Click here for the PDF version of our 2019 Program 

Bandicoots and Volcano            Bandicoots and Dinner Plate



Special Presentations

Kangaroo and Joey reading                            Fungi Lecturing Bandicoots



Guest speaker presentations 2019, 7.30 pm at HIRL, Hamilton

Thurs 21 Mar. Greg Kerr (NGT): Behavioural Ecology of the Sleepy Lizard

Fri 17 May Rod Bird: Alaska’s Inside Passage – islands, wildlife & glaciers

Fri 19 July Ben Zeeman (GHCMA): Ecology of remnant local grasslands

Fri 20 Sept. Max Campbell (FNCV): Videography of microscopic organisms

Fri 22 Nov * Prof. Liz Reed: Vertebrate palaeontology & Naracoorte Caves

* At the Blue Malt Restaurant in Gray Street, Hamilton – either attend only for the 7.30 pm presentation

or join us for a meal at the restaurant at 6 pm (RSVP for meal booking – by Friday 15th November on 0459723874).


Excursions and conservation activities 2019

Sun 24 Feb. Excursion – Birds at Lake Linlithgow area wetlands. Meet 7.30 am at LLIN’s ‘Point’

Sat 23 Mar. Excursion – Pt Fairy Griffiths Island rock pools – leave HVC 9 am, meet SEANA 10 am

W/E 26-28 Apr. Camp – Urimbirra (Blackburn Tree Society) at their block adj. Little Desert (details TBA)

W/E 18-19 May Camp – Millicent, Mt Burr Swamp, Naracoorte Caves and other places (details TBA)

Sat 25 May Working Bee – A. paradoxa control project, Wannon Flora Res – 9.30 am at the reserve

Sat 22 June Working Bee – Tree planting Kanawalla Rail Flora Res – 9.30 am, Hensley Pk Rd

Sun 23 June Excursion – Mt Byron in the Western Black Range – leave HVC 9.30 am

Sat 20 July Excursion – Western block of Wannon Scenic Reserve – leave HVC 9.30 am

Sun 28 July Working Bee – Tree planting Kanawalla Rail Flora Res – 9.30 am, Hensley Pk Rd

Sun 18 Aug. Excursion – Lake Fyans & Devil Gardens – leave HVC 9 am

Sun 15 Sept. Working Bee – Fulham Res, Cape Tulip/Sparaxis/Gladiolus wiping – 10 am at river

Sat 21 Sept Excursion – Drajurk State Forest woodlands flora – leave HVC 9 am

Sun 22 Sept. Working Bee – Fulham Res, Cape Tulip/Sparaxis/Gladiolus wiping – 10 am at river

Sun 13 Oct. Working Bee – African Weed Orchid wiping at Nigretta Flora Res – leave HVC 9 am

Sun 20 Oct. Excursion – Woohlpooer woodlands flora with Roger Edwards – leave HVC at 9 am

Sat 26 Oct. Working Bee – AWO herbicide-wiping at Nigretta Flora Res – leave HVC 9 am

W/E 23-24 Nov. Excn/camp – Beear SF Fauna Nest Box inspection (Sat) & hike (Sun) – leave HVC 9 am

Sat 30 Nov. Working Bee – AWO pulling at Nigretta Flora Res. Meet Nigretta Pool at 9.15 am

Sun 15 Dec. End-of-year get-together picnic & walk – 4 pm ‘til dusk at Kanawalla Rail Flora Res

Sun 23 Feb. 2020 Excursion – Birds, Linlithgow area wetlands. Meet 8 am, LLIN’s ‘Point’, Chatsworth Rd

HVC = Hamilton Visitor Centre in Lonsdale St

HIRL = Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning, at 333 Nth Boundary Rd.





Enjoying Our Heritage

Presentation details

HFNC presents a series of five evening presentations each year on topics of natural history in Australia or overseas. 

Except for a call for any interesting observations on nature in the last month, the evening is devoted to the guest speaker and subsequent discussion.

Recent presentation topics have included:

  • Fire fuel-reduction regimes & environmental impacts
  • Woodland birds and bird surveys
  • Australian travel experiences in the outback

Annual Program of presentations

For this year’s presentations see the Activities above. 

Or download a PDF version of the years program



These presentations are held at the Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning (HIRL), 333 North Boundary Rd, Hamilton (adjacent to Pedrina Park). 

The evening begins at 7.30 pm.


