Saturday, November 16, 2013

Allora Mountain, Sunday 25 August

Gateway to the Mountain
It seems there was quite a bit of interest in this area as over 30 Nats from both Toowoomba and Stanthorpe Field Naturalist Clubs and three visitors arrived at Dalrymple Creek Reserve. It was a beautiful day and all was quiet at the park as the colony of Black Flying Fox Pteropus alecto was missing. However a large mob flew in just as we set off for Allora Mountain.
Margaret had arranged a good outing starting with morning tea at the new gate of the reserve. Here Weebills, Pardalotes and Gerygones were calling while a Wedge-tailed Eagle harassed by Crows flew overhead. The habitat is Mountain Coolibah Woodland and a beautiful specimen of Eucalyptus orgadophylla caught peoples’ eye as we started the climb. 
The lovely Mountain Coolibah, Eucalyptus orgadophylla
On the way up the geology had people considering the volcanic era. Then at the top were the aboriginal scarred trees to wonder at.
As usual we scattered far and wide following our own interests. The birdos seemed to congregate at the northwest corner where a lively flock of Plum-headed Finches, a White-winged Triller and a Fan-tailed Cuckoo were notable amongst many birds. There was little obvious insect life though the Dusky Woodswallows and Rainbow Bee-eaters had to be after something. Lepidoptera were evident with plenty of nondescript moths and later in the morning the butterflies. The botanists were delighted with the Hairy Anchor Plant Discaria pubescens in flower. Read more about this from Trish Gardner in the newsletter and also on her blog Toowoomba Plants. John and Ruth saw a goanna peeking out of one of the hollows in a Coolibah but weren’t able to catch a photo; Lace Monitor Varanus varius has been recorded on the mountain. 
Bear's Ear, Cymbonotus lawsonianus 
 Lunch was back at Dalrymple Creek Reserve in Allora where both Clubs had a chance to socialize and review their morning. As we were packing up, a beautiful adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle cruised overhead. A few of us then left for home while the rest of the group moved on to the delightful owl sculpture on Ghost Gate Road.

Time for the two clubs to socialize 
at Dalrymple Creek Reserve, Allora
On the mountain (28° 1’ 28.92” S 151° 59’ 40.92”): 
Birds: Crested Pigeon, Black-shouldered Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Nankeen Kestrel, Galah, Eastern Rosella, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Bee-eater, Weebill, White-throated Gerygone, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Striped Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-winged Triller, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Jacky Winter, Silvereye, Common Starling, Double-barred Finch, Plum-headed Finch.
Butterflies: Small Grass-yellow Eurema smilax, Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Australian Painted Lady Vanessa kershawi, Wanderer Danaus plexippus, Common Grass Blue Zizina labradus labradus.
Extras at Dalrymple Creek Reserve (28° 1’ 42”S 151° 58’ 60”E): Bird: Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon), White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Magpie-lark. Mammals: Black Flying Fox Pteropus alecto

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