Saturday, August 31, 2013

Licola Road, (‘Phone Line Track’), 31st Aug 2013

The Aberfeldy bushfire started on Thursday Jan17th this year in the mountains west of Seaton/Heyfield and raced south-east through Seaton and in a direct line for Heyfield. Just as the front was a couple of kilometers from the golf course a southerly wind change arrived and swept the fire up in to the hills to the north. It took 43 days to contain the fire after it had burnt out 85 000 hectares, destroyed 22 homes, hundreds of stock, and took the life of one man.

Today I decided to have a look at one of my favourite gullies along the Licola Road. What I call Phone Line Track is an un-mapped and seldom used track that spears up a steep ridge beside the main road just north of Twenty Acre Creek. Strangely it has a buried telephone cable along the edge going I know not where for it heads into pretty remote country. Restoration is well underway.
'Phone Line Track' - hope the telecom man is carrying a chainsaw.
Greenhood Orchids
It took very little time to spot some Blunt Greenhoods and some Maroonhoods. Plenty of other wildflower leaf also.
Blunt Greenhood with the characteristic twisted labellum visible.


Obviously one of the first plant species to return is the weeds and I could see that much of the ground was covered with the beginnings of Variegated Thistle, (I think). Attractive it may be, but it will certainly choke out other species trying to come through. I guess these things are cyclical and eventually the natives will get a fair go.
Variegated Thistle.
Restless Flycatcher
While chasing the Greenhoods at ground level, I was keeping a mental record of the bird calls – White-throated Treecreeper, King Parrot, Jacky Winter, Superb Fairy Wren, Grey Fantail, etc. All the usuals you might say, and then I begun hearing that odd ‘scissor-grinding’ call of the Restless Flycatcher. I hadn’t ticked this bird for some time, so I changed the camera settings and tracked the bird(s) down and they were very obliging.
Restless 1.

Restless 2.

If you’re not familiar with this bird’s strange call, you might like to check it out here – thank you ‘Canberra Birds’.


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