Thursday, 12 January 2012

ANPS does Boboyan Forest

The weather forecast today offered strong winds and showers in the afternoon.  In fact the wind howled all day and showers were evident soon after the kick-off just before 10.  (The most serious shower certainly occurred after noon to get the cars - and the road -all steamy as we headed for home, so give the BoM at least a pass-mark for the day.)

Looking out over the valley as we started it was apparent the kangaroos were enjoying the weather, and the amount of feed.  The image shows above half of them.
Some other walkers saw a large boar just off the track but I didn't so no photo.  (There was some pig damage seen, but nothing like that evident at Smokers Gap a few days earlier.)

As my main role is to do with birds, I'll note that I recorded 23 species today (nothing extraordinary) and this pair of Laughing Kookaburras were good enough to pause and pose.
Let us now head into the flowers.  This meadow of Chrysocephalum semipapposum, backed by some Cassinia longifolia was a common feature early inthe wlak.
At the more individual level a lot of Ajuga australis was noted.
Near the lunch stop much Glycine clandestina was wriggling its way up through the other plants
This Hypericum gramineum is a close, and native, relative of the foul St John's Wort (one of the few weeds under-represented on today's walk, although very evident on the drive from Tarwa).
Lomatia myricoides
This is an interesting one. It was deemed to be a member of the genus Mentha but not to be the commonest species (M. diemenica).  Having reviewed what Plantnet has to say about other members of the species, they all fail on one attribute or another so I wimp out and call it Mentha sp!
Some Euclalyptus pauciflora aka Snow Gum) flowers and capsules were on the ground.

This more vertical Eucalyptus pauciflora has obviously been providing shelter to a bunch of insect larvae
Other insects had a closer and more obvious relationship with plants.  This first specimen is a fly possibly a member of Tachinidae dining on a Calotis flower.
 A crane-fly (family Tipulidae) was investigating the underside of a Chrysocephalum semipapposum.  Other crane-flies were ensuring the propogation of their species have been included in another, special-interest,  post.
The next lot shows some Kunzea ericoides which has got in the path of some Plague Soldier Beetles (Chauligonathus lugubris.  Anyone got n opion why they have 'plague' as part of their name?
This group was one clump of about 50 of a similar size on a cluster of Kunzea bushes.  They were also on the much lower Fleabane and Centauri bushes, in smaller clusters.

A scarab beetle (Phyllotocus sp) had its head buried in a Leptospermum flower.

Other invertebrates captured - in a digital sense - during the day included a Bee-fly (family Bombyliidae)...
.. and a Bush-cricket (aka Katydid) Chlororodectes montanus.  From the long ovipositor this is a female.
Regardless of the sex  or gender the detail of its front-end is very attractive.
All of this nature was living on the soil and rocks of the area.  Taking a long view, the top of Mt Gudgenby was still quite exposed after the 2003 bushfires ....
... while spectacular boulders - in various arrangements - were found throughout the second half of the walk.

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