Island Life, Local Birds and Eucalypt Study.
|Magpie Geese, Bribie Island.|
I consider myself a 'summer person', but I have to say that for the first time ever, I am eagerly awaiting cooler weather. This year, we seem to be leaving summer behind only on the calendar, as the daytime temperatures this month have consistently
reached 30C with ease. Ample rain has fallen in the form of storm deluges, but there's been plenty of sunny, dry days mixed in as well.
|Chequered Swallowtail, Bribie Island|
|Copper-tailed Skink, Bribie Island.|
On these blue-sky occasions, I have headed to the coast. One place that has been particularly fruitful in terms of wildlife this month is Bribie Island. While walking along the McMahon Street extension into the National Park at Woorim, I was pleased to find Copper-tailed Skinks (Ctenotus taeniolatus), Chequered Swallowtails (Papillio demoleus) and a Naked Treefrog (Litoria rubella) in the wallum heath, as well as a good selection of birds. At Buckley's Hole Conservation Park, a male Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis) was seen busily dredging through the water-lilies, and a family of Magpie Geese (Anseranas semipalmata) showed well in front of the bird hide. A successful nesting attempt was also made by this latter species at North Lakes recently, on a small suburban wetland. Once hunted to near extinction in Australia's eastern states, these unique waterbirds have made a remarkable comeback in the past few decades. For more fascinating bird stories, check out Wild Bird Wednesday, a collection of avian-themed blogs from around the world!
|Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Annerley.|
|Leaden Flycatcher (male), Seven Hills.|
I spent much of this month visiting small Brisbane reserves close to my house so that I could fit them around my work and social commitments. It was a good reminder that in this city, a long drive isn't necessary to still have decent wildlife sightings, and my efforts were rewarded with birds like Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula), Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis) and Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) at Seven Hills Bushland Reserve. Other occasions allowed me to study local plant life more closely; while surveying eucalypts at Tarragindi Recreational Reserve, I came upon a damp grove where tiny Pastel Love Flowers (Pseuderanthemum variabile) were growing. I also noticed them in flower at Burleigh Heads National Park earlier this month, so keep an eye out for this charming little autumn blossom.
|Pastel Love Flower, Tarragindi.|
|Red-necked Wallaby, Mount Cotton.|
My nerdy obsession with plants and trees continues to grow each week. This weekend I went for a walk in Venman Bushland National Park at Mount Cotton to take in the variety of trees there. A productive afternoon of study along the 7.5km undulating circuit there allowed me to come to grips with more challenging eucalypts like Queensland White Mahogany (Eucalyptus tindaliae), Narrow-leaved Red Gum (E. seeana) and Smudgee (Angophora woodsiana). There was interesting wildlife to be seen as well however, including Red-necked Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) and Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria australis). The best wildlife experience came after dark, when the forest gullies came alive with the deep nasal bark of the Great Barred Frog (Mixophyes fasciolatus). It was a wonderful end to a beautiful afternoon - and month!
|Giant Boat-lip Orchid (Cymbidium madidum) on a Grey Ironbark (Eucalyptus siderophloia), Mount Cotton.|