Thursday, 18 May 2017

A big day of birdwatching in Toowoomba

Brown cuckoo-dove (Macropygia phasianella), Redwood.
Last Saturday, I took part in a ‘Global Big Day’ held by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and their birdwatching website, ‘eBird’.

For the uninitiated, a ‘big day’ (or month, year, etc) is a birdwatching colloquialism that refers to the act of finding as many birds as possible within the designated timeframe, something which I had not partaken in before.

I decided that I would try find 100 bird species or more out in Toowoomba, a place I have never visited.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

There be dragons on Plunkett's sandstone!

Tommy roundhead, Cedar Creek.

On Good Friday, I hiked with some friends up into the rugged sandstone country of Plunkett Regional Park, a beauty of a reserve found at the southern end of Logan.

Joseph’s Coat moths (Agarista agricola), flowering slug herbs (Murdannia graminea) and a common bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) all made for enjoyable sights, but the highlight was a tiny dragon that crossed our paths on one of the more elevated trails.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Suburb Guide: Annerley

Norman Creek, as it passes to the south of Arnwood Place.

Just under three square kilometres in size, Annerley might be a small inner-suburb of Brisbane, but it is rich in wildlife nevertheless. This is largely due to the life-sustaining qualities of Norman Creek flowing through the eastern extremity of the suburb—elsewhere, with Ipswich Road splitting the area right down the middle, urbanisation has taken its toll.

Featured areas: (1) Arnwood Place, (2) Lagonda Park,
(3) Suburban Annerley, (4) Fanny Street Park, and
(5) Ekibin Park South; Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Situated just a short distance away from the Brisbane River, Annerley sits upon soils derived from sedimentary rock, and would have been cloaked in a mix of dry and wet eucalypt forest before it was cleared for dairy farming; the vegetation along Norman Creek would have been particularly dense, being home to a mix of littoral rainforest species. This latter ecosystem would have been an especially rich hunting and foraging ground for a small Indigenous camp that lived in the area where the Arnwood Place childcare centre sits today.

In the present day, the green spaces in the suburb are quite limited, but this hasn’t stopped a dedicated bushcare community from restoring these areas into impressive revegetation sites teeming with wildlife, some of which are looked at below.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The verdict is in: Maleny meet-up a hoot!

Southern boobook; Photo by Matteo Grilli.

A group of six nature enthusiasts joined me for a walk around Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve last Sunday, where we were met with a wonderful array of wildlife, plants and fungi.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Summer birds flock to the Sunshine Coast

White-faced heron (Egretta novaeholandiae), Burpengary East.

With the exceedingly hot start we’ve had to 2017, I’ve spent most of my “wildlife time” searching either for frogs in the comparative cool of the night, or in the water looking at fish. This week, however, a slightly cooler, unstable air mass swept in, and I decided to make the most of it with a full day of birding north of Brisbane.