Dering Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2307

Our third park for Saturday 10th November 2018 was the Dering Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2307, which is about 114 km east of Murrayville, and about 431 km north west of Melbourne.

Again, this was the very first time that the park would be activated and put on air as part of the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Dering Flora & Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After activating the Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve, we headed south on the Walpeup-Hopetoun Road.  This is Malle Fowl country, and was indicated as such by the signs.  Sadly we didn’t see any, it was way too hot for them to be out and about.  In all of my park activations I have only ever seen Mallee Fowl once, and that was in the Mount Boothby Conservation Park in South Australia.

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Above:- The Walpeup-Hopetoun Road.

The Mallee Fowl is a stocky ground-dwelling bird about the size of a domestic chicken.  Mallee Fowl are shy, wary, solitary birds that usually fly only to escape danger or reach a tree to roost in. Although very active, they are seldom seen as they freeze if disturbed, relying on their intricately patterned plumage to render them invisible, or else fade silently and rapidly into the undergrowth

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Above:- Mallee Fowl.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

We had placed the park in the GPS, and we soon reached the northern section of the park which is on either side of the road.  BUT…….the sign said Racecourse Flora & Fauna Reserve.  This really threw us, because the maps and GPS showed we were at Dering.  A quick check on the internet wasn’t able to help us either.

I have since phoned Parks Victoria and the sign came as a surprise to them as well.  According to their records, the park is Dering.  They advised me that they would contact the local ranger and let him/her know.

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I was unable to find much information, if any about this park.  Protected Planet shows that the Dering Flora & Fauna Reserve is about 3.62 km2 in size.  It is a typical mallee park with sandy loam soil and eucalyptus which grow as multiple saplings from a large root or ‘lignotuber’.  It is thought that the name Mallee was derived from an Aboriginal word describing the scrub or thickets.

We accessed the park via a dirt track on the western side of the Walpeup-Hopetoun Road.  We travelled a few hundred metres along the track and found a large gum tree.  As it was a very hot day, it was an ideal spot to set up, and there was plenty of room to stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Dering Flora & Fauna Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

We had some internet coverage in this park, so Marija placed a spot for me on parksnpeaks, and I then commenced calling CQ on 7.145.  This was soon answered by Geoff VK3SQ in Beechworth.  Next was Alan VK2MG/p who was activating the Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595.  Four QSOs later I had another Park to Park in the log, this time a contact with Alan VK3ALN/p who was in the Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333.  This was followed by a contact with Peter VK3PF/p in the Morwell National Park VKFF-0626, and then Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.

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After logging 8 contacts, Marija and I swapped the mic.  Marija called CQ and this was answered by Linda VK7QP, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, and then Geoff VK3SQ.  Marija soon had her 10 contacts in the log for VKFF, and another unique park under her belt as an activator.  A further 3 stations were logged, before I jumped back into the operator’s chair, hoping to get my 44 to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

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I called CQ and Andrew VK3LTL came back to my call, followed by Keith VK2PKT who was contact number 10 for me.  I logged a further 33 stations on 40m, including some interesting stations, and a few more Park to Park contacts.  They included David VK5PL/p in the Para Wirra Conservation Park VKFF-1739, and Mark VK4SMA/p in the Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525.  I also logged special event call VI6PAX mobile, a special call to mark the centenary of the Armistice that ended World War One on the 11th November 1918.  Two further special event calls were logged, VI3PEACE and VI3LWF (Lest We Forget).  These 2 special calls are also to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the armistice.

I was now just 1 contact shy of my 44 contacts.  But callers had slowed down on 40m, so we lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m links for that band.  Marija placed a fresh spot for me on parksnpeaks and I started calling CQ on 80m.  Terry VK3UP came back to my call, and resulted in me qualifying the park for WWFF.  I logged a further 6 stations on 80m, including 2 Park to Park contacts: Norm VK3XCI/p in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231, and Peter VK3PF/p in the Morwell National Park VKFF-0626.

To complete the activation I headed up to the 20m band where I logged 4 stations including 2 Park to Park: Alan VK2MG/p in the Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595, and Gerard VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.

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It was now a bit after 3.00 p.m. local time, so Marija and I packed up and headed off to the Murray Sunset National Park, for an activation for the 2018 Keith Roget Weekend.  Marija had qualified Dering for VKFF, with 12 contacts.  And I had qualified Dering for VKFF & WWFF, with 54 contacts in the log.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2MG/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595)
  2. VK3ALN/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  3. VK3PF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  4. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  5. VK7QP
  6. VK2HHA
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK2KYO
  9. VK2PKT
  10. VK3LTL
  11. VK4SMA/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3XCI/p (Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2MG/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595)
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/AC8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT
  6. VK3ALN/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  7. VK3PF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  8. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  9. VK3LTL
  10. VK2PKT
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK5PL/p (Para Wirra Conservation Park VKFF-1739)
  13. VK7DW/m
  14. VK3EMI
  15. VK3FRAB
  16. VK3TKK
  17. VK5LG
  18. VK2LB
  19. VK5KLV
  20. VK2VW
  21. VK3UH
  22. VI6PAX/m
  23. VK4NH
  24. VK4DXA
  25. ZL4TY/VK4
  26. VK5YX
  27. VK1DI
  28. VK4SMA/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)
  29. VK7QP
  30. VK3IDM
  31. VI3PEACE
  32. VI3LWF
  33. VK2IPK
  34. VK3ANL
  35. VK3TNL
  36. VK2GPT
  37. VK2VX
  38. VK5KSW
  39. VK2FPAR
  40. VK3UP
  41. VK3MDH/m
  42. VK5MR
  43. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3UP
  2. VK3XCI/p (Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231)
  3. VK5LA
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK7QP
  6. VK3PF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  7. VK2KYO

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2MG/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595)
  2. VK3MB
  3. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  4. VK4HAT

 

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2018, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/dering-f-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 15th November 2018

Victorian Places, 2018, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/mallee>, viewed 15th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleefowl>, viewed 15th November 2018

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