Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Plants that are about to be bulldozed

On 29 August I had to take the Pajero in for a recall so had a couple of hours to fill.  I decided that a walk along the proposed route of the Queanbeyan bypass would fit the bill rather well.

Strolling through the streets of Queanbeyan to get to the area I recorded 14 species of birds.  The most interesting were Straw-necked Ibis on the sports fields on Old Sydney Rd.
These birds can be common, and in large flocks but in the recent past have not been so.  I suspect they have all been out west, taking advantage of the floods from 2016.  Neither of these two have the eponymous straws on the breast and they look glossy (but not Glossy).

Once in to the base of the escarpment I found quite a bit of stuff in flower.  The most obvious species was Acacia genistifolia.

 Acacia dealbata (Silver wattle) was also evident but I didn't photograph it.  I am pretty sure  - based on the juvenile leaves - that this was Acacia rubida.
 Definitely a bean, (family Fabaceae) possibly Dillwynia sericea.
 This is definitely a Leucopogon (Beard Heath) possibly L. attenuatus.
 Another heath, Melichrys urceolatus.
 The first Glycine clandestina of the year creeping up ...
 .. Cryptandra amara.
 This area is very well endowed with mistletoe and in one area the Ameyena pendula had a mountain of fruit.
After walking for close to 2km I suddenly found myself bracketed by orange tape.  The sign might say something like "construction site keep out" but I couldn't read it from this side.
While the work for the bypass will knock over a lot of vegetation it should also do a lot of good in getting the traffic out of Monaro street in the centre of Queanbeyan. Thus I don't get too agitated about the bypass per se.

The real problem is that once the bypass is in place it will facilitate some housing development going well up the escarpment to the edge of Cuumbeun NR.  Those of a cynical frame of mind have been known to say that this is the real purpose of the bypass.  Apart from anything else the slope is so steep I can't see how house sites can be constructed on the area without the approach used in Wellington NZ where many houses have funiculars to get from the street to the front door!

Some residences have already been constructed.  The only way of entry is through a slot in  the base (indicated by the arrow).  I assume that these are meant for bats rather than birds or possums.
Walking back through the streets on a slightly different route I recorded 18 species of birds.  On this leg the most interesting were 36 Red-rumped Parrots grazing in David Campese Field (a rugby union ground).  The parrots seemed unaffected by the famous person whose paddock they were using and were not at all like mad chooks in their demeanour.

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