Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nangara Notes - 28/11/2015

Several recent visits to the nearby NangaraReserve have been productive.

On one occasion I spent some ‘quiet time’ off the track and was entertained by a nice suite of undergrowth birds – Brown Gerygones, Brown Thornbills, Eastern Yellow Robins, White-browed Scrubwrens and these two …

Lewin's Honeyeaters were up out of the denser gullies and feeding in the shrubs near the track.

A small colony of Large-billed Scrubwrens came through to feed on the tree trunks rather like treecreepers do.

As usual I struggled with the low light, but this individual popped up in front of me at one point

At the bottom dam it was evident that odonata season was underway. The array of dragonfly species at the two dam sites and along the creek banks in this reserve is quite bewildering to me and this season I must try to pin down the identifications a little more thoroughly.

I think this might be one of the Tigertail species. Perhaps Southern Tigertail, Eusynthemis guttata?

The bottom dam in particular has a good population of Tall Spikerush and some plants were in flower. While chasing a photo of a flower head, a small movement on a nearby stem caught my eye. As I tried to move into position for a photo, the insect would sidle around to the opposite side and peer at me while remaining very still.

Tall Spikerush in flower.
The well camouflaged Musgrave's Psednura. Very reluctant to jump or fly.

On the side of one of the gravelly tracks, some Onion-orchids were in flower. I am not very sure of the ID here, perhaps Notched, Microtis arenaria? My research suggests these grow to 60cm but this lot were barely 20cm tall, so I’m not certain.

Onion-orchid, maybe Microtis arenaria.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nangara Notes - Orchids, Oct/Nov 2015

 Ross's recent blog reminds me I have some Nangara orchid shots too that I haven't posted yet. Could be some debate over the ID's, (see disclaimer).

Copper Beard Orchid?
Dainty Greenhood?
Peppertop Sun-orchid
Plain Sun-orchid?
Purple Beard Orchid?
Red Beard Orchid?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Langwarrin Lilies

On Sunday I had the chance to spend some brief time in the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. This piece of remnant bushland is squeezed between the Melbourne suburbs of Frankston and Langwarrin. The reserve has a fascinating military history and is now a popular spot for walking cycling and jogging.

It was lily time on Sunday and I quickly found some nice examples…


The flowers of the Yellow Rush Lily have a peculiar habit of twisting up when they finish or dry out. This one was being visited by a Wasp-mimicking Hover Fly just as I was lining up the camera.

Tufted Blue Lilies are always a delight to come across and there were several nice colonies of them, including some white forms.


In places the boundary fire-break area was a golden glow from the Yellow Stackhousia. This plant is described as occurring throughout the state but I don’t recall seeing it in my old stamping ground of Central Gippsland.

The widespread Purple Flag or Native Iris grows in coastal heath and woodlands mainly on poorly drained and sandy sites.

 Nearby to Langwarrin is the CranbourneRoyal Botanic Gardens. These beautiful gardens are getting better and better as each year goes by. The water features, lakes, ponds, waterfalls in particular attract the water bird species and despite the numbers of people in the vicinity some even breed successfully, like this family of Eurasian Coots.

A few of the visitors watching me grab some shots were keen to know if had some worthwhile images of the little ‘ducklings’!