Tuesday, 15 May 2018

FIELD TRIP TO AMAMOOR CREEK. MARCH 2018

 
Native Yam Dioscorea transversa
A small group departed Gympie Town Hall on 18 March at 8.30 to proceed to Amamoor Creek National Park for the monthly outing.  The countryside looked particularly lush with growth due to the recent good rain. Creek crossings had seen a considerable drop in water levels as compared to a week earlier and the creek appeared as a thing of great beauty.
Chain Fruit Alyxia ruscifolia
Lush natural vegetation, in the dry vine scrub along Amamoor Creek contrasted to a sudden view of a severely degraded landscape where logging operations had taken place. Campers were in evidence as we passed Cedar Grove National Park campground.  The Gympie Muster site appeared abandoned and shambolic, and it is hard to equate it to the small village that appears at Muster time.  
Pencil Orchid on Orange Bark (Maytenus bilocularis)
The appearance of a number of campers on the campground was a surprise and we were reliably told of the crowds who flood the site on school and public holidays.  A misty shower soon cleared to reveal a sunny and quite warm day.
Lobster Pot Stinkhorn (Colus cf hirundinosus)
After a stroll to the creek, accompanied by the crowd of early birders who had arrived from Cedar Grove, all had a leisurely morning tea. Having tarried a little while at Amama, awaiting the arrival of the “Birding Master”, the birders had proceeded to Cedar Grove.   Creek sightings, in Amamoor Creek, of many tiny fish prompted some discussion, but no firm ID.
Car-pooling, the keen walkers made their way to the 2.5 km bush walk circuit, entered from the Vic Tipman reserve.
Tiny Ruby Bonets on the forest floor
Though sightings of birds and butterflies were scarce on the walk, the variety of vegetation was quite a revelation.  Many shrubs were in fruit or just finished flowering. In the first section of the track, we first smelt, then saw many walnut-sized fruit of the Native Lime, Citrus australis. Some small, straggly “shrubs”, with clusters of orange fruit were later identified as Maytenus bilocularis, Orange Bark. Pink fruit on the ground looked like Lilly-Pilly fruit, but it was from Vitex lignum-vitae. Dave was happy to find Native Yam, Dioscorea transversa, with twining fine stems and heart-shaped leaves. Fungi grew along the track, but most had been kicked over by a rampaging fungophobe. A group of tiny red mushrooms (possibly Ruby Bonnets Mycena viscidocruenta) escaped the heavy-footed one, as did a Lobster Pot Stinkhorn (Colus cf hirundinosus).
Spider Orchid (Dendrobium tetragonum)
Some orchids were discovered by our ‘’Orchid Aficionado’’ Jean. Although not in bloom, we think both one of the Pencil Orchids (Dockrilliaspp.) and the Spider Orchid (Dendrobium tetragonum) were present. A visit next spring during the blooming season should sort things out.
Several of us returned to this site with David Williams of LandCare a week later to firm up our plant species identifications. Numerous fruiting Pavetta australiensis proved a challenge to identify as the shrubs are quickly stripped of their fruit by birds (Lewins  Honeyeaters were seen feeding on the berries) and are often identified by their attractive flowers. The rarer Hodkinsonia ovatiflora also had small black fruit.
As the day warmed up, the 2.5km circuit proved a moderate challenge and the return for lunch, at the camping ground, was welcomed. During the lunch break, members shared information and worked on flora and fauna identification, andseveral large lace monitors (Varanus varius)appeared, obviously looking for a handout.  No luck this time.
 The bi-monthly meeting provided an up-date on past and future events and, though time consuming, is essential to keep members informed, decisions made, events revised and financial affairs discussed and passed for resolution.  
Thanks to Bev and Wendy for making us aware of this interesting venue.

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