Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Inala: A New Perspective

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)

Sacred Kingfisher

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)

16 comments:

  1. nice dragons! i like the wetlands area you've shared. :)

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    1. Thanks Theresa, I've always found dragonflies to be fascinating! :)

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  2. That certainly looks a lovely place to visitand you managed to see and photograph a lot of wildlife. Worth going again.

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    1. Thanks Margaret, it was definitely a nice place to explore!

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  3. Hi Christian.Your friend Katie is lucky that she had a knowledgable guide to show her the lesser known delights of Brisbane. I trust that you shared with her the city highlights too? I'm sure you did.

    The Sacred Kingfisher could not live on dragonflys here in England but you certainly seem to have lots to of species to keep kingfishers interested.

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    1. Thanks Phil. How terrible would it be if she only got to know Australia through my bug tours? Haha! Don't worry, we've spent most of our time at the beach!

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  4. Awesome captures of the dragonflies. And I love the Kingfisher.. Great post, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, yes the Kingfisher was a little star for posing like that! Hope your weekend is great too!

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  5. Great pictures - we often overlook the things we know best, only to find out that they are rather splendid after all!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart. I often feel that South-east Queenslanders are extra guilty of that, as our subtropical environment allows wildlife to flourish unnoticed everywhere!

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  6. Your Blue Skimmers are very similar to our Keeled Skimmers. I wonder how they compare in size?

    I often find that getting away from where you live makes you appreciate it more. I fee that way every time I go on holiday, or even go into Exeter!

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    1. I think dragonfly genera are quite spread out around the world because they are terrifically mobile creatures, so maybe it's a closely related species?

      If I lived somewhere as beautiful as Dartmoor, I'd never want to leave! :)

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  7. I hadn't realized you had lived in Toronto for a while. If ever you make it back to southern Ontario, let me know. We could do a little birding together and I can guarantee you a fine dinner or two.

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    1. Cheers David, that's very kind of you to offer! Likewise, please let me know if you ever visit Brisbane and fancy a day of birding. You'd probably have to settle for fish 'n' chips as your dining option here however! :)

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  8. Wow...these images are so very impressive!!
    I actually chase a few dragonflies myself, but never get a good photo such as yours!!

    And love the kingfisher!!

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    1. Aww, thanks Anni! Glad to see the dragonflies have a fan in you. I find their appeal similar to that of birds - bright, colourful, aerial and diurnal creatures with lots of interesting behaviour.

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