Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mixed Emotions

G'day Followers,
I woke this morning feeling a little ambivalent. It seems that the Victorian Liberals are giving Labor a run for their money. That doesn't worry me much as I don't see a lot of difference between the two major parties. (Here's where I might alienate a few of my readers). But, the b....y 'farmers party' candidate has got back in here in Gippsland East! Now that is a worry - to me. Here's a quote from his environment page on his website -
'There needs to be a coordinated effort to maintain and enhance the environment of the Gippsland Lakes and catchment, along with other waterways from Lakes Entrance to the New South Wales border.'

I did email him pre-election to ask if he realised that there are a few waterways in his electorate west of Lakes Entrance - no answer.

Anyway, no more politics. I did become a little brighter this morning when I stepped outside and saw this...

70+ mm - wow!
 There has been a slow moving, moisture laden trough over central Gippsland all night. We haven't had a season like this in ages.

I put the camera around the neck and under the rain coat, and went for a walk around the course.

Two birdies on the first.
Approach to the 9th.
Outside the bar.
 In the last couple of days the greens have been cored, a process that happens annually and is designed to improve the absorption of water into the sub-soil. Great timing.
Not an attack of the worms.
'Our cups runneth over'
 Might watch some cricket today!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Purple Haze

G’day All,
There was a purple haze, (not the Hendrix sort), along the Longford Rd yesterday.


The Purple Diuris Orchid, once abundant and widespread in Victoria is now considered threatened. This location has produced some good results this year.

Purple diuris #1

Purple diuris #2
This colony is very close to a busy main road and the plants were competing with tall and dense native and exotic grasses, yet they seemed to be coping well.

There were even a few small plants of the white form.
Dotted among the diuris there were Onion Orchids and some plain blue Sun Orchids just managing to flower.

Onion Orchid.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Heyfield Birdwatchers - November

G'day Readers,
Yesterday, nine intrepid birdos decided to ignore Saturday night's downpour and Sunday's dire forecast and headed for the Mitchell River National Park. At Angusvale the hilltops were shrouded in cloud and the river was dark and high, but we donned our wet gear headed off down the track.

Bit of an ominous start

Dark and fast
 A couple of the locals seemed bemused at our presence but allowed us to continue, and then the weather cleared and we were hot
Water Dragon

The birds however were very quiet - they were probably still drying out. Yellow Robins, Golden Whistlers, Brown Thornbills, Grey Shrike-thrushes, Blue Wrens etc, all flapped around in the wet foliage and serenaded us from within their hiding places and we only got glimpses.

We ambled back to the vehicles, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the wet bush, and had our lunch.

After lunch the convoy headed back downstream to Glenaladale, hoping to spot a Peregrine Falcon at an old favourite site. A short stroll toward the cliff face rewarded us with some distant sightings of a pair of Dollarbirds, Black-faced Cuckkoo Shrikes and one or two others.

As we approached the cliff face we began scanning the rock ledges and were finally rewarded with the sighting of a single Peregrine chick who promptly told us what he thought of our presence when he hung his rear end over the edge and defecated!
Peregrine chick
On that note, we called it a day and headed home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Goldy and Bluey

Goldy and Bluey have been staying here at the 'Heyfield Dog's Holiday Home' for a week now, while their owners are away on holiday themselves. Glen takes them for a walk around the golf course or a swim in the dam each night and morning.


At the end of each day, Goldy is happy to do what she does best. Bluey on the other hand wants more and stares fixedly at the location of her inside toy that has been 'put away' while Glen, Goldy and I have some quiet time after dinner.

"Yawn! If you two don't mind, think I'll turn in".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Won Wron and Tarra Valley Again

On Friday, Duncan and I grabbed a window of opportunity and dashed down to see the wildflowers in the Won Wron State Forest. They have been putting on quite a display for several weeks now, quite a contrast to recent seasons.

In places there were Finger Orchids as tall as our knees, with flowerheads that had to be 40 or 50mm across, carpets of Kennedia prostrata, stacks of Stackhousia monogyna, … well, I’m sure you get the picture. The Musky Caladenias in particular were a stand out. 

Musky Caladenia #1

Musky Caladenia #2
I didn’t think it would ever happen, but at one point when I was trying to point out an interesting bird in the distance, without lifting his eye from the view finder, Duncan replied, “Never mind the bird, look at these darn orchids”, or words to that effect!

An engrossed DF
I managed to tear him away from the flowers and we headed for a ‘Fernholme devonshire tea’. We had to share it however with a persistent ‘Lewin’s Jam-eater’. You can read about that, between the lines, over at D’s blog, where you will shortly get better coverage of the Won Wron flowers, I feel sure.

The beautiful Fernholme

Never been this close to a Lewin's before!
It was back home over the top and some more stunning scenery – brilliant day.