Wednesday, July 23, 2014

OUTING REPORTS: Boondall Wetlands and Nudgee Beach, 06 July 2014

Rod talking about the flora (photo F.Mangubhai)
A cold group of Field Nats met in Neil Street but were soon warmed by the smiling faces of Phil and Cheryl in the bus. On the way Rod Hobson spoke about the marine wetlands and remarked on features such as a huge flock of Magpie Geese feeding in the paddocks at Gatton and one of the most easterly patches of Brigalow at Marburg. As soon as we arrived at the Boondall wetlands it was morning tea which we had in the sunny car park to the calls of Noisy Friarbirds and a Grey Butcherbird. We set off on the Billai dhagun walk with Rod surrounded by eager Natters with a thirst for knowledge. This walk starts at the Environmental Centre and wanders through six or more different ecosystems. One of the most notable is the Casuarina forest which gives the circuit its name. This has an ethereal beauty of its own with the spindly trunks, wispy foliage and Sporobolus virginicus under- story. A number of birds and butterflies were seen here; Mistletoebird, the Whistlers, Brown Honeyeaters, Spangled Drongo, Grey Fantail, Common Crow butterfly to name a few. 
The saltmarsh fascinated us with its reddish coloured samphire. It was here that we saw the majestic White- bellied Sea-eagle and Brahminy Kites overhead in the clear blue sky. The boardwalk led us to the bird hide on the junction of Nudgee and Cabbage Tree Creeks. Here we were delighted with close-up views of White-faced Heron, Little Egret, Collared Kingfisher and even the elusive Mangrove Gerygone, one with a band on its leg. 

Eucalypts were flowering and the lorikeets were making the most of it so blossom covered the ground. Members collected at least three species which are still to be identified. Butterflies started to appear as it was later in the day and cameras were at the ready. 
(Tawny Frogmouth (photo: F. Mangubhai)
On the way back some of the members with Rod were lucky enough to taste some bush tucker while those at the front had great views of a Tawny Frogmouth near the Environmental Centre. With the one hour walk taking the Nats probably two and a half it was time to go to Nudgee Beach for lunch.

Then it was off on the second part of our day at Moreton Bay. This was the Tabbil-Ban dhagun boardwalk and we started at the water’s edge in the mangroves. Much to our enjoyment Rod discovered three different types of crabs, stingray depressions, whelks and winkles. As we walked through the mangroves we were sheltered from the stiff breeze and the sun was warm on our backs. We watched the fish in the deeper holes of Nudgee Creek and toadfish swimming around the aerial roots or pneumatophores of the mangroves. 
As well as the mangroves we saw two types of Casuarina along the boardwalk; Casuarina equisetifolia subsp. incana and Casuarina glauca. Horsetail She-oak, Casuarina equisetifolia, is not common to Toowoombarites being a coastal species. The characteristic foliage is like a horse’s tail. Its distribution is from Burma through south-east Asia to eastern Australia, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The subspecies incana is only found in Australia and the Pacific.

With just one stop to pick up the caffeine fiends at the coffee shop, we set off for home. Thanks to bus driver, Phil, who had us back on the dot of 5.00pm, and thanks to Rod for a truly marvellous and enlightening day.
(Report by Lesley Beaton)
Lists - compiled by Lesley Beaton from member’s sightings.
Billai dhagun (Place of She-Oaks) Circuit, Boondall WetlandsBirds – Crested Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Tawny Frogmouth, Australian Pelican, Eastern Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Little Egret, Australian White Ibis, Pacific Baza, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Whistling Kite, Brahminy Kite, Crested Tern, Silver Gull, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pale- headed Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Collared Kingfisher, Mangrove Gerygone, Brown Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Scarlet Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Striped Honeyeater, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Olive-backed Oriole, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Spangled Drongo, Grey Fantail, Torresian Crow, Magpie-lark, Welcome Swallow, Mistletoebird.
Butterflies – Black Jezebel Delias nigrina, Scarlet Jezebel Delias argenthona, Glasswing Acraea andromacha, Common Crow Euploea core, Large Purple Line-blue, Nacaduba berenice.
Moths – Joseph's Coat Moth, Agarista agricola.
Flora – Yellow Mangrove Ceriops tagal, Grey Mangrove Avicennia marina australasica, Sea Hibiscus Hibiscus titaceus, Common Samphire Sarcocornia quinqueflora, Sea Purslane Sesuvium portulacastrum, Australian Seablite Suaeda australis, Saltwater Couch Sporobolus virginicus, Horsetail She-oak Casuarina equisetifolia subsp. incana, Swamp She- oak Casuarina glauca, Corky Passion Flower Passiflora suberosa, Stinking Passion Flower Passiflora foetida, White Passion Flower Passiflora subpeltata, Ruby Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa var. glabra, Pig Face Carpobrotyus glaucescens.
For the botanists amongst us, on the web, this link will find a list of the native plants of Boondall Wetlands starting on page 4.
Tabbil-Ban dhagun (Place of Salt Water) boardwalk, Nudgee Beach
Birds – Crested Pigeon, Australian Pelican, Eastern Great Egret, Striated Heron, Australian White Ibis, Whistling Kite, Brahminy Kite, Caspian Tern, Silver Gull, Rainbow Lorikeet, Mangrove Gerygone, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Brown Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Australian Magpie, Rufous Fantail, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Welcome Swallow, Martin sp. 
Butterflies – Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Australian Painted Lady Vanessa kershawi.
Crustaceans – Richardson’s Snapping Shrimp Alpheus euphrosyne richardsoni, Rounded Porcelain Crab Petrolisthes haplodactylus, Mud Crab Scylla serrata (remains only), Furry-clawed Crab Australoplax tridentata, Broad-footed Mangrove Crab Metograpsus frontalis.
Molluscs – Gold-mouthed Periwinkle Bembicium auratum, Hercules Club Mud Whelk Pyrazus ebeinus, Australian Mud Whelk Velacumantus australis.
Fish – Yellow-finned Bream Acanthophagus australis, Common Toadfish Tetractenos hamiltoni, Banded Toadfish Marilyna pleurosticta, Scalytail Toadfish Torquigener squammicauda.
Flora:  Pig Face Carpobrotyus glaucescens, Goat’s Foot Impomoeapes pes-caprae.
Other interesting sightings: Huge flock of Magpie Geese feeding in the paddocks opposite the Gatton Campus, University of Queensland. Chestnut Teal seen by Rod in a swamp beside the Gateway Motorway. 

Addendum to the Imbil camp list These two birds were left off the Imbil camp list. They were seen at the Cabins by the Creek. White-faced Heron, New Holland Honeyeater.
(Report by Lesley Beaton)
Toad fish - boardwalk Nudgee Beach (photo F. Mangubhai)

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