Friday, 25 September 2015

SEPTEMBER FIELD TRIP

 September outing took the early birders to the Widgee state forest reserve, a left turn not far past the Glastonbury hall. The forest road was in fair condition taking the group on a circuit of about 15Km . The habitat for birds varied from open eucalyptus forest, vine scrub on a number of moist gullies and Hoop Pine plantations on the ridges.The rise in altitude from the plains to reach a height of 550 meter reasonably high on Glastonbury mountain. The view from that point were looking across the grazing areas of Glastonbury creek. The forest density and type at this height suggested better soil with a little more moisture available.The grazing flats showing some signs of drying after winter and the noted lack of recent rain. Looking more in a westerly direction the highest peak in our district, Mount Widgee was visible at a height of about 660 meters.After a few hours of good birding we returned to the hall via the Glastonbury Creek road. My high points was a good photo of the White-eared Monarch and a Australasian Grebe on its grass nest in the middle of a lagoon. Unfortunately saw us and took a very long dive --- no photo.
Called Honeycomb Sandstone Patterning ---- this feature on the ceiling at one of the rock shelters.----- note the section which has collapsed and fell to he floor below.

Dockrillia linguiforme  (tick orchid) ----the lichen on the rock
showing signs of  moisture stress.----- nice flowers. 
Travelling to the Brooyar State Forest to meet the rest of the group for morning tea at Point Pure Lookout. The two lookouts in the forest reserve, very popular with the rock climbing family, these people enjoy the shear sandstone cliffs. The rest of us just look up in wonderment.
A number of native orchids attach to the boulders, the only one in flower on the day was the Dockrillia linguiforme ( tick or tongue orchid) . The Dendrobium  monophyllum (lily of the valley) Dendrobium speciosum (king orchid) were not in flower.
Lunch taken at Glastonbury Creek camping area, members kept company by a considerable number of bird species. A large group of Red-browed Finch were very nice , and didn't mind a number of people watching their activities.
One of the rock shelters.
 After lunch a number of energetic people walked to the rock shelters. Where over time the soft sandstone has eroded leaving large overhangs and caves. The very interesting patterns and in particular the honeycomb patterns in the roof of one of the overhangs. Water, wind and a very long period of time created these very unusual patterns in the softer sandstone A very interesting day, and once again I drove home wondering .

Satin Flycatcher ---- small bird to 15-17 cm ----- not as common as the Restless Flycatcher.
White-throated Treecreeper ------ as the name suggests , picking insects from under the bark  ------White throat with white streaks on the flanks ----- small bird to 15cm.
White-eared Monarch -----small 13-14 cm ---- considered to be uncommon ----- spent a considerable time collecting insects from the Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta) . I shall add this photo to my collection.
Little Shrike-thrush ----larger bird to 19cm 
White-throated Gerygone (Inmature) ------ the white throat just starting to develop ----- very small bird at 10cm.
Varied Triller (F) ----- about 20 cm in size ---- is a smaller member of the Cuckoo-shrike family----- the female has the pronounced brown bars across her breast.