Our meetings are all open to the publicvisitors and non-members are welcome 

Bandicoot flat on backBandicoot with bunch of flowers




Bandicoots looking through magnifying glass at flower                                    

General features

Our monthly excursion is usually within an hours drive from Hamilton.  Most start at 9 am (leaving from the Hamilton Visitor Information Centre) and continue to mid-afternoon. Some also involve a strenuous hike.  We alternate between Saturday & Sunday 

In some years we conduct a weekend campout (e.g. canoeing in the Lower Glenelg NP), sometimes at a distant location (e.g. Wyperfeld NP).  Members may also go to South East Australia Naturalist Association camps (SEANA) in other parts of Victoria.

Photography, bird-observing, geology and landforms are also catered for on each excursion and club members are happy to help newcomers learn more on their interests.

Wildflowers, grasses, fungi and ferns 

Feb-May is a time to look at caves and ferns; May-July has fungi, heath, Greenhoods & Helmet Orchids; Aug-October has native flora in bloom in the heathlands & nearby ranges; Nov-Feb is the time to admire native grassland remnants on our roadsides.

Volcanoes, caves and other landforms

Each year we visit one or more of the volcanic features of the region (scoria cones, lava tubes, lava fields, craters, wetlands, tumuli and waterfalls), limestone karst features near the coast, or sandstone ranges and granite outcrops inland.


A visit to Lake Linlithgow and 5 or 6 of the wetlands nearby is a fixture each year in February.  HFNC began bird surveys there in 1960 and has a comprehensive list of species and numbers, and their variation over the years. 

Since 2006, members met at the Grange Wetlands at 8 am each Thursday in the week after the monthly meeting for a walk and survey of bird species and numbers. From March 2012 the venue will change to Lake Hamilton, meeting at the ‘beach’


We occasionally conduct a survey of small mammals in woodlands or forests and the survey sites are visited when an excursion is planned for that area 

Birdwatching bandicootBandicoots descending into caveMum Dad and baby bandicoots


Conservation Activities

Two bandicoots


Our club has an annual program of conservation activities.  The working bees often combine business with pleasure (e.g. weed control at Fulham in spring when the wildflower display peaks.) 

Fauna Surveys

We conduct mammal surveys using spot-lighting, hair-tubing and infra-red cameras.  Members contribute to DSE monitoring of Bandicoots at Hamilton Parklands, Brolga & other birds on local wetlands, shorebirds near the coast and Red-tailed Black-cockatoos in the far south-west. 

Flora Surveys 

Lists of flora are noted on most excursions.  Formal surveys have been conducted on various public lands, including the Wannon River frontages, Railway Reserves and wetlands. 

Revegetation Projects 

We use local provenances of indigenous species to re-plant degraded natural areas. e.g.:

  •   Wannon Falls Scenic Reserve – an old pine plantation area off Morven Rd (1994-1999)
  •   Lake Linlithgow, on the eastern and northern banks (1975-91 & 2003-05)
  •   Mt Napier, planting the summit with Manna Gums and Blackwoods (1984-1994)
  •   Kanawalla Railway Flora Reserve at Hensley Park (2006-08) 

Weed Control Projects

The areas that we currently monitor are:

  • Fulham Streamside Reserve – two or more days on Harlequin Flower (Sparaxis bulbifera), Cape Tulip, African Weed Orchid and Wild Gladiolus that threaten the wildflower area.
  • Nigretta Falls Scenic Reserve & Flora Reserve – Periwinkle, South African Weed Orchid and Wild Gladiolus infestations of this native grassland area.
  • Lake Linlithgow & Lake Kennedy – Spiny Rush (Juncus acutus) and Tall Wheatgrass on the foreshore of these wetlands.
  • Wannon Falls Scenic Reserve & Flora Reserve – Sparaxis, Freesia and Angled Onion infestations in late spring
  • Kanawalla Railway Flora Reserve – estd. in 2005, we removed Pines and Cypress in 2007, revegetated degraded areas and tackle Sparaxis, Oxalis purpurea & Briar each year. 

Interpretive Signs

Members use their talents on funded educational projects:

  •   Signage at Harmans Cave, Mt Napier SP – endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat and ferns.
  •   Renewal of the Hamilton Parklands Nature Trail signs, dedicated to the late Sue McInnes.
  •   Native plant identification signs for native grassland/grassy woodlands in 4 small reserves.
  •   A banner ‘Cats and native wildlife – how you can protect both’.

flowers and skink