Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Short Interesting Walk

With the temperature threatening to rise yesterday, I headed for an early start in the Bunyip State Park again, this time at the Mortimer Picnic Area. As I pulled in to park the ute, a Lyrebird scuttled across the reserve and a Wallaby looked up momentarily from its grazing – a good start to the morning. Numerous ‘brown’ butterflies jinked about and in the shady parts they were joined by pairs of Imperial Whites.

I didn’t want to spend the whole day here, so just decided to do the short nature trail and get back home for lunch and the air conditioner!

Forest Wire-grass
The ground cover in much of the wooded areas on the lower slopes of Bunyip SP consists of Forest Wire-grass, Tetrarrhena juncea, a straggly species capable of climbing over rocks, logs and understory trees and shrubs. 

Forest Wire-grass can be very invasive but is grazed on by herbivores and is the host plant for a number of species of butterflies.

Crane Fly
This crane fly caught my eye at one point and rested long enough on a piece of wire-grass to let me get some pictures.

I haven’t been able to identify the species yet – I thought the abdominal patterns would be a reliable enough clue. Any ideas?

The halteres – the small knobby stalks that used to be the rear wings – are clearly visible. Apparently they move rapidly in flight and function as gyroscopes, enabling the insect to balance correctly.

Water Skink
I shared one of the boardwalks with a Southern Water Skink, (I think it might be Eulamprus tympanum).

For quite some distance, the reptile just remained a metre or two ahead of me, making no attempt to disappear between the boards or over the side. I even got ahead and it kept coming toward me.

Oh Deer
 Is this a Fallow Deer?

Apparently the park and nearby ranges are well inhabitated with deer species. I don’t wish for this blog to become a forum on the pros and cons of hunting in parks. I think most readers would understand my stance on the matter. (Try Googling – ‘hunting’ ‘parks’ ‘Victoria’, etc – you might be surprised.)

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! I have no idea on the cranefly species - there is one very common species in Brisbane and that's all I know. I noticed the knobbly stalks in one of the photos right before you started explaining about them - how convenient!