Friday, December 4, 2015

A Pair of Ducks



I went ‘back home’ for the day yesterday and spent a beautiful day with some of the old mob, the Heyfield Birdwatchers – click here for Jack’s report.

The title of today’s post you will be unsurprised to hear, does not refer to a cricket score, although in my cricket playing days, a pair of ducks was not unusual! No, it of course refers to the Duck-orchids I spotted on the side of the Licola Rd just north of Heyfield. I checked the spot on my way back home after a wonderful Heyfield Birdwatchers end of year lunch, thanks to Marg and John  again.

 



The Large Duck-orchid is a widespread but relatively uncommon orchid that grows in a variety of habitats. At this spot they grow in a gravelly-sandy soil in dry open forest.

(Click on images to enlarge)





 
In the above image you can see how the labellum of one of the flower heads has snapped shut when I tried to clean away a cobweb with a strand of grass. The plant assumed a pollinating insect had entered.

There was quite a colony of flowers in one spot and I found one triple-header.









The Small Duck-orchid too is a widespread and uncommon species, but is often overlooked because of its diminutive proportions. Rather than a flying duck, I reckon they look more like a seahorse!






 


Small as they are, once I found one and got 'my eye in', I discovered quite a few of these strange looking orchids. 












Sticking to the wildflowers for a moment, I enjoyed seeing again the dry bush floor being dotted with what I call White Everlastings.  








 
Most centres are yellow but often you come across a flower head that is completely white.










As Jack reported, we ticked some nice birds for the day with a Brush Cuckoo and an Emu family at Beaver Meadows being amongst the highlights. These three Little Black Cormorants were basking on their favourite stump at the Heyfield Wetlands.


 

A great year Heyfield, thanks, hope to enjoy some more in 2016.
Gouldiae



2 comments:

  1. Hi Pa. Did you know the everlasting essential oil is very precious? About $80/5ml.

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    Replies
    1. No No 1, I didn't know that. I wonder how many acres you'd have to harvest to make some money? To me their preciousness lies elsewhere other than their oil.
      Love Pa!

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