Diario del proyecto Yellingbo and surrounds

19 de enero de 2023

16/01 & 18/01/23 Flora survey: Yellingbo

This week we're thinking reptiles, whilst prioritising orchids. In a collaborative project with Monash University, Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater volunteers are preparing for a reptile survey site to be established later in the year in a patch of bushland within Yellingbo Nature Conservation Area. We're mapping the summer flowering orchids, to ensure they're protected. Discouraging to see so many of the Hyacinth Orchids browsed at budding stage. As well as these, we've recorded Large Tongue-orchids, Onion Orchids, Caladenia's (setting seed) and Elbow Orchids. In a couple of months time, just like those that flowered in other seasons, there'll be no evidence that the orchids are there as they go into their dormant phase. With some of these species being significant for our region, like the tiny Elbow Orchids, it's our knowledge of the local patch, together with the expertise of Monash researchers that will ensure the focus is on the ecosystem as a whole when the reptile surveys start! Thank you team :)

Anotado en 19 de enero de 2023 a las 09:09 PM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de enero de 2023

11/01/23 Bird & Frog survey: Yellingbo

We escaped the heat of the day with an 8am start, and were richly rewarded. Under the dappled shade of magnificent Eucalypts, with 11 fabulous people, it was a joy to see a couple of Grey Fantails nesting, a Dusky Woodswallow collecting nesting material, Sword-grass Brown Butterflies and Ringed Xenica's on the wing and summer flowers. That just about sums up our first citizen science morning for 2023, surveying for birds in a patch of Yellingbo Nature Conservation Area that is not often walked. We recorded 34 species for the day, with highlights being the Eastern Shrike-tit, Satin Flycatcher and a couple of Red-browed Finches that didn't mind our presence and allowed us to get a close look.

Anotado en 12 de enero de 2023 a las 08:53 PM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de diciembre de 2022

15/12/22 Flora & Frog survey: Yellingbo

Although it was overcast for much of the morning, it wasn't cold and the wind stayed away. Our flora survey was off to a good start! We ventured into the dry slope of the newest acquisition for Yellingbo Nature Conservation Area, for our first survey here. We focussed on the plants, but also recorded the birds. Why wouldn't we?
We surveyed a small section of a 40+ hectare block dominated by a canopy of Stringbarks and a scattering of Peppermints (Eucalypts). Eight people, including 2 new people to our flora surveys, recorded Onion Orchids dotted throughout this patch, more Blue Pincushions than I've seen elsewhere in the reserve, Bird Orchids, Sun Orchids that had finished their flowering (we'll be back next year to see what they are!), and much more! It was nice to see some insect life, after seeing very little over the recent wet months. Highlights, you ask? It would have to be the shared laughter, conversations and joy of spending a morning out in the bush, sharing our ID knowledge and queries with fabulous people :)

Anotado en 15 de diciembre de 2022 a las 04:35 AM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14/11/22 Bird & Frog survey: Yellingbo

The expected wet weather didn't come on our bird survey (that was a bonus), but we came prepared with gumboots, and we definitely needed them. The ground is still sodden from a few months of wet weather, so any rain causes low points to fill with water, and flow. In cool, but not cold, mostly overcast conditions, our citizen science team of 11 people recorded 43 species of birds, 2 frog species, 2 Swamp Wallabies and a couple of beautiful butterflies that I'm sure were wondering what happened to summer. Or was that just us? A great morning, as always, with fabulous people. And the Christmas biscuits, and rum-n-raisin chocolate with plenty of rum were pretty good too :)
Some highlights? A pair of Gang-gang Cockatoos, Dusky Woodswallows, Sacred Kingfisher, Swamp Harrier... and everything else!

Anotado en 15 de diciembre de 2022 a las 04:18 AM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de noviembre de 2022

16/11/22 Bird & Frog survey: Yellingbo

For a fauna survey, we spent a lot of time looking at and recording the flora! The day was mostly overcast, but the sun was fabulous when it came out, and the company of 9 people who love being in the bush wasn't bad either :)
The ground was sodden, even on much of the dry slope we walked, with flooding events continuing. Despite that, we recorded 33 species of birds including 6 Rufous Whistlers with 2 that looked like they were pairing, a Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Sacred Kingfisher and a solitary Silvereye. A few species of orchids caught our eye, as did the Dwarf Boronia - a significant species in our region, and hard to see when not in flower. We found a number of plants that we'll go back and protect.

