|Wandering Percher (male)|
As a young man, I was always dismissive of Brisbane. My need for adventure took me far away, first to Sydney, then to London and Toronto. Eventually though, being on the other side of the world allowed me to see my home clearly for the first time, and when I finally returned to Brisbane, it was with love and pride. Showcasing South-east Queensland through my 'Wild BNE' blog and Facebook page has only increased my admiration for this beautiful city, and it leaves my hunger for adventure well satisfied.
When I say I love Brisbane, I mean all of it. I find interesting and scenic places all around the city, from Bellbowrie to Brighton. Yesterday, a visiting English friend and I explored another delightful Brisbane location - Inala.
|Boss Creek, Kev Hooper Memorial Park|
My aim was to carry out a quick dragonfly survey of Boss Creek, a tributary of the better-known Oxley Creek. My friend Katie was the first to spy one of my target creatures, a blood-red Common Glider (Tramea loewii) hovering above the grassland. In a ditch further along, a pair of Wandering Perchers (Diplacodes bipunctata) posed nicely for photographs in the midday light.
|Wandering Percher (female)|
We came to a steep-sided marshy pond branching off the creek, where we sat in the sun and chatted while I studied the aquatic life below. Scarlet Perchers (Diplacodes haematodes) were the most common dragonfly species here, resting conspicuously on the sandy shorelines of the pond. Speeding over the water's surface were Australian Emeralds (Hemicordulia australiae), stunning little creatures with vivid green eyes and faces. Of all the dragonflies we saw, these were the most restless, never coming in to land. This active lifestyle probably helps to protect them from predators like the Sacred Kingfishers (Todiramphus sanctus) that were watching the pond from above. Not even the very largest dragonflies along the creek - such as the Australian Emperor (Hemianax papuensis) - would be safe from such a bird.
|Australian Emperor female, laying eggs on submerged vegetation|
Not all the dragonflies desired to be close to the water. Unlike the sky-coloured males, young female Blue Skimmers (Orthetrum caledonicum) shunned the creek for bark-chipped gardens that matched their streaky brown tones.
|Blue Skimmer (female)|
In the trees above these gardens, I was surprised by the eight species of cockatoos and parrots that were present. This is testament to the old-growth eucalypts that still remain in the park, particularly the Scribbly Gums (Eucalyptus racemosa) which these birds nest inside. My friend was charmed by the Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) and Pale-headed Rosellas (Platycercus adscitus) that abounded, but I was excited to see a pair of Australian King-Parrots (Alisterus scapularis) flying down the creek.
It may be overlooked by the Lonely Planet guidebooks, but my friend Katie and I managed to spend a pleasant hour or two in Inala. Her impression was that of a leafy suburb where the houses sit on generously-sized blocks of land, and the parks are rich in wildlife. If you think you know Inala, perhaps it's time to look at it from a new perspective and with your eyes wide open.
|Blue Skimmer (male)|