Saturday, 7 March 2015

Flowers, birds and bats of Mallacoota

Possibly the dominant feature of this weekend will turn out to be the flowering of Angophora floribunda (?) as it has had an impact on the birds and bats.  They are tall trees - this one was at the start of the Heathland walk.
There was a lot of ruckus as the Lorikeets (Rainbow and Musk at least) fought over the nectar,  Of course they knocked of a lot of blossom including this one floating with the universe (actually, the spider web is just visible tothe right of the flower).
 Banskia marginata - should it now be "Banksy marginata"or is he now so accepted he has lost his edge?
Epacris impressa: in early Spring they are nearly all white, then come the reds and now every blossom I noticed was pink.
 No idea on this one.  Help please!  It was forthcoming - see below.
Where would we be without librarians?  Sandra has somehow linked this image to one from my friend Denis Wilson and nailed it as Lobelia alata. Of course the taxonomists have changed this to L. anceps for reasons only known ot themselves!  But very well done Sandra!

Thysanotus tuberosus
 Tricorine elatior - another lily.
The first birds to feature are part of a flock of 120 Crested Terns and about 500 Silver Gulls at Betka Beach.  They provided shelter for 4 Hooded Plovers - the first I have seen for many years!
At the main boat ramp a guy had obviously got lucky (and a lot of fish got unlucky).  He was sharing his fortune around with a bunch of Pelicans.  Aren't they quiet and well behaved (as is the small dog in the background).
 Didn't last long when he chucked some offal in the water!
 Here is a clip of a Pelican bill!
 Back at the ranch an albinistic Red-browed Finch was spotted.
As was a male Eastern Whipbird.
I have put out a few old grapes to see if it attracts Satin Bowerbirds.  I think we have a positive on that.

Just down the road there was a lot of noise from a colony of fruit bats (I think Grey-headed Fruit bats).  The colony is at present "only" 20,000.  At the peak of the last big drought there were estimated to be 100,000 in the colony.  It is noisy, both in the auditory and olfactory senses.

 Look at the wing structure!!!
The ginger colouring and shape of the muzzle offer a very slight justification for the alternate vernacular name of Flying fox.  But foxes are not as stroppy as this lot!

These wallabies were far more peaceful in the morning.
One of the issues of putting fruit out for birds is that other Orders also like fruit.  Even with the grapes removed they come visiting.
Fortunately it didn't come back until the time I was about ready to wake up anyway.

I had mown the lawn - possibly for the first time for ~two months.
Including the roadside I got 24 catcherfulls (or one trailer-full).  A trip to the tip is in my future.

Just on evening these folk made a nice image as they sailed out on the Inlet.

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