • Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Meeting  
    • Wednesday 10th July Progress Hall 5-6.30pm
  • Landcare and Catchment Forum 3-5 Sept- Newcastle City Hall
    • Landcare Muster 3/9/13
  • Living Smart Festival
    • Saturday 28/9/13 - 8am-2pm,Speers Point Park
      • The Lorax, eco displays, handmade items, workshops

Up Coming Landcare Dates
Burnage Reserve 8/8/13
Gurranba  Reserve 5/9/13
West Ridge Reserves 3/10/13
Yural/Ambrose St Reserves 7/11/13
Carey Bay Wetlands 12/12/13
February 2014 
Carey Bay Wetlands  6/2/14

Winter Greetings

The absence of the Chronicle has been a consequence of the flurry of activity being generated by the Threatened Species project.

On-ground works in the public reserves have been occurring regularly and the local Landcare team has been receiving additional support every Thursday.

The Stansfield Close reserves have been receiving some additional attention to support the preparation for the Asset Protection Burn, mooted for Autumn but hopefully some time soon.

A site tour of the public land and the private properties that had expressed interest in the project was also undertaken.

In order to maximise the available bush regeneration budget work will focus around neighbourly nodes of interest. In the next Chronicle expressions of interest will be sought for further inclusion of private land in the project.

Private landholders may be able to gain bushland benefits in sharing the cost of additional bush regeneration days, being part of a mass nest box installation or party to a bulk order plant purchase to expand the habitat of your bushland.

National Tree Day at Carey Bay Wetlands will be a chance to catch up and discuss any interest you may have in the project.

Other Progress happenings:

  • Progress Committee meetings are on the second Monday of the month
  • Membership renewals will still be graciously received by the Treasurer.
  • A members only social event is being planned for Spring.
  • More walkers are required for the distribution of the Chronicle. If you would like to walk for an hour once a month please let Barbara know.
  • Is there a local business interested in restricting possum access to the roof space of Progress Hall? Contact Tony for details.

Get Outside and Grow - National Tree Day Sunday July 28

View National Tree Day site in a larger map

This year we’re aiming to get 850 plants planted at the Carey Bay Wetlands, on the Pony Club side, to begin the process of expanding the Endangered Ecological Community- Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest on Coastal Floodplain. 

At present a mere remnant of its former glory, the hope is over the next five years to bring it back from the brink and create a corridor to link it to other remnant vegetation in the Carey Bay catchment.

There will be opportunities to plant a tree or two, a BBQ to meet the locals and neighbours, a wetland walk and a treasure hunt for the young at heart to explore this rather special bit of bush. 

Planting is from 9am till noon. The closest access points to walk to the planting area are from Excelsior Parade, along the track at the eastern most point of the reserve near Angela Close, the  walkway in Angela Close, or from Hampton Street.

You’ll also be able to catch up with the local landcarers and find out what is happening with the Threatened Species project. 

You can be part of the country’s largest community tree planting and nature-care event. Join thousands of other community groups, sport clubs, faith groups and families, in making a difference to our community, fostering a love of nature and creating positive environmental change. 

This year you will be part of a milestone event to plant the 20-millionth seedling since the campaign started in 1996. With your help, we can do it! 

Carey Bay Wetlands 2005
Same spot 2010

Doggy Do Gooders

Having a wander with your best friend is one of the simple joys in life... fresh air in the face, soft soil underfoot and spectacular scenery to sooth the soul.

But have you noticed the birdlife abounding? 

Probably not, because as your fleet footed friend bounds through the bush the birdcalls are silenced, a natural response to the threat of danger.

On the morning of Thursday 4th July a Winter bird survey will be undertaken as part of
the TSLS project to gather information on what local wildlife we are blessed to share Coal Point with. The bird survey team have previously noticed the silence of the birdcall as they encounter dogs enjoying their morning stroll. 

In an attempt to get a clear picture of the birds present could an afternoon walk or a non bushland location be the dog walking destination on Thursday 4th July? 

Thank you in advance for doing your bit to support the TSLS project.

On the prowl for the Powerful Owl

Several locals have heeded the call of Birdlife Australia and gone on the prowl for the Powerful Owl in the Toronto Area. 

The first couple of expeditions did not provide a sighting but recently a successful viewing occurred off Centennial Parkway. With the support of a local landowner nice clear whitewash (bird droppings) were seen, with a very furry pellet in the middle of it, so real evidence of local presence. The owl prowlers watched a Powerful Owl pull apart something furry then fly overhead to another perch and heard a Powerful Owl call several times. A glimpse was had of what was thought to be a female flying past then the calls came from further away so hopefully some chicks will be heard in the near future. 

Powerful Owls are the largest owls in Australia with possums, especially Ringtails being a favourite food. They will also take roosting birds and swoop on they prey grabbing them with their feet. 

The Powerful Owl mates for life, often 30 years,  and the pair defends its territory all year long. Their home includes an area that has open forests, woodlands, sheltered gullies with a watercourse and large vertical tree hollow for the nest. You can see why the Toronto area has been chosen by this local pair.

If you would like more information about the Powerful Owl project  contact David Bain  from Birdlife Australia
M 0421 337 545 | T 02 9647 1875

A local Powerful Owl range being surveyed

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Update

The local Sustainable Neighbourhood group has been super busy applying for funding to undertake a plethora of local projects. 

The Landcare Working Group got a grant to construct a Fire Retardant demonstration native garden at the Toronto Fire Station providing a growing example of plants that will act as ember curtains and enhance the bushland setting whilst minimising the flammability of the flora. 

The project will focus on  “Be Ready, Be Safe” with the garden being a model in fire hazard reduction and bushfire management around the Fire Station. It will provide a visual and practical demonstration and education opportunity for the whole community.
The Waste group has developed a funding application with Toronto Tidy Towns to reduce local litter around Woolworths, Aldi’s and Lake Macquarie City Council multi-level carpark.

The Tossers can be Binners Project evolved from multiple observations of the type, quantity and spread of litter in the area. A subsequent survey found that litter accumulates on the pavements and in gardens prior to the entry of the two supermarkets and in the multiple exits of the carpark.

It is hoped that funding will be gained for additional bins to be installed at strategic locations. Additionally a publicity campaign with the slogan “Tossers can be Binners” is planned. If successful this would make a significant difference to the cleanliness of the area and create a shopping precinct that is valued by the community.

The Sustainable Neighbourhood group is looking for members who would like to make a difference in the community. If you have a pet project you would like to pursue come along and see how it may fit in to the local action plan. Current working groups include Waste, Footpaths & Cycleways, Landcare and Community Garden.

The annual election of office bearers will be happening in the next few months so it’s a great time to get involved.

The coordinating committee meets monthly at Progress Hall on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Next meeting will be 10th July 5-6.30pm