Monday, 12 July 2021

Kilcoy Trip 14 - 18 June 2021

Our group stayed at the Lake Somerset Holiday Park at Hazeldean, which is about 10mins drive from Kilcoy. Our cabins were comfortable and had beautiful views over the Somerset Dam, which captures the water from the Stanley River.  Building Somerset Dam commenced in 1935, was suspended during WW2, and was finally completed by 1959. It was built to provide more water security for Brisbane and help to mitigate floods. 

Lake Somerset: Berry
Cabins: Kerrie

Yabba Rd, Jimna: Kerrie
On a very foggy Tuesday morning we set out for the Jimna area, which is about 40kms north of Kilcoy.  We first drove to Yabba Road which is a few kilometres north of the Peach Trees camping ground. This short roads leads through open bushland to a paddock where animals have grazed. A small cluster of the delightful shrub, Choretrum candollei, a hemi-parasitic plant was growing among the trees. Although not in flower, the foliage is quite attractive. 
White sour bush (Choretrum candollei)

The group enjoyed watching a pair of busy Jacky Winters, darting down to the ground for insects and then returning to the fencepost. There were several Brown Treecreepers foraging in among the tufts of grass for food. These birds commonly search on the ground, unlike the White-throated Treecreepers (seen by Vince on a previous trip), who search up the trunks of trees. We spotted a Fuscous Honeyeater and noticed how ‘yellow’ the Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters are in this locality. 
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater:Vince

Brown Treecreeper: Vince

White-throated Treecreeper:

Jacky Winter: Vince

We then travelled to Peach Trees Camping area which is situated on Yabba Creek in the Jimna State Forest. This is a delightful camping area, well grassed and with relatively new toilet facilities. There are several walks of varying lengths to enjoy, including one over a suspension bridge.  
Blue-faced Honeyeaters: Berry

Morning tea at Peach Trees: Berry

Walks in the nearby Dry Vine Scrub/ Rainforest, resulted in sightings of a female Catbird, male Rifle Bird and various plants.
Double-fringed Emerald Moth: Kerrie

Coral Fungi: Kerrie

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum atroviride)

Xerochrysum bracteatum: Kerrie
Tetramolopium vagans: Kerrie

Mosquito orchid: Kerrie

Hardenbergia violaces: Kerrie

Small-leaved Geranium: Kerrie

Woolly Pomanderris: Kerrie

Female Green Catbird: Kerrie

 In particular, on the Aracauria on a site some 10 metres from the ground in a dead tree where branches twined to construct a flattened platform, the male Rifle-bird was observed filling in the gaps between the twigs with vegetation he was transporting in his beak.  Perhaps he was preparing for the mating season, the display platform for his wondrous dance.

Male Paradise Rifle-bird
A female grey kangaroo with her joey and female regent Bower-birds provided a distraction.

Grey kangaroo and joey: Berry
Female Regent Bower-bird: Berry

Nearby is the small town of Jimna, which was established in 1922 as a forestry town.  The Jimna Fire tower is 47 metres tall and was built in 1977. This heritage listed tower, which is in the process of being restored, was used by foresters to spot fires. 

Jimna Fire Tower: Berry
On Wednesday, we enjoyed a visit to “Bellthorpe Stays Nature Retreat," run by David and Wendy with holiday cabins and revegetation projects.  This old dairy farm is being returned to rainforest. 
Morning tea at Bellthorpe: Kerrie

Waterlilies on the dam: Kerrie

Waterfall at Bellthorpe: Berry

David was excited to point out some rare trapdoor spiders homes in the damp banks near the walking track.    Green moss forms a handy camouflage.  A Red Triangle Slug was found on the foliage and a Damselfly landed on a human's arm. 
Trapdoor spider home:Kerrie
Lid covered with moss: Kerrie

View of the mountains from lookout: Kerrie

Red triangle slug: Kerrie

Female Southern Whitetip Damselfly: Rob

At the old Brandon Sawmill, an historical site just a few remnant machines remain. Travelling to the sawmill site we passed through impressive stands of tall eucalypt forests.  After travelling along Brandon’s Creek Road to Stoney Creek Road we stopped off at the Stony Creek Day use area where there is an impressive swimming hole in the creek.  Two tawny frogmouths trying hard to be inconspicuous were spied. 
Sawmill Conservation Park: Berry
Old sawmill: Berry
Two inconspicuous tawnies: Berry

Yowie Country: Berry

Yowie is one of several names for a mythological ape-like bush creature, reputed to be around the Kilcoy district since the 1800s.  In 1979, two Brisbane students are said to have had an encounter with a "two to three metre brown haired creature".  Now the local Rugby team is called "The Yowies."

