Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bunyip State Park - a wander

A casual wander through parts of Bunyip State Park yesterday was the ideal antidote for some recent social activities that have been keeping me busy. Despite others opinions, I’m not quite a hermit yet.

I like to check the Button Grass Walk in the park, particularly for the Southern Emu Wren. Yep, they’re still there and you’re going to have to take my word for that – no pictures of value only very brief and/or distant sightings.

There was a flush of Klug’s Xenica butterfly, a species a bit smaller than the Common Brown. After a couple of chases I managed some quick shots of an individual resting briefly on the track.

To get to my favourite Southern Emu Wren locality requires going off track a little and relying on some animal paths which were criss-crossed with spider webs. The beautiful Spiny Spider, (Jewel Spider appropriately), was plentiful and they often seem to ‘colonise’ a particular locality with numerous webs. After ducking under several in a row I began seeing that their ‘framework’ filaments were of a thicker strand than the orb filaments. A little research tells me that this is perhaps not just for strength but may also mean that animals, (and lost humans), might see the web more easily and avoid them, thus minimising their damage.

Another arachnid in this vicinity was an Orb Weaver. It was quite small and I’m not sure of the exact species, Eriophora sp will do.

I’d glimpsed the wrens briefly to this stage with one female appearing suddenly quite close. In the time it took for me to lower my eyes and change from ‘spider’ setting to ‘bird’ setting, she’d dived into the dense undergrowth near the ground and remained unseen.

I pressed on slowly and suddenly got a small brown bird in sight nearby. Had my luck changed? Uh-huh, just a common Brown Thornbill. It did pose nicely for a moment though.

After lunch at a site supposedly set aside for the release of the threatened Helmeted Honeyeater I wound back home via the helipad. It was clouding over and getting quite dull and I thought I might try for a White-throated Nightjar – again to no avail. They have apparently been ticked in daylight at this spot.

A small wander about, with the birds especially quiet, I set the camera to macro again for some images of a Lobelia – not sure which one. The top flower has an ‘object’ in the throat. I couldn’t work it out in the field – I have to get my cataracts done – and still can’t quite see what it is on the computer at home.

Beaut day, sans people!

PS: Just remembered that I had a small hand lens with me and didn’t think to get it out of the accessories bag – damn!

1 comment:

  1. Those two spider shots are great. I think that Nightjars like warm nights, unlike me!