Lake Fyans Centenary

October 2016

As Rod says in his president’s report it was a  wild wet day but a worthwhile exercise to raise our profile a little and to enjoy seeing how a wet winter had transformed the nearby woodlands. The photos give you a feel of it I hope. I believe there are plans to publish a book on the day, and I will let you know if that happens.

MargoRead the rest

Posted in 2017 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report


19 November 2016

We had a good attendance at our AGM. Reports were presented by the president (see separate article) and the treasurer again thanking Ron Goudy for auditing our books and our bank balance at the end of June 2016 being $8,615.89.

Election of office bearers see this year’s committee as:

  • President: Rodney Thompson
  • Vice President: Leigh Gunn
  • Secretary: Wendy Bedggood
  • Treasurer: Mabel Brouwer
  • Committee Members: Margo Sietsma, Ben Gunn, Janbert Brower and Judith Thompson
  • Newsletter Editor: Margo Sietsma
  • Webmaster: Frank van der Peet

We continued with a general meeting and ideas for next years activities were; an Insect day, (as this year’s was unable to go ahead), a reptile day, Clam Shrimps with Brian Tims, a bat event possibly jointly with a landcare group, and  several people expressed an interest in Grasses and having a day on them. Good walks are always popular though no specific suggestions were … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report

Stawell Field Naturalists Films

11 December 2016

As we reported in June and September we have been using three RMIT students to document the work of the Stawell Field Naturalists and, in particular, the legacy of Ian McCann. The students worked on the documents preserved by the Stawell Historical Society and filmed interviews with long time members and people who had worked with them. So in December we invited them to present their work.

After a chapter of accidents, amusing in hindsight but tense at the time, the quite large audience managed to look at two films: one on the Field Naturalists generally, and one on Ian McCann. The students had struggled somewhat with such a wet year and some recording issues, but the films were well received, particularly the Ian McCann one. There is still more footage which we hope can be edited into another film or two. Plus there are some very … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report

Victoria Valley Excursion – August 13

Not that many of us but a successful day nonetheless.

Our first stop was at the lovely Burrong Falls off Rose Creek Road, which was new to some of us. It was a bit muddy and slippery to go right down to the creek, but we enjoyed the view, and the winter flowers. We then headed down towards the valley, stopping to admire fungi and orchids, to Round Swamp, which was more a lagoon than a swamp. Then off to Red Gum walk where we were met by ranger Kyle. We did the walk, clearing it of fallen branches, and noting how slow and patchy the recovery from the 2006 fires has been. No young banksias, no cherry ballart.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Wild Flower Walkabout in the Northern Grampians – September 10th


On a bright but chilly morning 25 questing souls gathered in Wartook to look at wildflowers. We were joined by several first time attendees who saw facebook and website promotion, or heard the radio add. (They enjoyed themselves so much I ran out of membership forms!). After last season’s dry September we were worried about finding much to look at but nature was very obliging this year. I guess a wetter season is a big help to the plant life. Our biggest concern leading up to the day was the grazing macropods that see flowers as candy. But they left us some to admire. Those who attended had a great time, and saw some great flowers. With many eyes many things can be spotted and people danced from one treasure to another with great delight.

I was very pleased to convince Dave and Lyn Munro to come along for … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Parks Victoria Bioblitz Sept 24 & 25

In the last newsletter we reproduced an article from Parkwatch about how two new portable technologies – the digital camera and the smart phone – have changed the way in which volunteers can collect data in the field. This was very evident when FOGG helped with a Junior Ranger activity during the school holidays. Youngsters were encouraged to take photos of interesting things they had seen when out in the park and to upload them to a website We didn’t have a huge uptake, but we hope that we demonstrated that we are interested in inspiring the next generation.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Meeting at Parks Office with Parks Representatives – 24/06/16

Rod Thompson

On the last Friday in June 2016, FOGG’s members had their annual catch up with Park Management. It was attended by 8 members and 3 rangers, Dave Roberts, Tammy and Ryan.

We were given a basic rundown of the structure of the management of the park, consisting of 2 teams. A park management team which includes Tammy, Ryan, Mark who have all been involved with FOGGs and our activities over the course of the last year. The park team has a total of 14 people under Dave himself. This is complemented by a Fire Management team of 13 staff. The two teams try to work together to manage various impacts, but have to diverge in some areas too. Caity will most likely be continuing in her position as the volunteer coordinator. This is 97% sure but Conservation Volunteers Australia need funding to match Parks Vic. who have funding … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, From Parks Victoria, Meeting Report

Geology Day in May


Wendy Bedggood

Nearly thirty turned up to the Mural room to hear Dr Ross Cayley give a presentation titled ‘Geology of the Grampians – A 400 million year plus history and why geology has worldwide implications.’P

The Grampians Geology has been studied in detail over the past 15 plus years by using many new technologies allowing a more accurate picture of how it was formed. The area was mapped chemically and physically and using ‘total intensity and residual magnetic mapping’ a picture of the underground rock formations was created. The chemical mapping and physical mapping came up with the same pictures.  Some of the detailed studies on small scale have been extrapolated to the large scale giving a picture of the Grampians and surrounding areas and even what was happening on the rest of the continent. Mapping the Geology of the Grampians even has broarder implications. The fact the … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report

Bird Observing in the Grampians

JanBert Brouwer

The joint outing with the Birdlife Horsham branch on Sunday July 3rd started with a bleak weather outlook following rain and low lying clouds. Not something that is likely to make the birds put on an active show. However a large-turn out of bird observers often means many keen eyes to detect birdlife.

The Birdlife group always prepares their trips very thoroughly with a reconnaissance visit preceding the outing to find interesting birds. Tim Mintern and Ian Morgan had recently sighted emu wrens near the air strip in the western part of the park but these birds proved to be too elusive for this outing. However the Scarlet Robin put on a splendid display there and was a real highlight. It was surprising that even water birds were very scarce on the Moora Moora Reservoir.

Hennie and Bill Neve hosted us for our lunch break at their … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Photo Point Mapping of Sallow Wattle

Last year  FOGGs volunteered to keep a pictorial record of Sallow Wattle at 20-30 spots in the Park. We would mark each spot with a star picket and it would be a matter of going back to the same spot twice a year and taking a photo at a time that suits the individual volunteer. It has been a slow start but we now have the map with the spots to be monitored and enough volunteers to spread the load.  The actual photo work is about to start on this long term project.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values