Sunday, 27 March 2011

A Sparshall's Moth

I was looking for orchids near Anglesea today and found Parson's Bands flowering in the heathy woodland. Also found a lovely female Sparshall's Moth Trichiocercus sparshalli resting on grass stalk. She doesn't look anything like the caterpillars I found a while ago.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

An Otways fern gully

A lovely day yesterday at Sheoaks Picnic Ground near Lorne, with Field Nats friends for company.

We didn't walk very far but we saw a lot and honed our listening skills. The trees there are very tall so any birds in the canopy were  long way up and any birds in the middle story were hidden behind treefern fronds. We heard or saw Golden Whistlers, Yellow Robins, White-throated Treecreepers, Laughing Kookaburras, Olive Whistlers, White-browed Scrubwrens, White-naped Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Grey Fantails, Silvereyes - nearly thirty species in all. We dipped on King Parrot, Satin Bowerbird and Bassian Thrush.

Mosses, fungi, ferns and lichens at ground level were fascinating and we also got distracted by blue gum fruits, insects and spiders, flowers and geology. It's been such a wet summer this year the forest floor was still damp enough that you'd almost think it was winter.

Cladonia lichen

Podoscypha petalodes Rosette Fungus

Blue Gum buds on moss
Dog Lichen
Hypocrea sulphurea

The highlight of the day for me was the number of butterflies, especially at Teddys Lookout in Lorne. They were moving so fast we were having trouble identifying them but with the wonders of digital photography we were able to look at them on the computer screen. A special one, identified by Barry, was the local subspecies of the Shouldered Brown Heteronympha penelope alope.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Harps and elliots

Another new experience for me today - microbats caught in a harp trap. Yesterday Trevor had set the trap on a bush track in the stony rises at Stonyford and we checked them this morning. Result? Two sleepy little microbats, Large Forest Bats, that were weighed and measured and placed in a calico bag. (They'll be released after dark tonight.)

Then we checked the elliott traps set up amongst the rocks on the stony rises. Result? A house mouse and about eight cute female Bush Rats. (Does the word cute reveal my gender?)