Thursday, 30 October 2014

More doings in Carwoola

You know it is getting towards Summer when interesting moths appear.  This one was sitting on our bedroom floor this morning, after a spell on the pelmet. It was about 10cm across the wings.
Starting with a scan through Zborowski and Edwards got me the link to the Catocalinae subfamily within Noctuidae and a run through Donald Hobern's images for that subfamily soon got me to Dasypodia selenophora  with the intriguing vernacular name of "Southern Old Lady Moth".  Que?

Towards the other end of the size bracket for insects, I went to check on the progress of a humungous Microtis sp and found it hadn't opened yet.  However a fruit fly was visiting.  Those familiar with the size of Microtis flowers will realise this fly is not a giant.  To assist the rest of you, the florets are about 3mm long, which makes the fly ~2mm in body.
Later in the day some interesting birding happened.  A female Pallid Cuckoo had us confused when it flopped out of a tree on to the ground where it walked around for quite some distance.
It turns out that they feed on the ground quite frequently and presumably that is what this lady was up to.  

We got several breeding records including 3 White faced heron chicks in a nest.  They don't stand out very well - probably not an accident - so I have put a red dot more or less on the end of their beaks.
A Little Eagle kept its eye on us from about 10m up in a tree.
Some Eurasian Coots have raised red-head chicks.
Several days later (and after several fruitless visits in the interim) I found that the flowers on the monster Microtis were beginning to open.

The crinkle cut edges of the labellum label this as Microtis unifolia

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