Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Show me the way to go home

All good things must come to an end and so it was with this foray to Mallacoota.  The weather seemed keen to bookend the trip with another day of typically changeable Victorian weather.
There was in fact very little rain apart from the 2mm which fell overnight.  As it was pack up quick day - some other folk were due at the house sometime during the day - we only did a short walk but did get a reasonable image of the Myoporum acuminatum along the shore of the Inlet.
This lurid item growing in a front yard is Alloxylon flammeum - a tree waratah.  If that is correct its a native of NE Queensland.
Having packed up and headed off we noticed that 15o C was insufficient to get the sun orchids on Genoa rd opening.  We made a first stop at the Gipsy Point Cemetery which was in magnificent flowery condition.  It was a trigger plant forest!
A couple of plants of Caleana major were found, but to my mind the dark colour suggests they have done their dash for this year.
 A spider web full of raindrops.
 This was the only evidence of Dipodium sp we noticed on this trip.  (On other trips later in the year there have been many of these Hyacinth Orchids throughout the area.)
Ther were many sun orchid plants evident (both T ixoides and T carnea)  but this was the closest we found to one being in flower.
 On up the road, being very surprised to see a male Emu grazing beside the Highway.  Since commenting on this to the COG Chatline I have received a couple of emails about them being evident in the these SE Forests.  Here is an image, of a very similar bird,

... taken by Ben Miller, in Towamba SF in December 2013.  My informant, Alida Miller, says:
They were in a logged radiata planting/mixed grassland near a creek at the Pericoe end of the forest. We saw a full mob. Probably about 12. So imposing. A little scary actually, but a wonderful sight."
Further information comes from Mark Clayton who was surveying
 " ...the logging crews checking to see what arboreal mammals that were dislodged living in the trees destined for Japan as they were cut down. We became well know by both forestry staff and logging crews and they took an interest in what we were doing – many were actually sympathetic to the plight of anything that came down with a tree!!. On one occasion we were taken to an unfished forestry road well south of Eden near the Victorian border, and well west of the Princes Highway, that had been halted because there was a male Emu sitting  on a nest, obviously with eggs! I don’t know what happened to the nest. There is a population of Emus along part of the NSW/Vic coastline and these could also be augmented from the population in the southern ”High Country”."
We stopped to check out the Imlay Creek rest area.  The first time we came here it seemed magical but today and the previous time it has been rather disappointing.  Possibly this is due to works in the area?  This was the only place we found much Epacris impressa in flower: the coastal crop has finished for the year.
A couple of species of Fabaceae were also in flower but haven't yet been identified..

 After climbing up to, and passing through, Bombala our final stop was at Black Lake near the village of Bibbenluke.  Another birdie surprise here was seeing a White-bellied Sea Eagle.  It scared the feathers off this raft of Eurasian Coots.
I have counted 240 birds in this image and there were a few more off to the right (and others scattered across the lake) so my field estimate of 300 is not too far off.

WRT the Sea-Eagle, Alida has reminded my friend Denis Wilson that they had seen one at this location.  This caused me to look up Birdata and find that there is an isolated location for the Sea-Eagle marked right on this spot:
The birds must be permanent residents of the area.

Warning: image of former animal coming up.

Some local with a sense of humour, presumably enhanced by consuming the depicted product, had augmented this poor road-killed wombat.  It did look to exemplify the old headstone epitaph "Not dead, just sleeping".
It also links, through an old musical hall song, back to the title of this post.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Glad you could use Ben's Emu photo, Martin. Also, nice work with the Black Lake Sea Eagle report. :)