Saturday, 14 October 2017

Carwoola does Stoney Creek

Or possibly Stony Creek  - I have never been able to get agreement on the spelling of either our Reserve on Captains Flat Rd or the ACT version at Urriara Crossing!

Whatever.  Today was the day for the Community Wildflower Walk organised by Megan Dixon, the local guru for Landcare, and assisted by Nicky Taws from Greening Australia.  I counted 28 punters in attendance which was a pleasing roll up.  In addition to the books which Megan displayed, if people want an online botanical reference I find Plantnet to be very useful.

The official fire rating was low-moderate ,,,
 ... but with about 10/10ths cloud cover, no wind and a temperature in the low teens (at best) I say it was really low-zero.  Here is the nice Greening Oz sign with the parked cars and a developing horde in the background.
The walk began by spending some time looking at a couple of drains where there were several plants of interest.  This is definitely a heath and I now believe Brachyloma daphnoides (thanks Frances) and I think possibly Monotoca scoparia.  (I'll confess to have forgotten a fair bit of what I knew about plants so if things need correcting please let me know!)
 This is Acacia dawsonii (Poverty Wattle).
I normally resist taking photos of foliage - there are other things to devote electrons to - but this specimen of Acacia rubida shows the contrast between the bipinnate (feathery) juvenile leaves and simple adult leaves so got snapped.
The other thing I resist taking photos of is grass and I was able to stick to that principle today!

Also on the roadside was a colony of Leucochysrum albicans tricolore.  I have included a couple of images of them because of the bonus insects.  I suspect this is Dicranolaius bellulus the Red and Blue Beetle.  Certainly a beetle of the family Melyridae.
A very young Grasshopper (Order Orthoptera family Acrididae)- note the astonishing length of the antennae.
 A good basic reference for insects in general is "A Field Guide to Insects in Australia" by Zborowski and Story.  For a guide based on the ecology and behaviour of more local insects "Insects of South-eastern Australia" by Roger Farrow is useful.

Back to the plants.  This is Daviesia ulicifolia the Gorse-leafed Daviesia.  One of the many egg-and-bacon members of the family Fabaceae (Faba is the Latin for Bean).
 Another member of Fabaceae, Pultenaea microphylla.
 Pomaderris eriocephala.
 I was taken by this crinkled and crumpled bark on a decrepid Eucalyptus mannifera.  This has a vernacular name of Brittle Gum and certainly prone to depositing quite large branches on the ground (or the tents of unwary campers).
 Another heath Lissanthe strigosa.  The vernacular name is Peach Heath, quite a good fit to the attractive pink flush on these flowers.
 The only orchid of the day!  I call this Petalochilus fuscatus (although some botanists have reverted to Caladenia fuscata.  The vernacular name has stayed the same at Dusky Fingers!
 A few Bulbine bulbosa (Bulbine lilies) were beginning to emerge near the road.  If we get some rain in the near future there might be quite a good show of these, visible as one drives past.
 Also close to the road were some reasonable sized Indigofera australis.  A purple flowered member of the Fabaceae.
In total I recorded 18 species of birds during the visit.  A list of the species is at this site.  Crimson Rosellas are very common, but when they pose nicely I feel obliged to take a snap.
This Sulphur-crested Cockatoo was being very vocal but I think was simply being a Cockatoo, rather than indicating any particular desire to occupy a nest hollow.
 On the subject of breeding: an Australian Raven perched next to a nest and appeared to indicate ownership thereof (but didn't do anything more definite such as drop food into the nest or sit in it); Australian King-parrots were inspecting hollows ; and Sacred Kingfishers were doing call-and-response displays (but I could only get one in the image).
All in all a pretty good stroll.

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