Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Winter Wandering in the Crows Nest Area

Nats listening to the history of the Pechey Arboretum
Beautiful winter weather was a treat for about 20 field naturalists who gathered at the first stop on the July outing - the Pechey Arboretum, on the New England Highway north of Hampton. The arboretum, which was established in the late 1920s, was one of many trial plantings throughout Queensland to determine the potential for a broad range of species for timber plantations within State forests. In the late 1970s, it was recommended that the trial be ended and, although the 4.5 hectare plot is now very overgrown, it has some fine mature specimens of the original plantings, and is bordered by forestry roads (which also serve as firebreaks). Of the original 25 tree species planted, seven have survived. A 1977 report listed only three species that were "fairly well adapted" - Pinus radiata, Pinus patula and Pinus taeda.

A few other naturalists joined the outing for the morning tea stop at Bullocky's Rest, close by a historic Broad-leaved Apple Angophera subvelutina.

Nats at Chinaman's Dam
From Bullocky's Rest, the group travelled to a property in Tin Mine Road where we inspected a dam named Chinaman's Dam, but the origin of the name of the finely built sandstone dam wall is not known. 
Nats scattering around the dam
Lunch, again in wonderful winter sunshine, was held in the picnic area at Crows Nest National Park. 

Nodding Greenhood Orchid, Pterostylis nutans 
On the walks through the Park, many birds were heard and sighted. A highlight of plants seen was a Nodding Greenhood Orchid Pterostylis nutans. Many thanks to Neil for planning and leading this outing. Adapted from the report by Michael.

Species Report for Crows Nest area, 7 July 2013 Lists compiled from member’s sightings. 
It was a glorious, warm, winter day but even so our list is missing some very common birds such as Willie Wagtail, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike and Crested Pigeon. Where were they hiding?
Pechey Forestry Arboretum (27° 18’ 39.76” S, 152° 3’ 2.7” E within 200m):
Birds: Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Superb Fairy-wren, White-browed Scrubwren, Spotted Pardalote, Lewin's Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Eastern Whipbird, Grey Shrike-thrush, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Torresian Crow, Eastern Yellow Robin.
Butterflies: Wanderer Danaus plexippus.
Bullocky’s Rest, Crows Nest (27° 15’ 53.3” S, 152° 3’ 26.77” E within 50m):
Birds: Pacific Black Duck, White-faced Heron, Purple Swamphen, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Laughing Kookaburra, Noisy Miner, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark.
Barney Property, Tin Mine Rd (27° 15’ 31.25” S, 152° 6’ 7” E within 200m):
Birds: Common Bronzewing, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wedge-tailed Eagle (o’head), Rainbow Lorikeet, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Spotted Pardalote, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Golden Whistler, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Torresian Crow.
Butterflies: Grass-yellow sp. Eurema sp.
Amphibians: Cane Toad Rhinella marina. Two different frogs were calling at the Chinaman’s Dam. One was the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog Litoria fallax but the other was unidentified.  
Crows Nest National Park (27° 15’ 16.74” S, 152° 6’ 23.84” E within 200m):
Birds: Australian Brush-turkey, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wedge-tailed Eagle (o’head), Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, Eastern Spinebill, Lewin's Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Scarlet Honeyeater, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Red-browed Finch.
Butterflies: Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus, Wanderer Danaus plexippus.
Miscellaneous sightings on road between Pechey and Crows Nest: Birds: Australian Wood Duck, Hardhead, Australasian Grebe, Straw-necked Ibis, Grey Butcherbird.

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