Sunday, 9 September 2007

Going west

I'm heading west for three weeks - Perth, Margaret River, Geraldton, Abrolhos Islands etc etc, and family to visit. I'll update if I can but probably won't get the picture thing happening.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Seaview Park wildlife

Not only people find flowers attractive. I went to Seaview Park to visit the flowers and so did the Pomaderris Moth Casbia eccentritis. It seemed that every time I took a step I disturbed a moth. The preconceived idea that moths fly only at night 'flew out the window'. And they're very difficult to see after they land. This one was looking a little 'moth-eaten'.

Casbia eccentritis

Eriophora biapicata

The tiny Orb-weaver Eriophora biapicata was suspended on its web in the middle of the Acacia paradoxa and blowing about wildly in the wind, suspended head down. This photo is one of those miracles that occasionally happen against the odds. I won't be showing the ten photos I took that were totally blurred!
The beautiful little pale-blue flowers of the New Holland Daisy Vittadinia gracilis were hardly noticeable. And neither was the bug sitting on one of them. The Seed bug (of the Lygaeidae family) posed nicely while I took his photo.

Seed Bug

A little flock of Yellow-rumped Thornbills passed through from bush to bush, a male Golden Whistler was calling loudly and a Grey Fantail was having a lot to say. None of these are particularly common in Belmont so it was great to see them paying Seaview Park a visit. All this wildlife, and right here in suburbia. [Thanks Dave, for your help with invertebrate identification.]

An inland coastal cliff

Seaview Park

Scotland's primary export is the haggis, a small, fur-covered creature with one leg shorter than the other. I felt rather like a haggis yesterday as I clambered over the 40 degree slope that is Seaview Park.

The limestone escarpment on the south bank of the Barwon River at Geelong is a very small patch of vegetation that survives despite the pressures of suburbia, and the vegetation is a remnant from the time when it was a coastal cliff millions of years ago. It used to be classified as a 'limestone woodland complex' but now it's a 'coastal alkaline scrub'. Either way it's spectacular.

Zygophyllum billardierei

Pimelea glauca

Yesterday a lot of the flora was flowering - Pale Fan-flower Scaevola albida, Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra, Running Postman Kennedia prostrata, Coast Twin-leaf Zygophyllum billardierei, Common New Holland Daisy Vittadina gracilis, Hedge Wattle Acacia paradoxa and Smooth Rice-flower Pimelea glauca - but from the road below it just looks like a bank of green. The most important plant on the site is the Coast Wirilda Wattle Acacia retinodes var. ulicifolia. It is classed as rare in Victoria and grows well in the park despite occasional threats (the latest was a 'secret' cubbyhouse being built under the trees). The wattle wasn't flowering yesterday but there were buds so I must go back in a few weeks time.The limestone outcrops support a healthy cover of lichens and mosses that I must explore another time also. I'll walk the other way so my legs grow evenly.

Scaevola albida

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Hidden valley (2)

Bridge over Moorabool River

We had enjoyed a busy Fathers' Day. It was getting late in the afternoon, the light was fading, but we decided to look for another view (see previous blog entry) of the roadworks for the new freeway over the Moorabool River at Fyansford. After parking the car at a likely spot and walking about a kilometre we came to the west bank of the river and saw this below us. Success at last! A newly-arrived Clamorous Reedwarbler was singing loudly in the vegetation below us, ducks were swimming on the river and all around us birds were calling. A pair of Black-fronted Dotterels were on the edge of a water-storage dam for the roadworks. All this proves something. Maybe it is evidence that wildlife will fill niches whatever is going on around them?