Thursday was spent exploring around Kilcoy.  A member of the Kilcoy District Historical Society, presented a talk on the first settlers of the district. There was time then to explore the history centre and the nearby Art Gallery. Behind the gallery there is a lovely park, called Yowie Park, which winds along the Kilcoy Creek. Plants in a revegetation  project included Jointed twig rush (Baumea articulata) and Grey sedge (Lepironia articulate),  Midyim berry (Astromyrtus dulcis),  Lomandra hystrix and Thyme honey myrtle as understory plants us while the taller plants included River Oak, Swamp Mahogany, Melaleuca viminalis  and Banksia integrifolia.
On Thursday afternoon we travelled to a nearby winery where the group all enjoyed a cuppa and scones and jam. 
On an earlier visit to the Jimna area, Vince recorded these birds.  
Red-browed Finch: Vince
Wedge-tailed Eagle: Vince

Weebill: Vince
White-throated Gerygone: Vince

Dusky Woodswallow: Vince
Speckled Warbler: Vince

These birds were recorded in areas of Yabba and Galeger Roads, Jimna.

Text: Berry, Kerrie, Lionel
Photographs: As acknowledged


Monday, 5 July 2021

Fisherman's Pocket / Widgee Crossing Outing Thursday 27 May 2021

Members of the Thursday outing met at Robert Road to peruse the birdlife and vegetation of the area stretching along the busy highway to the lakes at Chatsworth Park.  Surprisingly, some 45 species of birds were recorded for the morning.  On our arrival, a small flock of Fairy Martins were observed flying through the drain under the road. Inspection revealed the intricately made bird nests belonging to the Fairy Martins attached to the roof of the tunnel, a much-preferred site of this species.

Martin nests under house eaves at Bowra

Fairy Martin
Plantings of native species are growing well, the Acacia maidenii, (Maiden's Wattle) flowering adjacent to Acacia falcata (Sickle-leaved Wattle) with its creamy white pom-poms welcoming in the cooler months. 
Maiden's wattle

Sickle wattle

Cattle egret nests - unoccupied at the moment

In the park area, larger areas have been thickly planted surrounded by mown grassy open areas. Some of the trees planted in these areas are Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii), Brown Pine (Podocarpus elatus), Queensland Kauri (Agathis robusta),Bat Wing Coral Tree  (Erythrina vespertilia), Bailey's Cypress (Callitris baileyi ) -Vunerable. This specimen, growing beautifully on the corner of the plantings, will hopefully continue to thrive.The nests of the Cattle egrets were noticed in the Casuarina cunninghamiana growing in the low wetter area. 
Bat Wing Coral leaves
Bat Wing Coral - spiny trunk

Bailey's Cypress

Pattern on Cypress branches
Smaller under storey specimens included the Thick-leaved Quinine Bush (Petalostigma pachyphyllum), covered in reddish berries looking striking again the shiny green leaves. 
Thick-leaved Quinine Bush
Pink Euodia (Melicope elleryana) and Brachychiton discolor and bidwillii had also featured in multiple planting.
Cotton Pygmy-Geese
A pair of Cotton Pygmy -Geese were soaking up the morning sunshine.  Two pairs are currently making the lakes their home.  This seems to be a more common occurrence - a visit by the Pygmy-Geese for the last 5-6 years.
Red-backed Fairy-wren (Male)
Red-backed Fairy-wrens, male and female were feeding on the seed of the tall grasses left to grow in the paddock.  At the second destination, the call of the Rose Robin was heard and the female was photographed.  
Further into the red sandy area a Spotted Pardalote was recorded and photographed. This area with the banks of sandy mounds would be favoured for these birds for nesting sites. Holes  were noticed in the north-facing banks.
Spotted Pardalote
The vegetation in this area is mainly the Black Wattles (Acacia concurrens and leiocalyx). This is a regrowth area as the sand had been excavated in earlier times for use as mortar for the days of red brick houses built for the local area.

Cabbage Tree Palm
Along the lower track of the area, Cabbage Tree Palm (Livistona australis) was growing thickly in a wet area with the ground covered in Forked Fern (Dicranopteris linearis var. linearis).
On our return to base, one of our members had recorded of a sighting of a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. A new sighting for this area and good end to an outing of the Thursday Group.  
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater - Archive

Forest Kingfisher

Golden-headed Cisticola

White-throated Honeyeaters

Rose Robin - Archive
The Rose Robin male was heard but not seen.  Not so the female.

Rose Robin - Female

TEXT: Jeanette

PHOTOGRAPHS: Vince, Cecile, Lionel.