Early Birders had a very interesting time. Graham led us to site of the tragic plane crash in 1966 where three people lost their lives. No signs of wreckage remain but broken-off trees and scarred limbs were a potent reminder of that event. We walked past the crash site along a Forestry track, with a deep gully on one side and hoop pine thickly undergrown with Gahnia sieberiana.
|Slash pine and Gahnia sieberiana|
Someone said, “With all that Gahnia, there should be a Swordgrass Brown butterfly”. Immediately, about 30 yards away, two brown butterflies flew straight up out the green mass, fluttered tauntingly and dived back down within seconds. During the day, several of these butterflies were seen, some very dark, which accounts for the name - Varied Swordgrass Brown. Gahnia species are their food plant.
|Varied Swordgrass Brown|
We saw many birds, including a much-debated Flycatcher. Some were hoping for the rarely seen Satin, but it was a Leaden Flycatcher. Cecile explained that one way to tell them apart, if you are below, is the curve of the black-white boundary on the upper breast. Leadens have a more upward curve, like a smile.
Some of the many flowering plants were Red Kennedy Pea, (Kennedia rubicundia),and Forest Hop Bush (Dodonea triquetra) .
|Forest Hop Bush Dodonea triquetra|
The track led to a gate where there was a striking Golden-headed fly. Later, posted on Facebook, Cam’s picture led to much discussion as to its exact ID. See https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_tachinids/Rutiliini.html
|Golden-headed fly Rutilia cingulata|
The early birders then went on to meet up with the second group.
Bev’s report: On a fine September morning a good crowd turned up to walk the Boronia Trail on Harry’s Hut Road. It was a pleasant walk through wallum woodland and rainforest, ending at Kin Kin Creek. The only obstacles on the trail were a few trip hazards, lawyer vine (Calamus muelleri) ready to ensnare us and supplejack (Flagellaria indica) reaching out with coiled tendrils. We could be forgiven for expecting wildflowers for actually they were scarce, though there were good clusters of Grass Trigger Plants (Stylidium graminifolium) and Guinea Flower (Hibbertia vestita). I was excited to see Apple Berry (Billardiera scandens) and Broad-leaved Geebung (Persoonia cornifolia) in flower.
|Guinea flower Hibbertia vestita|
|Apple Berry Billardiera scandens|
|Fruit of the Apple Berry|
|Scrub Cherry Exocarpos latifolius|
|Graham relates the story|
|The old bridge|
As previously you could not get across the creek, the old suspension bridge was built on the walking trail from Elanda Point to Cooloola by the Army in about the Eighties, as an exercise. A big flood in 1988 came through and washed the bridge away. Now all that is left is the structure on one side of the creek that supported the suspension.
Ernie drew our attention to the primitive fern, Forked Comb Fern (Schizaea bifida).
|Forked comb fern Schizaea bifida |
The rainforest welcomed us with cool mossy logs, Elkhorns (Platycerium superbum) and various orchids spotted by Jean. Overhead towered Flooded Gums (Eucalyptus grandis), Kauri Pines (Agathis robusta) and Piccabeen Palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana).
As for fauna there was a European bee hive in a tree hollow,and evidence of bandicoot or echidna diggings along the trail.
|Drooping Tree Orchid Peristeranthus hillii|
An old tree, along the trail, presented an interesting visage due perhaps to trunk and limb damage in the distant past.
|What tales I could tell!|
|Orchard Swallowtail Female|
|Time for a meeting|
On the way
home we called in to the Boronia keysii Scientific Area and were delighted to
see the vulnerable boronia thriving and flowering. There were also masses of
the beautiful Boronia rivularis.
|Boronia rivularis Wide Bay Boronia|
Many thanks to Ernie for IDing plants and to Wendy and John for help with organising the day.
CONTRIBUTORS: Bev, Cameron, Rahima, Ernie, Annette.