Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Mallycoota: the next two days

The title of this post, while boring, is accurate.  There wasn't much to photograph on the 28th so I didn't take many snaps and thus have't got a great deal to show you.  So this will combine that day and the 29th.

The clouds before sunrise were quite interesting, as was the development of their colour between 07:12 ...
 ... and 07:15.
After the long walk to town we did the coastal walk from Betka Beach.  We did it in reverse to our usual path as I particularly wanted to check on some fungi we saw last visit which looked very similar to some luminous items blogged by Carol Probets.  Alas, in the intervening several weeks they have vanished.  There were a few seabirds around including this group with 3 species of Cormorant in one shot.
The coast here is especially spiffy with moderately high cliffs and sandy beaches.
Unfortunately on this day enjoyment of the scenery was marred by the very loud crap music coming from this boat.  Initially I thought he was a lobster fisherman but on looking at the photo I noticedthe airline going out of the back of the boat.  Sure enough he's an abalone harvester.  There is very little wrong with Mallacoota, but everything that is - eg wasting a squillion bucks on a mini-breakwater- ends up being attributed to the abalone burglars.

Anything less Zen-like than the racket coming from this waste of resources is hard to imagine.

Although  the Ghost Fungi were aboutthere were a couple of others that were pleasant to look at.

This is clearly a different species of Acacia to that I photographed yesterday (bi-pinnate rather than linear leaves).  It was flowering well throughout the heath areas.
The final section of the route yesterday was along the Betka River.  With little wind the reflections were quite attractive.
So on to the 29th!  The weather forecast for this day was the best of the time we're visiting but the morning sky would have had a shepherd muttering unhappily.

 It was possible to see the lighthouse on Gabo Island (15km away) quite clearly.
 When I first viewed this image there appeared to be a huge flag hanging above the lighthouse, but it disappeared when I clipped image. Going back to the original image it reappeared!  Then I wiped some grot off the screen and it wasn't there any more.  (I suspect that this, combined with a low dosage of medication, is the sort of thing that leads to Trump supporters doubting the moon landing.)

The first walk today was very quiet.  Our longer walk was from Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek in Croajingalong NP, apart 20km East of the town.  There was a fair bit to see there.  I'll start with Correa reflexa.
 There were a lot of fungi around.  I didn't knock this one off its stipe!
 This one was in the middle of the track - again I didn't knock it over.  My guess is that its ├çortinarius archeri- there were some other fruiting bodies nearby which had gone manky, which is typical of the species.
 The gills are mauve inside the cortina (veil).
These are more of the luminous Ghost fungi, but I'm not driving down to Shipwreck Creek after dark to see them glowing.
 This is just gum from a eucalypt, but I thought the colour was worth a few electrons.
The final drop into Seal Creek is very steep and quite slippery!  We made it down and (obviously) back up!
 The main attraction was the heathland which was full of flowering Epacris impressa.  This image doesn't do justice to the colour of the flowers which were much redder in the field.
 Here is a patch of them.
The main attraction of the heath is that it is the haunt of a few species of bird that I don't see elsewhere.  This visit began well with 2 Southern Emu-wrens being seen right at the start of the heath.  Then the BIG excitement: a Ground Parrot flushed about 1m off the track and flew about 50 m above the veg before dropping back into cover.  Not only was it a lifer, but one I had been looking for for about 30 years!  I didn't manage a photograph.  Obviously Bird of the Day!

The third special species is Tawny-crowned Honeyeater.  They turn up quite often at the paddock between the airfield and the Gun Club but had't on this trip.  Possibly they were all down at Shipwreck Creek as I recorded at least 8 (visible/audible at once).
While that photo is technically appalling it does the job in showing the key features of the bird: bill shape; tawny crown, dark streak and overall colouring.

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