Monday, 23 February 2015

Seen around the block

About three times a week our dog walk covers a lap of our property.  Its about 2500m and often turns up something interesting.

This morning the interest was a lot of bird activity in a Yellow Box (Eucalyptus meliodora).  The fluttering of the birds in the foliage was very noisy, and drew our attention.  It seemed (I didn't have binoculars with me and the light was too poor for photography) that the ruckus was cause by Crimson Rosellas and Noisy Friarbirds - at least 10 of each.  I went back later having picked up my bins but alas the tree was bare - of birds at least.  There were a lot of flower buds so perhaps that was attracting the fowl!

Later still I went for a prowl  to see what else was around.  The main answer was members of the Order Odonata: dragonflies and damselflies.  I had always phrased the key difference between the two suborders as damsel flies perch with wings over the body while dragonflies have them out to the sides as in this case, photographed about 100m from water:
So what does one do about the wings pointed forwards as in this case?
Reading the text of Zborowski and Storey more closely, they formulate the difference as damselfly wings are "not held horizontal at rest".  So this is also a dragonfly.
These are damselflies, revelling in maintaining the species.  There were many of these around.
Another damselfly, I suspect of a different species rather than a different demographic group.
I suspect this grasshopper had climbed the reeds to moult. That comment was based on finding a similar sized 'skin' on a reed a few weeks back.  However Roger Farrow had advised that this is "an adult Macrotona australis and so will not moult further. "
Back at the house I noticed this Red Stringybark (Eucalyptus macrorhyncha) was smothered with blossom ....
... and settled down to watch for hungry birds.  I immediately got a reward with a Satin Flycatcher appearing to predate some of the beetles on the blossom.  That was a first for me in Carwoola.

The next two shots are clipped from this one.  The first is a Fiddler beetle (Eupoecila australasiae).
I also saw Flower Chafers (Polystigma punctata) and Christmas Beetles (Anoplognathus chloropyrus) but couldn't photograph them.

This large Dipterid - surely one of the March flies - was visible in the blossom photograph

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