Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Anakie Gorge

Folded rocks in Anakie Gorge
To walk back in time you only need to walk a short distance from the Picnic Ground at Anakie Gorge.

The Brisbane Ranges plateau was once, about 500 million years ago, submerged under an inland sea and the layers of sediment deposited on the seabed eventually compacted into slate and sandstone. The area became exposed over the years and under pressure about a million years ago the land east of  the Rowsley Fault that extends from about Bacchus Marsh to Geelong began to sink (Port Phillip Sunkland). The result was an impressive escarpment. Rivers like Little River and StonyCreek eroded deep valleys through the escarpment as they moved down to what is now Port Phillip Bay. Today we can clearly see the layers of ancient rock in the Anakie Gorge formed by Stony Creek.

And, as a bonus, I can promise numbers of birds all year round and a wildflower display in spring.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Banded Lapwings

Near Little River
It was the winter solstice, chilly but sunny. A beautiful day for a club excursion.

About thirty members of Geelong Field Nats gathered at the appointed meeting place before moving on to the main event. This was the view to the north, with the Little River in the middle distance, so most of us turned our backs, wrapped our scarves tighter and chatted in the sunshine. But not JN. He must have been scanning with his binoculars because when he announced quietly "Banded Lapwing" we all snapped to attention.

We grabbed our binoculars, a scope was erected and we scanned the paddock. The Banded Plovers were indeed in the paddock between us and the river, surprisingly well-hidden in the low stubble. In the photo above (on my computer screen) I can make out about ten birds but the final count was 23.