Friday, 30 May 2014

May Wildlife Report

Seasons of change along the Great Dividing Range

Left to right: Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) and a Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) pair, Jeebropilly

I was watching a Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) out past Ipswich when I saw it. My initial impression was that of a swift dark blur in the corner of my eye, but the waterbirds already knew of the danger they were in and burst into flight. There amongst the weaving ducks and egrets, my vision locked on to the cause of all this alarm - my very first Black Falcon (Falco subniger). And what a beauty it was!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Wild Plants of Ipswich

I've never really taken much notice of plants until recently, regarding them usually as just the thing that a bird perches on while you're watching it. This week I decided it was time to change that attitude by trying my hand at plant identification in Denmark Hill Conservation Park, located in the centre of Ipswich. The park is just 11.5 hectares in size, but preserves a patch of bushland that acts as an 'island refuge' in a sea of suburbia. I did my best to focus on the trees and not be too distracted by birds or the resident Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) population, and came up with nine interesting trees and plants seen on the Water Tower Circuit.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Plant of the Month

What's so special about it?

Isopogon divergens; Photo by Brian Walters
Over the past few decades, native Australian shrubs have increased their mainstream appeal to the general public, so that beauties like the Grevillea or Banksia are now common garden and street plants. The spotlight of fame can be a fickle business however, and there is a closely related and equally beautiful group of plants that have not found the same recognition as the above varieties - the Drumsticks (Isopogon species). The thirty-five species of Drumsticks are all low-growing hardy shrubs that are named after the strange appearance of their seed cones.