Barrett Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2264

Our second park for Saturday (30th November 2019) was the Barrett Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2264, which is situated about 340 km northwest of the city of Melbourne.

Marija and I have activated this park previously in December 2018.  On that occasion, it was the very first time that the park had been activated for the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFF) program.

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

After leaving Dimboola Marija and I headed northeast on the Borung Highway.  The Murra Warra windfarm soon came into view.  This was still under construction last time we visited western Victoria.

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We soon reached the Barrett State Forest.  This is not to be confused with the Barrett Flora & Fauna Reserve.  The State Forest abuts the northern section of the Flora & Fauna Reserve.

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The Flora & Fauna Reserve is relatively well signposted.  The sign at the northwestern corner is in very poor condition.  However, the sign in the southwestern corner is in good condition and visible.

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At the northwestern corner of the park, you can find the site of the former Wallum East State School which was opened in 1948 and closed in 1969.

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The Barrett Flora and Fauna Reserve is about 223 hectares in size and is located at the northeastern corner of Dogwood Road and Bolwells Road, Wallup, south of Warracknabeal.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Barrett Flora & Fauna Reserve looking north.  Image courtesy of Google maps

The park consists of Buloke Woodlands.  Buloke woodlands are characterised by the buloke tree, which is a leafless casuarina or sheoak tree that grows to about 15m and has twisted branchlets and cones.

The eBird website shows that 41 species of native bird have been recorded in the park including Black Honeyeater, Red-rumped parrot, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, and Chestnut-rumped Thornbill.

We set up under the shade of some trees in the northwestern corner of the park off a 4WD track.

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Above:- Map of the Barrett Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Before calling CQ, Marija and I tuned across the band to see if we could find some Park to Park contacts with other park activators.  We found David VK5PL/p on 7.139 calling CQ from the Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707.  David had a lovely 5/9 signal to western Victoria.  We then logged Gerard VK2IO/p on 7.144, who was activating the Garigal National Park VKFF-0191.

I then propped on 7.135 where I logged a total of 37 stations including the following Park to Park contacts (Marija also logged some of the P2P QSOs):-

  • Victoria VK3LT/p – Black Range State Park VKFF-0751
  • John VK3CU/p – Black Range State Park VKFF-0751
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235
  • Sergio VK3SFG/p – Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235
  • Alan VK3ALN/p – Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750
  • Greg VK5GJ/p – Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park VKFF-1763
  • Rob VK4AAC/3 – Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p – Thidna Conservation Park VKFF-2250
  • Peter VK2KNV/p – Kalyarr National Park VKFF-1858
  • Andrew VK7DW/p – Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028
  • Neil VK4HNS/p – Mount Chinghee National Park VKFF-0340
  • David VK2LDW/p – Morton National Park VKFF-1352
  • Nik VK3ZK/p – Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961

I then swapped the mic with Marija.

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Marija called CQ on 7.135 and this was answered by Peter VK3ZPF who was Marija’s tenth contact.  This was followed by Steve VK5ST, Ivan VK5HS, and then Ken VK3UH.  The 40m band was in pretty good shape with some fading on signals.  But it was open locally which was terrific.

Marija logged a total of 36 contacts on 40m including the following Park to Park contacts (I also logged the P2P):-

  • Andrew VK7DW/p – Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p – Thidna Conservation Park VKFF-2250
  • Ian VK5CZ/p – Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945
  • Sergio VK3SFG/p – Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945
  • Tony VK3XV/p – Leaghur State Park VKFF-0762
  • Craig VK3CRG/p – Point Cook Coastal Park VKFF-1875
  • Nick VK3ANL – Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve  VKFF-2104
  • Alan VK3ALN/p – Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333
  • Rob VK4AAC/3 – Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048
  • Rob VK2VH/3 – Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p – Whipstick Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2228

Marija’s 44th contact was with Brett VK3FLCS/p.  Her last contact before we swapped the mic again was with Alan VK5AR mobile.

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A few stations had mentioned that the 10m band was open so I headed to the 4WD to hopefully make some contacts on that band using the Codan 9350 antenna mounted on the rear of the Toyota Hi-Lux.  And I wasn’t to be disappointed, logging a total of 14 stations on that band from VK2, VK4, and VK7.  This included a Park to Park with Andrew VK7DW/p in the Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028.

I then moved to the 20m band and logged 23 stations including another Park to Park with Andrew VK7DW/p and a Park to Park with Alan VK2MG/p who was activating the Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550.  Stations logged on 20m were from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand.

I then tried the 15m band and found that this band was also working very well.  I logged a total of 11 stations on 15m from VK4 and VK8.  I was very pleased to speak with Phil VK8VWA in Darwin and Leigh VK4XB.  I was Leigh’s very first contact on the 15m band.  I also logged a Park to Park with Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Lake Broadwater Conservation Park VKFF-1577.

To conclude the activation I moved to 80m where I logged just 3 stations: Peter VK3PWG, Mike VK5FMWW, and a Park to Park with Nik VK3ZK/p in the Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961.

