Monday, April 20, 2015

Wine-glass Fungus

This fairly common fungus usually grows on buried wood but I found these today on an old exposed stump at Shady Creek.

The funnel-shaped rosettes give this fungus its common name however ‘petalodes’ in the scientific name, Podoscypha petalodes, is far more descriptive of this species. To me it looked for all the world like rose petals.

The fungus was soft and fragile too and I didn’t dare remove the bits of debris to try and get a ‘clean’ shot in case I damaged it.

I also lucked on to some Striated Thornbills today. These little beggars are so tiny and usually up so high they are beyond my camera’s reach. I haven’t had the opportunity to snap one of these little bush birds for ages.

I was trying for the Pink Robin or the Olive Whistler again – no joy.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shady Miscellaneous

I returned to Shady Creek yesterday. A couple of days earlier when I was just reccy-ing the place, I had a pleasant encounter with a Spotted Quail-thrush. Despite putting in considerable effort I couldn’t sight one again yesterday and I will have to try again later for a photo – I will just HAVE to.

I haven’t quite worked out the geography of the place just yet. I have discovered the locality is called the Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve. The place is located on a bit of a north-south ridge and the eastern flanks slope down to the Latrobe River, (I think), and the western slope is catchment for Shady Creek. Once I’ve learned a little more about the place I’ll do a Pete’s Places entry.

The eastern slope of the NCR is covered with wire grass and bracken in between motor bike tracks! That’s being a little unkind as I did see some Common Heath in flower already. There were a few plants of the white form nearby too.
Common Heath, Epacris impressa, pink/white form.
 On the other side, (Shady Creek), in the wet gully along the creek I ticked an Olive Whistler, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Lyrebird, Brown Gerygone and perhaps a Pink Robin, (maybe).
Shady Creek.

Brown Gerygone.
 I took a walk along a track leading away from the creek and came across a single fungus, that judging by the fresh soil around the sides, hadn’t long pushed through the surface. I think it is one of the Amanita species.
Flies and gnats.
 The fungi–insect symbiosis is not fully understood in many cases, certainly not by me anyway. One thought is that the flies are attracted to the fungi as a source for egg laying and in the process they help disperse some fungi spores.
Fungus fly (?), close up.
 This one was attracting flies and gnats.

About three weeks ago we suffered several days in a row of smoke from some controlled burns in the area and I came across a patch where one burn had taken place.
Controlled burn.
 Not a good look at present, but it might be a good locality for some interesting wildflowers this coming spring.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Solander's Brown Butterfly

Daniel Solander was a Swedish naturalist who accompanied Joseph Banks on the Endeavour and together in 1770, they collected hundreds of specimens along the east coast of Australia.

The Solander’s Brown Butterfly is a common species in Victoria, usually found in alpine and sub-alpine woodlands.

I think I was lucky to find this one yesterday in some bushland at Shady Creek just north of Warragul, as normally they finish flying in April.

The Solander’s Brown Butterfly likes to use poa grasses and wiregrass as a host plant.