Sunday, 11 January 2009

Birds of a different kind

Braving the traffic on the Great Ocean Road I took myself off to see what was happening in the Anglesea heath - one of my favorite places. I wandered along paths at Point Addis that I had to myself because everyone else was at the beach, searched for insects in the foliage, listened to the birds, enjoyed the sunshine.

As I got back to my car another car pulled up. "I thought it was you" said Polly, who was showing her friend from New South Wales the Rufous Bristlebird on the point. "Have you seen the duck orchids?" No, I hadn't and wasn't even looking for orchids thinking it was a bit late in the season.

So off to the orchid patch we went, an area that has been mined for sand in the past and now regrowing. If Polly hadn't shown me I would never have seen these little beauties tucked away in the undergrowth. Beats me how anyone found them in the first place. There were two types of Duck Orchids there, the Large Duck Orchid Caleana major and the Small Duck Orchid Paracaleana minor. Both are uncommon in this area. The slightest touch will trigger the labellum to spring down against the column - and this is what it does when a male wasp responds to the 'female-wasp' scent emitted by the orchid.

Luckily I was able to get several photos before my camera battery went flat and I discovered that I'd forgotten to charge my spare battery!! The first photo is the Large Duck Orchid and the other two are the Small Duck Orchid.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Lovely Orchids.

It's great to have friends who are "in the know" and share their special knowledge with you.

The Large Duck Orchid is my personal favourite, but I have never seen the Small DOs - so I am jealous!