Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A couple of bits of woodland

There was a break in the damp weather today so myself and a mate went to check out a couple of bits of woodland.  Both of these are on rural residential blocks on the edge of the Hoskinstown Plain and in both cases the timber has been preserved.  Much praise to the landholders.

Getting to the first patch we wandered past a dam where we saw two Australasian Grebes.  Surprisingly we couldn't spot a nest anywhere.  This photo isn't great, but it does show the yellow patch near the bill and the rufous patch on the nape.
We first saw some ripples and wondered if it was grebes or tortoise.  After seeing the grebes we then saw a tortoise!
This field grave has one of the best views, right out over the Plain down to Talaganda and well beyond Captains Flat.
A Grey Currawong was feeding on something on theground and then posed nicely on a fence post.  Unusually it didn't call as it flew off.
A low down specimen of mistletoe (Amyema sp.) was well into flower.  It wasn't quite low enough for me to check the details needed to ID it to species.
An overview of the habitat.
Quite a few of the trees were covered with moss or algae, presumably due to a moist climate from the swampy plain below.

A nice specimen of Caladenia (cough, cough) ustulata.
We also found a few specimens of Diuris sulphurea but I wasn't careful enough with focusing to get a worthwhile photo.  We ended up recording 28 species in this site -and heard a couple of calls suggesting that there were others around.

We then moved down the Plain to a remnant of snow gum covered in several previous posts.  We only had a little time here but found 2 fledgling White-faced herons.
The Common Starlings were zipping in and out of nest holes and there were lots of unoccupied twiggy nests of various sizes.  We also spotted this White-winged Chough nest, which, with the two-toned look, suggested it had been active this season.  We didn't see (or even hear any Choughs at the site.
We recorded 15species at the site, giving a total of 32 for the morning.

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