Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spotted in Nangara

The Forest Boronia is just beginning to flower and as quite often is the case, when the shrub is halfway between budding and flowering, the pink buds, pale pink/white flowers and green foliage present a delightful colour palette.

Labertouche, Jindivick and Bunyip State Park are well known localities for this lovely shrub and today I enjoyed coming across quite a patch of healthy specimens in the Nangara Reserve at Jindivick.

I also enjoyed discovering plenty of Tetratheca sp, (stenocarpa perhaps?), or Pink Bells. This attractive slender shrub is a real eyecatcher.

Apparently Tetratheca seeds are principally dispersed by ants, a process termed myrmecochory. Not a high proportion of plants have such an association with ants, but the majority of species that do are found in Australia.

A cuppa back at the ute was interrupted by some more spots …

The Spotted Pardalotes must have a nest burrow somewhere near the gate to the reserve. Even after letting my cuppa get cold, I couldn’t find anything, but there was plenty of activity as individual birds came and went in rapid succession.

Yet another couple of images of a delightful bush bird to somehow squeeze in to the ‘Pardalote JPEG’ folder.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bill Power!

During a recent excursion into Nangara Reserve I was disturbed for some considerable time by the persistent growling call of a young Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. I crawled through some undergrowth, over some logs, through some Bracken, removing leeches all the while, to eventually emerge quite near the bird.

After taking a few shots, I realized the young cocky was not at all disturbed by me as it focused its attention across the gully. It transpired that mum was getting some tucker from deep within a tree.

Using her powerful bill I watched for ten or fifteen minutes while she tore off large bits of bark and wood to get the grub inside.

Once the tasty morsel was extracted, both birds flew to a tree further away and through the binoculars I watched the meal going down – too distant for a picture this time.

On my way back to the ute I found several trees with fresh holes where previous meal portions had been obtained.

Although listed as a ‘secure’ species, there is some evidence that populations of these majestic birds might be in decline due to … habitat loss – what else!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Busy As A ...

The two Waxflower shrubs in the front garden at home are loaded with nectar producing flowerheads at present and the aromatic fragrances are attracting the usual assembly of bees and flies. 

Spring has arrived - yey!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Pig In A ....

.... Reserve!

A week or so back I visited Wuchatsch Reserve, (‘wook-atch’?), a small public reserve near Nyora that is under a Trust for Nature covenant. It is certainly an interesting bit of habitat and the day I visited provided me with an interesting experience.

Being my first visit, a dull day and a bit late in the afternoon, I opted for mostly an explorative wander to assess the value of returning and being a bit more serious at a later date – and I will.

The reserve is nearly surrounded by private properties, many being the ubiquitous ‘hobby farm’. On one particular trail, a bit euphemistically called Seaview Track, I paused to check out my first bit of Pink Bells, (Tetratheka sp), for the season.

I heard some noises from the understory that I didn’t recognize as a wallaby, wombat, etc, so just stood still to the side of the track and waited for two of these to emerge ….

Yep, the sign says to pick up after your dog but doesn’t mention what to do with pig poop! Natural bulldozers that pigs are, you can imagine the mess they were leaving behind.

My bush ambles nearly always turn up something interesting but this one was a first.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Quick, (Swift), Note

Some Swift Parrots are currently fuelling up on the box blossoms on the Heyfield Golf Course.
Jack has some nice pics and the full story here.