Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Wildlife Report

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.



26 comments:

  1. A lovely vaariety of plant, animal and birds in this post. The Love Flower is very pretty as is the Buterfly.t

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    1. Thanks Margaret, gotta love a love flower! :)

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  2. Great photos. We'll keep our eyes open for the quaintly named Pastel Love Flower.

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    1. Thanks Sri, it's a tiny little thing so good luck!

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  3. What a beautiful series! I too am enamored with that Pastel Love Flower, what a delicate beauty!

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    1. Thanks Laura, looks like the love flower is the standout star of this post!

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  4. Wasn't much of a summer here in Tassie.
    That's a nice looking skink. Would love to photograph one some time.

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    1. Is it ever? ;-) I've noticed this particular skink species lives on sandy soil only in SEQ if that helps!

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  5. i hope you enjoy cooler temps, soon. loved the magpie geese and the kookaburra, of course. :)

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    1. Thanks Theresa, it has actually cooled down now for Easter, thankfully!

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  6. Wonderful post, the birds, critter and the flowers are lovely.. Have a happy week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, yes they were all great little finds! Enjoy your week also!

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  7. A remarkable series of pictures. You live in a wonderful corner of the world to be a naturalist.

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    1. Thanks David, yes I'm aware that I am VERY lucky! :)

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  8. The Kookaburra is a special looking bird.

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    1. World's biggest kingfisher, and quite the character! :)

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  9. Gorgeous photos! Enjoy your season change to winter. Do you get much color in the fall season? Beautiful nature from your part of the world!

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    1. Thanks Linda! We don't have many deciduous trees here in Queensland, so there's no colour change for this season, just relief from the heat! :)

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  10. Your blog is always so informative. I haven't been to any of those spots. I used to live near enough to Venman but was always worried about being in the bushland alone.

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    1. Thanks Liz. They are worth checking out, particularly Buckley's Hole on Bribie Island and Venman Bushland. I never think twice about going solo into the bush, but I take being a 6-foot tall man for granted. At some point this year, I'm going to offer little guided group walks of my favourite spots, so it would be great to have your company for them if you want :)

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  11. That sounds a bit like me usually, fitting in trips out and about with camera in hand around everyday life. Some nice captures there. Magpie geese hang around up here a bit too and are the first geese I've seen roosting in a tree. That kookaburra is a handsome fellow.

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    1. Thank you! Nice to see you are familiar with the Magpie Geese too! I find them fascinating birds!

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  12. That Magpie Goose shot is a real keeper - do they always sit that low in the water?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart, yes they do sit strangely in the water. More of a wader / floodplain wanderer than a swimmer usually.

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  13. Great pictures and descriptions of wildlife - thanks! But there's nothing nerdy about learning your plants. Indicates a more enlightened awareness I reckon. And they certainly are a challenge here in super-diverse SEQ. Cheers, Paula

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    1. Thanks Paula, yes I was just being a little self-depricating / playful there; I agree that a well-rounded appreciation of nature involves learning about plants. Glad they have another fan here in SEQ! :)

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