On the weekend, a few ozbirders (Stuart, Susan & I) were mooching around
the east side of the Brisbane Ranges, north of Geelong in Victoria,
checking to see if White-throated Nightjars had arrived yet. In between
being hailed on, and frostbitten by the savage wind, we saw a Sacred
Kingfisher and a couple of Satin Flycatchers in the Stony Creek gorge.
These are the first of these species we've seen locally this spring. Also
seen was an Olive-backed Oriole, but they've been here for at least a
month already; and ditto for Rufous Whistler, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo,
Fan-tailed Cuckoo, etc.
We didn't manage to see or hear any trace of White-throated Nightjars - in
1995 they had already been in their breeding territories for a couple of
weeks at this time in October. The generally obliging Spotted
Quail-thrushes kept their heads down too, and we didn't even hear them.
WARNING!!! BOTANY FROM HERE ON; BIRDERS BEWARE.
For the phytologically inclined, the Brisbane Ranges National Park is
famed for its spring wildflower displays, and with all the rain this year,
it is _very_ spectacular. At the moment the beautiful endemic Brisbane
Range Grevillea (Grevillea steiglitziana) is approaching peak flowering,
and the Golden Grevillea (G. chrysophaea) is nearing the end; numerous
Fabaceae are in full bloom (Pultanaea spp., Aotus ericoides, Daviesia
leptophylla, Dillwynia spp.) and notably large spectacular flowering
carpets of a prostrate Bossiaea (Bossiaea prostrata??); wattles such as
Prickly Moses (Acacia verticillata), Kangaroo Thorn (A. paradoxa), Rough
Wattle (A. aspera), etc.; numerous Asteraceae (Pycnosorus sp., Helichrysum
scorpioides, Leucochrysum sp., Senecio spp., Brachyscome sp.); Creamy
Candles (Stackhousia monogyna), Mat-lilies (Lomandra spp.), Bluebells
(Wahlenbergia spp.), Twining Fringe-lily (Thysanotus patersonii),
Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), Heath Tea-tree (Leptospermum
myrsinoides), Pink Bells (Tetratheca ciliata), Guinea-flowers (Hibbertia
spp.), Love Creeper (Comesperma volubile), Common Heath (Epacris
impressa), Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus tricarpa), Yellow Gum (E. leucoxylon);
orchids such as the Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia major) and Pink Fingers
(Caladenia latifolia) are about to be overtaken by Sun-orchids (Thelymitra
rubra, T. pauciflora, T. antennifera) and Spider-orchids (Caladenia
dilatata, C. patersonii, etc.). Well worth a visit for the flowers alone.
Geelong, Victoria, Australia