Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mt Tyson-Stoneleigh area - November

We went looking for the Grassland Earless Dragon. We didn't find it, but we sure found plenty of other reptiles to keep us happy. First of the day was Boulenger’s Skink Morethia boulengeri. It was brightly striped and very photogenic.

Boulenger's Skink Morethia boulengeri

Another reptile that caught members’ attention was the Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops weidii. Its eyes like two pinholes under its scales are quite clear in the photo.

Rod showing enthusiastic members the Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops sp

Later in the day we came across this beautifully marked Australian Coral Snake Brachyurophis australis. It is such a tiny snake, a true gem.
Australian Coral Snake Brachyurophis australis

Unimpressed! Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata
The Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata was on the track as we came up to the scrub. As it was being moved to safety away from the vehicles we were able to get ‘close-up and personal’, but it was totally unimpressed with us. We had the chance to look at the markings on its abdomen. Something one doesn’t see very often.

There were plenty of insects and spiders to check out too. If it wasn’t duelling scorpions or fat centipedes carrying their eggs, then it was this colourful little spider that took a liking to Betty.

Yellow Scorpion Spider Arachnura higginsi 
(Not photographed on Betty's arm, however.)

You can just see the eggs under the curve of the abdomen.
One of the highlights of the day was to go into an area of native grassland with little exotic weed. Because of the good rain the grass was as tall as our shoulders. This is how the Darling Downs would have looked to the original inhabitants, and explorers such as Cunningham and Leichhardt. This is reportedly one of the most threatened of Australia's habitats with only 1% remaining.

A Field of Nats in mainly Plains Stipa Grass Austrostipa aristoglumes
Photo by Trish

Bird List for Mt Tyson area: Brown Quail, Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon), Crested Pigeon, Bar-shouldered Dove, White-faced Heron, Black-shouldered Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Galah, Cockatiel, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Rainbow Bee-eater, Superb Fairy-wren, Weebill, White-throated Gerygone, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Cicadabird, Olive-backed Oriole, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Magpie-lark, White-winged Chough, Apostlebird, Horsfield's Bushlark (Singing Bushlark), Golden-headed Cisticola, Common Starling, Common Myna, Mistletoebird, Zebra Finch, House Sparrow.

Bird List for McEwan State Forest: Pale-headed Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Superb Fairy-wren, Weebill, White-throated Gerygone, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Lewin's Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Eastern Yellow Robin, Silvereye, Mistletoebird, Double-barred Finch.

Butterfly & Moth List for Mt Tyson area: Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus, Chequered Swallowtail Papilio demoleus, Small Grass-yellow Eurema smilax, Scarlet Jezebel Delias argenthona, Caper White Belenois java, Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Common Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Lesser or Native Wanderer Danaus chrysippus, Blue Tiger Tirumala hamata, Common Grass-blue Zizina labradus, Heliotrope Moth Utetheisa pulchelloides, Semi-looper Moth Trigonodes hyppasia.

Butterfly & Moth List for McEwan State Forest: Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus, Small Grass-yellow Eurema smilax, Caper White Belenois java, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Common Crow Euploea core, Lesser or Native Wanderer Danaus chrysippus, Wanderer Danaus plexippus, Blue Tiger Tirumala hamata, Chequered Copper Lucia limbaria, Crow Moth Cruria donowa, Heliotrope Moth Utetheisa pulchelloides, Heliothis sp. Moth, Semi-looper Moth Trigonodes hyppasia.

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