Last Sunday we held our final main 2023 activity in Porter Scrub, attended by 7 volunteers and ranger Orkun, with Kurtis coming a bit later.

We hand weeded around the plants in and outside the exclosure, planted this year and in 2022 and 2021.

While volunteers were busy on hands and knees Liz was our scriber to record counts and observations on datasheets.

Adam and myself arrived a bit earlier to set up and water the Lagenophora sublyrata (Slender Bottle-Daisy) as the area of planting was quite dry.

Volunteers and Orkun undertook sensitive hand weeding around the plants, with sliver grass, Yorkshire fog grass, ribwort and Brome grasses being the most dominant weeds.

Weeds were collected in buckets and removed from the exclosure.

Most plants were found alive and some were even observed flowering or had spent flowers, such as Lagenophora sublyrata and Veronica gracilis (Slender speedwell).

All 25 Amphibromus pithogastrus (Plump Swamp Wallaby-grass), planted in August 2023 that were guarded outside of the exclosure have survived.

Although Mentha diemenica (Slender mint) are small they are doing ok and those that have survived of the Oreomyrrhis eriopoda (Australian curraway), planted last year, are looking healthy.

Coronidium gunnianum (Swamp everlasting) inside and outside planted this year are thriving.

In addition, Coronidium gunnianum from 2022 plantings are doing ok and those survived have old and new growth.

Amphibromus pithogastrus from 2021 plantings inside the exclosure are also doing ok, particularly in the south-east end.

There is some further need for grass specific weeding to be undertaken around these and the Amphibromus nervosus (Common Swamp Wallaby-grass ) which we planted last year. We ran out time to do this yesterday and it does need a good eye to know the species amongst the weedy grasses.

The overall success of this August plantings is very positive and encouraging.

The data we have collected this year (plants & birds) will be put into BDBSA and available to view via Nature Maps, although some may have sensitive denaturing. I will also forward on our results of the monitoring to the SA Seed Conservation Centre.

To end, our hard work was rewarded with a short walk up into Howard Creek, where we were treated to getting up close to 3 Yellow-tailed cockatoos, 1 male, and maybe 2 females. They were hanging around some large burnt trees with hollow (Candlebarks?) and being rather vocal, so we didn’t linger long but it’s likely they are preparing to breed/nest based on their behaviour. We pushed on through some Acacia paradoxa which has overgrown a once lovely access track, and found the main walking track where we were greeted with flowering Running postman, Blue-grass lily’s, creaming candles, vanilla lily’s and 2 species of rice flowers (Pimelea humilis & maybe Pimelea glauca), and Western Golden tip (Goodia medicaginea) laden with seed pods. We passed by the Clover glycine (Glycine latrobeana) monitoring site, which is over grown with Acacia pyncnatha and peeked in to see one lone Clover glycine, which is a good sign.

Our day ended with refreshments, in-kind from the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group, and the sweet sounds of birds.

Finally we had a chat about our future after the Partnership Grant which ends June 2024, and everyone seemed happy to continue, but to make our sessions more casual drawing support from NPWSA if needed, with some offering ideas and their own skill set and to alternate with sharing/bringing morning tea.

I can continue to bring and coffee and tea supplies. We have built up a great comprehensive tool kit so we can continue to undertake weeding bees. If you have any ideas on how you would like to spend your time in Porter Scrub and contribute from July 2024, please flick me an email prior to February 2024 so I can start to plan our year and beyond.

We plan to do some additional watering of plants over the summer to give them the best chance.

SAVE THIS DATE – Sunday 3rd December 9-10am. Bring watering containers and water if you can manage this.

If you are interested to be involved please RSVP closer to the date.

More info to come.

FYI – During 2022-23 as volunteers on park and administration, we contributed about 170 hours of work which equates to $7667.00 as in-kind – so thank you!

Thank you for URTLG for supporting us and for the Friends of Parks, DEW and NPWSA for their support and funding through Partnership Grant.

Thank you to Phil Barron for your expertise in guiding us to be better birdos and SA Seed Conservation Centre, Greg Sproule and Kieran Brewer for your collaboration with this Partnership project.

Next year in April, we start off with a birding activity with Phil Barron in Porter Scrub and then onto a private property for a backyard birding session. In May 2024 we have our final planting session which will include Glycine latrobeana, Veroncia gracilis and Mentha diemenica (I think) and in June we will likely do a weeding activity, all funded under the Partnership Grant. In July I intend to have a break/holiday, so maybe someone would like to lead the group for this month. Get your ideas flowing for July, August & September 2024 and beyond. I think it’s a good idea to finish October with a similar event as what we did yesterday. There has been great investment in the threatened species planting project so we need to continue to manage and monitor.

Thank you all once again for your hard work this year.