Showing posts from June, 2015

Carwoola enters the ancestry fray!

I recently put up a post about the ancestry of folk in Queanbeyan, as revealed by the 2011 Census.  This led me wonder what the situation was for Carwoola, and I have taken a look at the Census data for the area, in contrast with Queanbeyan.  I have tried to make this post self contained but if the topic interests you a look at the former post might be worthwhile.

I have also tried to keep the technical stuff about definitions and concepts to a minimum but can't prevent myself from including a bit of it.  I have coloured those buts in red, so they can be skipped without interfering with the story.

As a first  technical point I am defining "Carwoola" to be as  close as I can get (see red bit at foot of post) to the catchment area of the Stoney Creek Gazette thus covering the State Suburbs of Primrose Valley, Hoskinstown and the Carwoola elements of the City of Queanbeyan and Palerang Shire.  
A second technical issue is that the confidentiality processes used by ABS apply …

A visit to Mt Ainslie

It being the last Sunday of the month it was ACT Veterans Athletics Handicap Day.  The courses this month were around Mt Ainslie on the edge of suburban Canberra.

This year I decided to do the short course as my fitness level had dropped off dramatically following:

some travelling;a bout of sinusitis; and a failure to man-up on a few cold and damp days.
I suspect point 3 was the most important, but I was travelling a bit better than the previous month which had set my handicap at a very pleasant level.  Thus I waddled reasonably and even got competitive towards the end when I thought I could see another competitor in front of me and chased her for the last 500m.  Needless to say it was just someone out for a jog and they sailed straight past the finish and I was again first  home: my handicap will become less pleasant for my next run.

Mt Ainslie has also been the recent haunt of Swift Parrots and I thought I would add to science by visiting the site to see if I could spot some.  This …

Is Queanbeyan a hotbed of multi-culturalism?

On a recent visit to Aldi in Queanbeyan I was struck by the visible multiculturalism on display.  This led me to wonder whether Queanbeyan was more "diverse' than the rest of NSW or the ACT.  As always the first port of call when visiting such questions is the 2011 Census results, (Although they are getting a bit long in the tooth they are really all that is available.)

I am going to ignore a comment made recently by an American - possibly P J O'Rourke - that diversity means "few Anglos".  He was commenting on places like Washington Heights in Manhattan, where a sign in a shop window saying "bilingual" means they can speak English as well as Spanish.

There are many ways of looking at cultural diversity including country of birth, birthplace of parents, language spoken at home, religion and ancestry (or any combination of them).  Despite my negative issues with ancestry (primarily because it isn't 'fixed' but for many people depends on their…

ANPS causes rain to avoid Wanniassa Ridge

In fact we pretty much scared it away from the ACT!  That is shown by this image from the BoM website showing rain accumulation since 9am.
 It was however rather cloudy for most of the day ...
 ...  but the 9 bold members who turned out were all warm and dry throughout.

The main attraction for the walk was the flowering of Leucopogon attenuatus
 Here is one of several large 'drifts' encountered on the Ridge.
 This is just a snap with a spike of Leucopogon with a Eucalyptus bridgesiana behind it.
Cryptandra sp. Floriferous was also in flower.
The objective of this shot was to contrast the colours of the Cryptandra in the foreground and the Leucopogon in the background.  I am unsure how well that has worked but trust me, the distinction is obvious in the field.
These are the buds of Eucalyptus nortonii.  The key attributes are the glaucous nature and lack of stalks.
 From buds to fruits.  The first offering is Persoonia rigida.
Next a rather sad Styphelia triflora.
 Some more flo…

Frosty and froggies

It has been a bit cool out here in the mornings with a number of days scoring no better than -5oC.  This some rather picturesque views of the Hoskinstown Plain on Sunday morning.
 A horse looked very cold silhouetted against the hills of Tallaganda.
 On the Monday we toured to Northern part of our block which was rather white.
At least it made the Kunzea ericoides look pretty.
On several mornings I have felt that the male Tawny Frogmouth actually had his wing over the female to keep her warm.  (That is probably a contender for Anthropomorphism of The Decade.)
The photo shows that his wing is a bit lifted and she is certainly pressed in against him.  In my monitoring of them I describe this as "snuggled".  In Summer afternoons, when the temperature is closer to 30oC than 30oF they will sit about a metre apart and move closer together again as the temperature falls.

Early flowers

I posted a few days back about early flowering Acacia dealbata.  On our dog-walk this morning I noticed that buds were bursting on several specimens of this common species.  As we waded round ANBG on Wednesday I noticed that Acacia genistifolia was in full bloom there - but that is an early flowering species so not a great surprise.

We don't have the latter species on our block, but there are some Acacia gunnii, the other Winter flowering species.  Perhaps I should say "have been" rather than 'are' since I couldn't find any specimens of A gunnii when taking a prowl on the 20th.

So I took some pictures of the jonquils that are flowering in the garden.  Something cheerful for the Winter solstice.

The first few are rather short and have thus copped some bouncing mud from the recent rain.

 The others are much taller ....
 .. and thus not splattered.

eBird and other birding data

I approach the comparison of Bird Atlas vs eBird with trepidation.  However here goes with a few points from my perspective, following comments on birding-aus about unexpected species appearing in eBird listings.  What follows starts off there but gets a good but broader than that, covering a number of thoughts I have had about eBird and other birding data systems.  Unexpected species in an area. The appearance of strange species in a small area is also evident from time to time in the Atlas.  When I used to refer to that for output (see below for an explanation of why I use the past tense) I found such things as Black Currawong reported from Goulburn NSW.  An obvious mistype for Pied (or Grey) Currawong but it had got into the data..  Ditto Red-winged Parrot in the same area instead of Red-rumped Parrot.  I have made the latter mistake myself.  Accessing the Birdata (ie Atlas) checklist for postcode 2620 as at 1600 hrs on 18 June 2015 presented a list that included:

Red-winged Parro…

COG goes silhouette at ANBG

Silhouette is a French term which sounds somewhat appropriately like "silly or wet".  "Silly and wet" would be even more appropriate on this day.  

The weather forecast had been very variable both between and within forecasting sites.  On the weekend one site had shown heavy overnight rain but with a fairly dry morning; the BoM rain forecast had been about 2-5mm for the day.  When I looked at the radar at 6am it suggested rain for the next hour and then isolated showers.  Now - 1 pm - the BoM forecast for the day is 15-40mm and my weather station has just ticked over 31mm since midnight.

It was drizzling to murky when I got the Gardens at about 8:45. ​ 9 intrepid members gathered under the shelter of the Visitors Centre for a visit to the Australian National Botanic Gardens.  This was sheltered, and chosen  to avoid the sign-on sheet dissolving as it did at Gigerline start-debacle.  The weather was very promising for drought stricken farmers, and I hope they have got …