The Castlemaine Field Naturalist Club is renowned for the collective knowledge of natural history held by its members. The club was formed in 1976 and has produced regular monthly newsletters since its inception. These newsletters contain a record of club excursions, local flora and fauna observations and informative articles on the ecology and natural history of the Castlemaine district …. which of course includes Newstead!
Recently, one of the club’s members, Chris Timewell completed digitising the full set of newsletters. They are a wonderful resource, an absolute treasure trove of information that will prove extremely valuable in the future as we witness changes in our landscape resulting from natural and human induced events. I was particularly interested in observations of the Sandon area where our family lived from the mid-1980s until 2000. Suzanna Starr, a local resident of Sandon made regular contributions, with some notable records.
For example in October 1991, Suzanna recorded Hooded Robin (now rare at Sandon) and White-throated Gerygone (a rarely recorded summer migrant), while around the same time, members of the Maryborough FNC observed Australian Pratincoles on the Moolort Plains.
I’m planning to do some more systematic reading of this wonderful resource soon.
The full digital set of newsletters can be accessed here.