Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Darting Grass-darts

I saw a pair of tiny butterflies in my garden today and went inside to get my camera hoping they'd still be there when I got back. I needn't have worried because they were flying around and settling on low shrubs in the sunshine. Getting a focus on them was another matter. If one flew so did the other. How do they communicate when they're more than a metre apart?

They're Greenish Grass-darts Ocybadistes walkeri, beautiful little creatures. Note that they hold one pair of wings in a vertical position.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Small residents

Here are a few of the insects I've found in the last week or so. The first is a a tiny, metallic Green Long-legged Fly from the Dolichopodidae family, possibly Austrosciapus. They are quite 'flighty' but when disturbed have a habit of returning to the same bunch of leaves. They shine brilliantly in the sunlight.

This little egg-shaped object was on a leaf near the fly. I've no idea what it is but I like the symmetry.

And last week I found this large, very large, stick insect at Wonthaggi. Only a mother could love that face.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Industry and birds co-existing

Summer wader count time again, and that includes the Moolap salt works. The ponds are within cooee of the centre of Geelong and large numbers and variety of birds find it a congenial place to live while they're on their annual visit. Sometimes it can be spectacular, sometimes disappointing but it's always interesting. Today we didn't see anything unusual but the fog didn't lift for a while so the light was amazing, and then when it did lift we complained about the heat! (BTW, you have to get permission to walk in but a lot can be seen from certain spots on the surrounding roads.) The photos below don't show the waders (my camera is good but not that good) but they do show the proximity of the surrounding industries.