Sunday, June 23, 2013

Butterflies, Birds and Bats

Spring Creek, Dalrymple Creek and Condamine River catchments of the Clifton and Allora district. 

It was one of those magic, autumn days; bright and sunny and not too cool. Ten members enjoyed the route that Len and Joff had planned. The Field Nats have not visited this part of the Darling Downs for many years and what a feast of nature we had; butterflies, birds and bats.

There were plenty of farm dams in the area attracting a variety of water birds. We stopped at a couple with morning tea inbetween at Dalrymple Park, in Allora.  A colony of Black Flying Fox Pteropus alecto have taken roost here. 
White Migrant Catopsilia pyranthe

Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus

On Bony Mountain via Yankee Gully Road we had a fauna and flora stop. Butterflies were everywhere and Tricia managed to get some specimens in her net so that we were able to have a closer look. They were released after we had inspected them and went on their way quite nonchalantly.
Lunch by the Condamine
Cabbage Whites Pieris rapae drinking
Lunch was in a lovely spot beside the Condamine River at Connell Bridge. Here we sat in the sunshine watching the Red-winged Parrots in the trees on the other side of the water. Cabbage White butterflies were drinking from the damp sandy loam at the water's edge.

There were more stops after lunch, the property of Old Talgai with the still waters of the Condamine was particularly picture perfect. Then on the way home two lucky Nats managed to see a small flock of Budgerigars.

Lists - compiled by Lesley from member’s sightings. 
Total = 9 species of butterflies, 57 species of birds, 1 each of reptile and mammal. 
Letters B-K refer to points on the map.

The route for the May outing

B) Danson Lagoon, Shannon Rd: Birds - Black Swan, Australian Wood Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Hardhead, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Eastern Great Egret, Australian White Ibis, Little Eagle, Nankeen Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Red-kneed Dotterel, Masked Lapwing, Galah, Cockatiel, Magpie-lark.

C) Allora (reserve on Dalrymple Creek): Mammals - Colony of Black Flying Fox Pteropus alecto. Butterflies - Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Wanderer Danaus plexippus. Birds - Crested Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Noisy Miner, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Australian Magpie, Silvereye.

E) Yankee Gully Dam on Hendon Victoria Hill Road: Butterflies - Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Meadow Argus Junonia villida. Birds - Pacific Black Duck, Hardhead, Australasian Darter, Australian Pelican, Eastern Great Egret, Australian White Ibis, Whistling Kite, Dusky Moorhen, Galah, Little Corella, Little Lorikeet, Red-rumped Parrot, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Apostlebird, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin.

G) Yankee Creek Road, Bony Mountain (28° 05.980’ S; 151° 52.741’ E): 
Butterflies - White Migrant Catopsilia pyrantheYellow Migrant Catopsilis gorgophone (pale form), Small Grass-yellow Eurema smilax, Large Grass-yellow Eurema hecabe, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus.

H) Connell Bridge, Condamine River (28° 05.622’ S; 151° 48.398’ E): Reptiles - Eastern Water Dragon Physignathus lesueurii lesueuriiButterflies - Chequered Swallowtail Papilio demoleus, Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Large Grass-yellow Eurema hecabe, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Wanderer Danaus plexippusBirds – Whistling Kite, Galah, Little Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-winged Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Azure Kingfisher, Laughing Kookaburra, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Noisy Friarbird, Willie Wagtail, Grey Butcherbird, Torresian Crow, Magpie-lark.

I) Pratten (28° 05.334’ S; 151° 47.062’ E): Birds - Crested Pigeon, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-winged Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Pied Butcherbird, House Sparrow.

J) Old Talgai (28° 00.506’ S; 151° 45.888’ E): Birds - Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon), Straw-necked Ibis, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Noisy Miner, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Apostlebird.

K) Clifton roadside: Birds - White-necked Heron, White-faced Heron, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Pied Butcherbird, Torresian Crow, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin. 

Miscellaneous birds en route: Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Budgerigar, Starling.

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