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This had been another very successful activation, with a total of 145 QSOs in the log between us, including 51 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5PL/p (Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707)
  2. VK2IO/p (Garigal National Park VKFF-0191)
  3. VK3LT/p (Black Range State Park VKFF-0751)
  4. VK3CU/p (Black Range State Park VKFF-0751)
  5. VK3SFG/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  6. VK3PF/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  7. VK3ALN/p (Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  8. VK5GJ/p (Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park VKFF-1763)
  9. VK3ZK/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  10. VK5ST
  11. VK5HS
  12. VK3UH
  13. VK2SLB
  14. VK7DW/p (Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028)
  15. VK5FANA/p (Thidna Conservation Park VKFF-2250)
  16. VK3MCK
  17. VK3MRG
  18. VK3FCMC
  19. VK5AYL
  20. VK5CZ/p (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  21. VK5WG
  22. VK3PF/p (Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945)
  23. VK3SFG/p (Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945)
  24. VK3XV/p (Leaghur State Park VKFF-0762)
  25. VK3PI
  26. VK2KYO
  27. VK2PKT
  28. VK3MKE
  29. VK3YY
  30. VK3SX
  31. VK3CRG/p (Point Cook Coastal Park VKFF-1875)
  32. VK4CZ
  33. VK3PAT
  34. VK2LX
  35. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve  VKFF-2104)
  36. VK3ALN/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  37. VK4AAC/3 (Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048)
  38. VK2VH/3 (Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048)
  39. VK5PE
  40. VK2FPAR
  41. VK3JP
  42. VK7KT
  43. VK3FLCS/p (Whipstick Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2228)
  44. VK5AR/m

Marija worked the following station on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Lake Broadwater Conservation Park VKFF-1577)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5PL/p (Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707)
  2. VK2IO/p (Garigal National Park VKFF-0191)
  3. VK2RU/3
  4. VK4QA/3
  5. VK3LT/p (Black Range State Park VKFF-0751)
  6. VK3CU/p (Black Range State Park VKFF-0751)
  7. VK3PF/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  8. VK3SFG/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  9. VK3ZPF
  10. VK3ALN/p (Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  11. VK5GJ/p (Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park VKFF-1763)
  12. VK3MRG
  13. VK3FCMC
  14. VK4AAC/3 (Black Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2048)
  15. VK5FANA/p (Thidna Conservation Park VKFF-2250)
  16. VK2KNV/p (Kalyarr National Park VKFF-1858)
  17. VK7DW/p (Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028)
  18. VK2XSE/p (Kalyarr National Park VKFF-1858)
  19. VK5HS
  20. VK2PKT
  21. VK3MCK
  22. VK5WG
  23. VK5PE
  24. VK3UH
  25. VK4FDJL/5
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3FLES
  28. VK3FRC
  29. VK3CBP
  30. VK4HNS/p (Mount Chinghee National Park VKFF-0340)
  31. VK2LDW/p (Morton National Park VKFF-1352)
  32. VK2HHA
  33. VK3TP
  34. VK3VEK
  35. VK5ST
  36. VK2LUV
  37. VK3ZK/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  38. VK5CZ/p (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  39. VK3SFG/p (Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945)
  40. VK3PF/p (Bunurong Marine National Park VKFF-0945)
  41. VK3XV/p (Leaghur State Park VKFF-0762)
  42. VK3CRG/p (Point Cook Coastal Park VKFF-1875)
  43. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve  VKFF-2104)
  44. VK3ALN/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  45. VK5AR/m

I worked the following stations on 10m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4MGL
  5. VK4TJ
  6. VK4/AC8WN
  7. VK4/VE6XT
  8. VK4SSN
  9. VK7JON
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK7DW/p (Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028)
  12. VK2HHA
  13. VK2LEE
  14. VK4KD

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4VXX
  2. VK4BXX
  3. VK4/AG7WB
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK7JON
  6. VK7DW/p (Ben Lomond National Park VKFF-0028)
  7. VK2LX
  8. VK2LEE
  9. VK2HHA
  10. VK1DI
  11. VK2XXM
  12. VK4MGL
  13. VK3ARH/p (Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115)
  14. VK4HDY
  15. VK4KD
  16. ZL1TM
  17. VK4CZ
  18. VK2MG/p (Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550)
  19. VK4TJ
  20. VK4/AC8WN
  21. VK4/VE6XT
  22. VK4SSN
  23. VK3WE

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4KD
  2. VK4XB
  3. VK4HDY
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK8VWA
  6. VK4TJ
  7. VK4/AC8WN
  8. VK4/VE6XT
  9. VK4SSN
  10. VK4DH
  11. VK4SMA/p (Lake Broadwater Conservation Park VKFF-1577)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PWG
  2. VK5FMWW
  3. VK3ZK/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)

Below is a graph showing the number of QSOs we made on each band.

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Above:- Graph showing the number of QSOs we made on each band.

We packed up and headed off to our third park for the day, the Verandah Swamp Flora and Fauna Reserve, driving through the Murra Warra wind farm as we made out way towards the town of Piminio.

 

 

References.

Australian Government, 2018, <http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/buloke-woodlands>, viewed 8th December 2019

eBird, 2018, <https://ebird.org/pa/hotspot/L2551670?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec>, viewed 8th December 2019

Cheal, D; Lucas, A; & Macaulay, L, Native Recovery Plan for Buloke Woodlands of the Riverina and Murray Darling Depression Bioregions, 2010.

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