Wednesday, 28 October 2015

ANPS gets some unusualness at Lake Bathurst

This outing was advertised as showing some unusual plants on the dried out bed of Lake Bathurst.  And so it was made (probably more unusual than advertised in fact).

The Lake is best known to me as a site of great importance for birds, especially when it has some water in it.  We'll get to them a tad later, but it also has a number of unusual/threatened plants which are easier to get at when it is dry.

9 members turned up for the outing and I hope that those who dipped out feel a tad sorry for themselves.  Again, a lessee was kind enough to give permission to enter the area.

As would be expected from a dry lake flat, it is pretty flat and devoid of trees.
The trees on the fringing hill seemed well supplied with birds, including nesting Common Starlings and Tree Martins.  We soon found our first unusual plant in Wilsonia rotundifolia.  We have not recorded this before on a Wednesday Walk and it is rated as Endangered in NSW.
It was far from uncommon in this site!  The word 'carpet' springs to mind.

This is a Dodder, Cuscuta tasmanica.  Aswould be expected of a Dodder it is parasitic on plants including species of Wilsonia: no wonder it is doing well here!
This is a Ranunculus - which initially surprised me as the petals looked too narrow.  I think it is R. diminutus.
A sedge: Schoenus nitens
This one is only 'nearly open': Convolvulus graminetinus.  It is not officially endangered in NSW, but according to Plantnet is normally found on the NW Slopes and Plains, rather than the Southern Tablelands.
This was referred to as a Cranesbill - as someone said its a pity that vernacular names are more stable than the binomials!  The scientific name is Pelargonium sp GW Carr 10345, and the sp indicates (in this case) that it just hasn't yet been described, rather than there being doubt about identitiy.,
This is a Cynoglossum - I think C. australe.
Dodonea procumbens always gets this group excited.  It is rated as Vulnerable in NSW.  This colony had male plants ....
... female plants, with the red bits being styles, ...
.. and fruits.
There were some other unusual plants around, but not in flower and I decided not to spend your bandwidth on pictures of leaves!  Their presence will - like the foregoing pretties - be loaded to the Atlas of Living Australia in due course

Our local herpetologist found a Blotched Blue-tongued lizard.  These are far less common (at least where we live) than the Eastern Blue-tongue.
The prominent pinkish-orange colour of the blotches has not come out very well in this image.
There were a few birds around on the lake bed but I was surprised when a member drew my attention to this pretty little specimen - a Red-capped Plover -  running about some 5m from us.  It had included a broken-wing routine (they are also called Dotterels) in its repertoire.
It then went and sat down and looked at us.  I am very sure there were eggs under it.  However it is described as a non-breeding visitor to the COG Area of Interest (of which Lake Bathurst is at the Eastern extreme) so that makes this a very unusual record!

The surrounding paddocks were well endowed with beasts of which these were the laggards..
I had things to do at home so departed just before noon: other attendees were heading in the general direction of a very large clump of Pelargonium  and then, after lunch, to  a TSR between Tarago and Bungendore.  I look forward to hearing how they get on.

2 comments:

sue catmint said...

thank you for this, Fran, I love outings like this, you learn so much. All the flowers were new to me, except the Pelargonium, that looks like the one that is indigenous to Melbourne.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Sue. These posts are actually done by the 'Mart' half of the name. Its an abbreviation of Martin and gives a nice satirical nod to Wal-Mart! No problemo!

Martin