Anotado en 18 de noviembre de 2022 a las 07:54 PM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de octubre de 2022

26/10/22 Bird & Frog survey: Yellingbo

After a downpour of rain the previous night, hitting already sodden soil, the creek was running fast and every bit of low lying land was filled to capacity and overflowing. It was wet underfoot, but an interesting time to be out in the reserve doing our surveys! The weather was overcast yet kind, with just a bit of drizzle, but still and reasonably warm. It wasn't surprising that our bird list wasn't huge - 28 species recorded - including a Rufous Whistler, Satin Flycatcher, Silvereyes and Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Just 2 frog species heard, the Eastern Banjo Frog and Common Eastern Froglet. For a bird and frog survey, we spent a lot of time looking at orchids! They were everywhere, including at least 2 types of Sun-orchids (flower buds yet to open), Eastern Bronzehood, Waxlips, Purple Beard Orchid, Pink Lady Finger and Large Tongue-orchid. As always, the company and walk was great, as was the lemon slice that Robert baked for us :)

Anotado en 26 de octubre de 2022 a las 08:19 PM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de septiembre de 2022

22/09/22 Flora & Frog survey: Yellingbo

A beautiful morning greeted us to a flora survey where we haven't done one before. Seven people, including 2 new people to our flora surveys, found several large colonies of Maroonhoods, interspersed with Common Bird Orchids. We also found some Sun Orchids with flower spikes just emerging which we'll check on in the coming weeks. Which species are they? After all the rain it was boggy underfoot in what we would expect to be much drier areas. There wasn't a lot of insect life but it was nice to see some species around such as the White-spotted Swift Spider, a glossy red coloured Leaf Beetle and more. Just 2 species of frogs calling today, the Common Eastern Froglets were abundant, whilst we heard a solitary Pobblebonk. A highlight was seeing what we suspect were 2 Swamp Harriers seeming to harass a Wedge-tailed Eagle, flying high above the swamp. Another highlight was everyone saying what a great day they had out in the bush :)

Anotado en 22 de septiembre de 2022 a las 06:51 AM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de septiembre de 2022

21/09/22 Bird, Platypus & Frog survey: Yellingbo

Our bird, platypus and frog survey had all of this and more today. Two sightings of a platypus, approx 2 hours apart (plus a photograph this time!!), 42 species of birds and 1 species of frog calling (Common Eastern Froglet). That's got to count as a good morning out :)
Four new people to our surveys were warmly welcomed. It's always a joy to meet new people and share the joys of the bush, laughter and the easy conversation and company of like-minded people.
Some bird highlights? A pair of Black Swans with a signet, a Pelican flying overhead (2 water birds we don't often see), a Fan-tailed Cuckoo sitting for ages on the fence letting us get a good look, 6 species of honeyeater, and so much more!
How good is this group of people?! What a joy to be out in the reserve with them all today.

Anotado en 21 de septiembre de 2022 a las 07:30 AM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de septiembre de 2022

07/09/22 Youth event – Flora survey: Yellingbo

If marking National Threatened Species Day with a flora survey in near perfect weather wasn't enough, the bonus was seeing all participants actively engaged in working out what species they were observing. Today was about treading lightly on the ground, and focussing in on the species that can be a bit cryptic - grass-like blades of green, or leaves easily confused with a Eucalyptus leaf, or tiny rosettes that like magic send up the most stunning of flowers - the orchids. We found Nodding and Tall Greenhoods in flower, Large tongue-orchids with the very beginning of a flower spike emerging, and Sun orchids, some with flower spikes emerging. We'll go back to hopefully catch the flowers open and determine the species. Other species that grabbed everyone's attention were two species of Sundew (Tall and Rosy), with their glistening leaves that lure, capture, and digest insects. Then there were the wattles, rushes, grasses, herbs, eucalyptus and much, much more!

Anotado en 08 de septiembre de 2022 a las 05:47 AM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de agosto de 2022

17/08/22 Bird, Platypus & Frog survey: Yellingbo

During National Science Week our Yellingbo bird survey participants recorded a staggering 52 species of birds including a rarely sighted Australian Pelican and Black Swan. Another 3 new species were recorded since our regular bird surveys began in Sept 2020: Straw-necked Ibis, Long-billed Corella and Eurasian Coot, bringing our total species list recorded to 96. Our previous daily record was 40 species recorded. Another highlight today were two Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring above us being harassed by a group of Little Ravens. It's breeding season for both species and they compete for nesting sites and resources. After heavy rain, the creek was bursting its banks but the wet ground didn't deter us! Together, a team of people that described themselves as "beginner" to "pretty good" at identifying plants, birds and other animals all contribute to what we see, hear and record. The frogs (Common Eastern Froglet Crinia signifera) were making a racquet. We didn't spot a platypus today. We wondered what protective behaviours they employ when waterways are overflowing and moving as fast as they were today. As we sat down to enjoy lunch together, the warmth of a winter's morning and shared conversation was icing on the cake. What an awesome group of people to spend a morning with!

Anotado en 22 de agosto de 2022 a las 10:29 PM por regnans regnans | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario