Tuesday, December 27, 2016

French Island - Day Two (finally)

Many Xanthorroaea flower heads were covered in assorted invertebrates.

Onion-orchid, Microtis arenaria perhaps?

Heath Milkwort, Comesperma ericinum - pink form way less abundant

Heath Milkwort - the common purple form.
Cape Barren Geese.

Early morning 'grunter'.

Large Duck-orchid, Caleana major - multi-flowered plants were plentiful.

Large Tongue-orchid - Cryptostylis subulata?

Large Tongue-orchid - widespread and common but a first for me.
South African orchid, Disa bracteata - an invasive pest.

The above is a small sample of some flora and fauna I ticked on day two.

The bewildering array of flowers and orchids in particular was stunning. Frequently I would be down on the ground concentrating on getting an acceptable image of one species and from the corner of my eye another would appear. One time I needed to bend a stem away from the lens for a clearer picture and on top of that stem was a flower that to me was a lifer – heaven!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Wildflowers Galore and More

I was very fortunate recently to be invited to spend a couple of days with friends on French Island, (Heritage/Parks Vic, PDF 597KB, The Age Travel article, French Island Community Association web page). After some deep thought for about 0.5 seconds I eagerly accepted and my expectations were more than fully realized.

My hosts advised that I had in fact just missed the prime time for the wildflowers by a couple of weeks – wow, what that must have been like I cannot imagine.

The following is a brief summary of just a few of the sightings from day one. I do not guarantee the IDs, (correspondence is appreciated). Click on images for a larger version. The results from day 2 will appear eventually – after a lot of editing, deleting and ID’ing.

Branching Fringe Lily
Small Duck-orchid
White Tufted Blue Lily
Tufted Blue Lily
Tufted Lobelia

Tiger Snake
Heath Rice-flower

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Few Recent Sightings

This Jacky Lizard stood still mometarily beside the track near the top of Mt Cannibal – long enough anyway for me to get my breath back sufficiently enough to be able to hold the camera steady, (I’m sure Mt Cannibal is growing!).

Jacky Lizard - Mt Cannibal
A recent bird excursion into the Sweetwater Creek area with the Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists produced some great wildflower sightings – great to be in the company of such multi-skilled observers.

Large Duck-orchid - Sweetwater Creek NCR

Red Beard-orchid - Sweetwater Creek NCR
I always enjoy my visits to the Wonthaggi Heathlands, even sans the Southern Emu-wren as was the case last week – I’ll just have to return and try again. The patches of bright blue Purple Flags, Spider-orchids and other herb varieties helped fill in the day quite well.

Purple Flag - Wonthaggi Heathlands
Green-comb(?) Spider-orchid - Wonthaggi Heathlands
The Bunyip State Park recently was where I found this Grass Tree specimen whose flower spike was just too irresistible for some various Hover Flies and Australian Admirables Admirals.

Australian Admiral - Bunyip State Park
Just about the best time of year right now.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Gully Grevillea

The Lawson Falls walking track within the Bunyip State Park has been a bit of a personal favourite location since moving to West Gippsland. About half an hour’s drive from home, it is a great spot for fungi, ferns and mosses in particular, plus I find the other sub-alpine forest species bewildering and fascinating. (Always a good spot to tick Crescent Honeyeaters, Lewin’s Honeyeaters, et al, too.)

The Gully Grevillea, Grevillea barklyana, is confined to about 50 sq km in the headwaters of the Tarago River and the tributaries of the Bunyip River just north of Labertouche.

After missing the flowering period last year, I was determined to get some photos this season and my visit to the location with Bill last week was a success.

The Gully Grevillea is classed as a rare, threatened and vulnerable species and in 2000, the DEPI produced an Action Statement ( 162 KB pdf), to help protect this unique plant.