Native Grassland Field Trip

On Sunday 6th November, a mild sunny day in this extraordinarily wet spring, FNCB members gathered at the entrance to “Chepstowe” carefully parking on the gravel drive, the only dry place capable of supporting a vehicle. We were warmly welcomed by our host, Neville Oddie who then led our convoy to a parking area under the three large wind towers beside the Chepstowe – Pittong Road. Including the paddock opposite this is the highest point on the property and as Neville explained, is the top of a volcanic vent, part of Victorian Volcanic Plains Bioregion [VVP].

A closer look at the existing natural and restored grassland areas
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City of Ballarat Biodiversity Vision

In case you missed the recent announcement, the City of Ballarat now has a Biodiversity Vision and Commitment. It may seem amazing that is news but we congratulate all those who have worked towards this. There will be more work to follow and Council staff have been working with all the Friend & Environment Groups they can locate and who want to be involved, holding forums and workshops. A Biodiversity Strategy Workshop will be held 2023.

“The City of Ballarat is committed to protecting and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of all plants, animals and people that inhabit and benefit from it”. Here is a link to the statement

There is a wealth of biodiversity found within the municipal boundaries and we would like to ensure it there for future generations. It is wonderful to be able to see rakali around Lake Wendouree, koalas in Woowookarung Regional Park and remnant native grassland in Victoria Park but more work is needed to ensure the biodiversityvalues and climate impacts are considered in all planning decisions.

Clarkesdale October Excursion Report


Sixteen field naturalists met Emily Noble at the Clare Miller Environment Centre at Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary for a day of wonderful sights and sounds on Sunday 9 October. The weather was ideal – not too hot, and no rain.

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An extended weekend of bioblitzing

A big thank you to all those who were out and about for the Great Southern Bioblitz.  In spite of the weather conditions quite a few people contributed to our total of over 1000 observations.

Golden Bushland

Last Monday our mini field trip was to Mt Doran near Lal Lal. The bushland is peak orange at the moment with Pultenaea gunnii in full flower.

Lake Wendouree Rakali Monitoring

A project to monitor the rakali population at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat has now commenced to add to our local understanding of this native species. The following information is taken from the Australian Platypus Conservancy Facebook page.

A rakali on the scent of food. Photo by Carol Hall
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Jubilee Visit

Every year our club goes to Clarkesdale and it was exciting to venture on our recent to a new block that was unknown by most of us. The Jubilee block was an early purchase by Gordon Clarke who went on to donate various parcels of land which became the Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary. It is close to Bushranger Bushland Reserve which we have visited in the past.

Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary

Last Sunday we held a club excursion to Clarkesdale near Linton, first we toured familar ground through the Bird Paddock.

A Sunny Monday

Predicted heavy rainfall caused our book review crew’s planned visit to the Brisbane Ranges National Park yesterday to be rescheduled, but on Monday the weather was lovely and sunny. Here are some photos from the firebreak adjacent to the Geelong Road at Butchers Road.

Join the Great Southern Bioblitz

The Great Southern BioBlitz is an opportunity for all in the Southern Hemisphere to record a snapshot of flora, fauna and fungi present during late spring. It runs on iNaturalist which is accessible on computer or smartphone.

Take a photo or  record the sound of birds or frogs. Our Field Nats Club is participating again. Join a project and record what you see over the weekend of 28 – 31 October 2022. There are a few weeks to learn the ropes so get started.

A snapshot of last weekend’s sightings