Friday, 28 August 2015

AUGUST OUTING ---- WALLUM FLOWER & BIRDS.

The Flying Duck orchid (Caleana major) ----- the orchid flower is about 15mm long on an upright stem of 300mm ---- the flower is pollinated by insects , favored by male Sawflies ----- grows in almost pure sand ---
flowers winter to spring ------  reliably sighted on the sand track , near Seary's creek. --- this photo verifies the name "Flying Duck" -----  


The traditional August club outing is to find the Wallum native wildflowers. This year we searched the areas off Rainbow Beach road. At the end of the day I believe quality and quantity compared to other years was somewhat down. The massed white flowers of the Wedding bush (Ricinocarpos pinifolius)  were not as prevalent as usual. The orchids, native to the Wallum area were difficult to locate.  The photographs on this page highlight the beauty that surrounds this area, while there may be less than we have seen  other years, the species are still around.
White Donkey Orchid (Diuris alba)

                      Wallum Sun Orchid (  Thelymitra purpurata)  -  Flowers were hard to find due to
                        cloudy conditions -  These beauties need the warm sun for many hours to open.

              Queensland Wax Flower -  ( Philotheca queenslandica ) - formerly Eristemon myoporoides subsp. queenslandicus.  This wonderful shrub which grows to 1 metre never ceases to delight. Can be white to pale pink.  It is aromatic, with it's five petals is easy to identify.
Geebung (Personnia virgata) ---- an erect shrub to about 2 metres with narrow lime green leaves ----- the small yellow flower nestle in the exiles of the leaves ---- producing small round green edible fruit.


              Forest Boronia ( Boronia rosmarinifolia) -  Boronias are distinctive, they all have four petals -             This one is a woody shrub growing to 1 metre.
Phebalium woombye  -  This was one of the spreading shrubs found to be almost finished flowering.  -  was lucky to get this one with the new flowers, spent flowers and seeds in the adjacent area.  Common name is Wallum Phebalium.

Patersonia glabrata (Native Iris)  -  The Patersonia were very prevalent on the day. Sericea, and Fragilis were flowering extensively also.  However this particular plant looked spectacular against the grey litter.

Vanilla Lily ( Sowerbaea juncea)  -  This clumping lily shows its value this time of year.  They were seen throughout the day, wherever the club members ventured.    



Bladderwort uticularia lateriflora.  -   These plants survive in poor nitrogen, difficult soils.  This one grows to approx. 10 cm. high  -  the purple flower is insect attracting -  the bee found it attractive.  

Banksia aemula (Wallum banksia)  -   This Banksia is prominent in the Wallum landscape.  It's growth is generally gnarled and twisted.  Many of the Banksia flowers were spent on the day, growing into their very picturesque seed pods. 

Fungi -    Ganoderma steyaertanum (Steyaert's Bracket)   -  This semi-circular kdney-shaped bracket eye-catching on the rough grey bark of the large tree.

Coastal Coral Fern (Gleichenia mendellii) ------ this fern grows very well on the bank of Seary,s creek near the rest area.----- the water is crystal clear and not readily visible from the road.
Black-fronted Dotterel.   -   These little birds were taking advantage of a freshwater lagoon at Kia Ora.  Birds were sharing this spot with Jacana, Black Duck, Pelican, to name a few. This bird  is 16-18 cm.

Pacific Black Duck  -   These ducks were sharing the lagoon as above.  

Latham's snipe also known as Japanese snipe.  This bird is a migratory snipe of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, The entire population migrates and spends the season in Eastern Australia.  These birds will return to Japan, Russia and East Asia to breed.   

Scarlet Honeyeater   -    This is a male  -  approx. 11cm.

Spectacled Monarch  -  This bird has another name Spectacled Flycatcher  -  approx.  15cm. 

Silvereye   -    This was taken in the Mullins Creek area enjoying the nectar on the Native Grass Tree.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

JULY OUTING ----- STIRLINGS CROSSING AREA.

The early birders met at the Yabba Creek crossing leading to Stirlings Crossing. The main target bird White-bellied Sea-Eagle which had been sighted doing some fishing only a few days earlier.The cold misty morning produced no joy with the Sea Eagle sighting.
The group moved onto the ever reliable birding area near the causeway crossing. Ideal habitat with eucalptus open forest and moist forest growing along the creeks and gullies with lantana thickets and under story growth. A special watch for the Crested Shrike-tit and Paradise Riflebird was in our minds as both of these special birds have been reported at this site.
The harsh grating and rasping call was heard, with a female Riflebird being spotted. The Crested Shrike-tit was not heard or sighted.


New Holland Honeyeater 

Pale-yellow Robin
Very large numbers of Dusky Woodswallows were grouping on any dead branches and swooping on their flight paths then returning to their perch.These fellows have been around in  larger than normal numbers this winter, may be the severe winter south have sent them further north!
New Holland Honeyeaters were around in numbers greater than normal, busy collecting nesting material from the wild cotton balls. Keeping the Honeyeaters company were Spotted Pardalote in considerable numbers, collecting soft bark from the Melaleuca.. They appeared to be collecting lining material for their nesting chamber.
The group listed 55 bird species for the morning.My bird spotting was complete when a Regent Bowerbird flew low through the trees, what a lovely sight of yellow and black.
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Spotted Pardalote
































Dendrobium ---- Dockrillia teretifolia (thin pencil orchid)
               
White-headed Pigeon
A trip to Stirlings Crossing is not complete with-out a walk along the creek and viewing the large number of epiphytics growing on the trees. The staghorns and elkhorns and birdsnest ferns were looking very healthy. A thin Pencil Orchid was spotted in flower, their leaves thin like pencil.  The very large fig trees on the moist creek banks were without fruit, consequently the pigeon and dove count were low for this trip.
Yabba Creek was running strong, also its tributaries were still holding water. The wet forest areas looked very fresh. What a lovely day in the bush.


Dusky Woodswallows
Red-backed Fairy-wren (F)
Red-browed Finch