Billys Creek (with log across the creek)
Billys Creek

Friends of Morwell National Park
September Activity Report

At the September meeting of Friends of Morwell National Park, news was shared of a visit to the park by local Members of Parliament - Melina Bath and Martin Cameron, who had come to inspect the damaged bridges in the Junction Road area. The delays in repairing the bridges after the storms in June 2021 have been raised by Ms Bath in state parliament, and Parks Victoria is believed to have appointed a project coordinator.

Members of the group who are working to produce a guidebook to the birds in the park reported that they have held some productive initial meetings, and the wider group approved a proposal to seek funding for the project. An update was also given on the Strzelecki Alpine Biolink project, which has held two meetings this year and is progressing slowly. The Jeeralang Junction Local Recovery team has put together an improvement plan for the Billys Creek Reserve opposite the Junction Road carpark. As part of the recovery efforts after recent disasters they are planning improvements to the park including an all-access walking circuit, shelter and picnic tables and interpretive signs.

With no appropriate vehicles available to carry tools and equipment into the park, the plan for doing track maintenance was abandoned in favour of a bird observation walk along the Billys Creek Track.

Wombat huddled on the side of the track
Bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

Only a few hundred metres from the car park, we found a wombat munching grass in the middle of the track. Upon approaching it carefully, we saw that it was infected with mange. Once it had scurried off the track and into the bush, we continued with our walk.

A total of 24 bird species was observed over the course of the day, with the most numerous being the superb wren and golden whistler. Other sightings included eastern yellow robin, white-throated treecreeper, Australian king parrot, laughing kookaburra, and the ubiquitous pied currawong and Australian magpie.

Some members of the group cleared a fallen wattle tree that was partially obscuring the track while others noted the profusion of mountain clematis (Clematis glycinoides), which was flowering in great display high up in several trees.

We were pleased to see four koalas, including one that was actively climbing near our lunch spot. A parcel of eight fallow deer, led by a buck with impressive antlers, was also observed in the bush adjoining But But Track, and two grey kangaroos were sighted up near Tebb Terrace.

While we may not have completed much maintenance this month, we all enjoyed our time in the national park, appreciating the varied beauty of the flora and fauna that inhabit it.

Admiral butterfly
Australian admiral (Vanessa itea)
Clematis - flowering vine
Mountain clematis (Clematis glycinoides)