|Exploring the property|
Varied naturalist experiences were available to 20 or more TFNC members as we visited the Santa Gertrudis pastoral property near Pechey. Previously held by the same family for over a century, it showed evidence of this long tenure, including an avenue of Bunya pines, plus two wonderful carob trees at the house-yard gate. It turned out that we had the last blue-sky-and-sunshine day for quite some time for this excursion.
After enjoying our morning tea in the garden we set off in the four-wheel drives, since the country is a series of rolling hills with rather slippery tracks in some spots. We began at a high point with a view and observed small diggings in the softer ground near the track. Ian attributes these to bandicoots.
As usual, an initial full troop soon became smaller groups as people followed their line of interest. One group headed to the creek in the paddock below, hoping for birdlife, only to be lucky enough to see a Koala! Two creeks merge on this land, constituting the headwaters of Cooby Creek.
|Koala at the creek|
|One of the creeks on the property|
A large portion of the property is sandstone, but there are also areas of both red and black soils, including a contoured cultivation patch, not in use at present. Ian has noted the distinct drop in rainfall there compared with that on the range watershed about four kilometres east. He said heavy rains had been simply disappearing into the porous landscape. (Adapted from Margaret's article in the August newsletter)
|Nats checking out the cactoblastus larva on a wattled knoll|
|Cactoblastis cactorum larva in the Prickly Pear.|
|Close-up of the glorious wattle flowers.|
SPECIES LIST (Compiled from members’ sightings.)
Pechey - 27 19' 19" S, 152° 0' 20" E (WGS84) 1.5kilometre radius
Bird List: Australian Wood Duck, Australasian Grebe, Crested Pigeon, Little Pied Cormorant, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Masked Lapwing, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pale-headed Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-wren, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Weebill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Striped Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Rufous Whistler, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Magpie-lark, Welcome Swallow.
Mammal List: Koala, Red-necked Wallaby, Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
Butterfly List: Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Wanderer Danaus plexippus.
Moth List: Larvae and pupa of the Cactoblastis cactorum.