Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Grassy woodland survey

A group of us turned up at the private property at Bannockburn, set to survey a selected area of grassy woodland. And survey it we did. It took all day. Some of us walked the area to see what was growing there, some sampled the water in the creek for saltiness and oxygen levels and dipped the water for its invertebrates, some checked the insect pitfall traps, the mammal traps were checked, we looked and listened for the birds. There were some friendly and interesting discussions during rest breaks about identification of particular species.
It was a hot day and the vegetation showed the effect of many dry years but we saw many different plants flowering, including the nationally vulnerable Clover Glycine Glycine latrobeana. Several orchid species were flowering well - the Tiger Orchid Diuris sulphurea looked very handsome and the Sun-orchids were fully open in the sunshine. (Its exact identity wasn't clear but I think we decided it was the Plain Sun-orchid Thelymitra nuda or a near relative.)

Sun-orchid Thelymitra nuda

Tiger Orchid Diuris sulphurea

A report will be given to the owners and the Catchment Management Authority, and results will be published in the Field Naturalists Club magazine. And the survey group will move on to investigate another private property in the near future. I'm already looking forward to it.
The aim is to build up the bank of knowledge about particular vegetation types on the volcanic plains. It's fun to do, and a terrific way for a novice to learn from the experts.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Nice orchids Boobook, the sun orchid is a lovely blue. At least orchids can't fly away, we've only got the breeze to contend with!