Saturday, November 1, 2014

Kitty Miller Wetlands with Bass Coast Birdwatchers

Yesterday I briefly caught up with the Bass Coast Birdwatchers at the Kitty Miller Wetlands on Phillip Island. The wetland is a restored/re-vegetated component of a wildlife corridor project conducted by the Phillip Island Nature Parks and Phillip Island Landcare Group. Bass Coast Birdwatchers regularly monitor various sites within the project.

Kitty Miller Wetlands is a stronghold for the Cape Barren Goose, (a most peculiar goose of uncertain affiliations - Sraml etal. 1996). The geese were present in good numbers yesterday, 100+ and plenty of guano. A recent survey on the island recorded almost, (?), 2000 birds.

Other interesting birds on or near the water included Red-capped Plovers, Musk Ducks, Black-fronted Dotterels, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Hoary-headed Grebes, Swamp Harriers, White-fronted Chats, etc.

I arrived a little early and put on the billy in the carpark at the nearby Kitty Miller Bay.

Blue-wrens entertained me while I swallowed my coffee and biscuit, by posing on a nearby dry tangle of branches just begging to be snapped.

(Is that evidence of a brooding patch on the belly of a male?)
PS: Sophie and others, the little lilac and yellow flowering herb is Creeping-monkey Flower, (Mimulus repens)....

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Briefly at Mt Cannibal

Today was my first chance for some time to get into some bush again. But only for a little while, so it was off to Mt Cannibal just down the road, to see what effect the heavy weather a day or so back has had.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the common and widespread species, Black-anther Flax-lily. The leaves are strappy and robust but the inflorescence is always delicate and attractive.

Many plants were showing the effects of a thumping from the wind and rain a few days back but some, like these Milkmaids, were protected well enough by the surrounding vegetation to be still a little showy.

Unlike this example of Cinnamon Bells which in its exposed situation was looking a bit bedraggled. I will have to return and see if things improve a bit for this species. Interestingly this is a saprophytic orchid – the bacterial and fungal agencies within its tubers absorb nutrients from decaying vegetation in the soil, a bit similar to fungi.

The well protected ground hugging Common Bird-orchid was quite undamaged. I hope there will be plenty of flower soon – there is a lot of healthy leaf in some patches.

This was another day the Sun-orchids were saying, “Nope, not enough sunshine to show you my beauty yet. Come back another day”. I will.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gardivalia #6

Peppermint Ridge Farm in Tynong North is a bush food garden. Many of the native species are labelled and Julie and Anthony are on hand to take guided tours of their cleverly designed gardens and orchard.

Cathy and Hadyn’s Lillico Garden features include an eye drawing water feature, rose arbour, sweeping vistas and a wonderful mix of trees, shrubs and flowers. There are plenty of small hideaways to which you can retreat and absorb the peaceful and beautiful surroundings.

Nyumba Yaffe at Jindivick was hard to cover properly with the camera – It seemed that wherever I stood there were glorious views in every direction. The garden included dozens of rose varieties, ornamentals, climbers, ramblers, orchids … and an interesting display of leadlight panels.

Jim and Lynne’s garden at Neerim East, Jamelyn Heights, is a large country garden with sweeping lawn vistas and garden beds full of a huge variety of trees, shrubs and perennials, fruit trees and berries. Quirky ornaments punctuate the garden too.

Link to the Gardivalia website.

Link to more Gardivalia pictures in Gouldiae’s Galleries.