The June outing to the Mulgowie property of Doug and Deirdre Smith was a very successful one. Doug and Deirdre have been long-term residents of the Lockyer Valley and part of Land for Wildlife for 10 years. They share a strong commitment to the natural environment and aim to maintain and enhance the natural values of their property through weed management, revegetation and a major reduction in grazing. Ninety percent of the property has been mapped by the Queensland Herbarium as remnant forest and the rest as high value regrowth. The geology is an interesting mix of sandstone ridges with their associated sandy soils and weathered basalts.
The convoy of Nats vehicles had no sooner arrived than Doug pointed out a great spot for morning tea which fortified us for the planned exploration of the property. We began by following the attractive waterway, the upper section of Middle Lockyer Creek. This area was once dominated by thick lantana that had been cleared and sprayed. Replanting was then undertaken, with silky oaks, red cedars, she-oaks, sandpaper figs and native grasses. Doug drew our attention to the endangered Bailey’s Cypress Pines (Callitris baileyi) on the opposite slope, one a mature tree and the others grown from tube stock.
We reached the more open hill slopes where clearing of lantana and tree pears had been done below the over-storey of eucalypts, followed by planting of various natives. At one point, some of the group climbed a steep slope for better views, while others stayed around a small dam, observing birds, insects and several butterflies. Then we completed the loop track back to the house grounds.
A leisurely lunch on the grass below the house was interrupted by excellent sightings of a pair of Pacific Bazas, which caused much excitement and activity with binoculars and cameras. These large hawks are described as uncommon residents of the forests and woodlands of Eastern Australia.
Before we left for home, via UQ’s Gatton Campus for some waterbird watching, warm thanks were expressed for Doug and Deirdre’s hospitality, and admiration for their achievements.
by Diane Pagel
|Whistling Duck , Grey Teal, Black Ducks|
(Above photos by Glenda Jackson)
Bird List for June Outing: (Compiled by Tricia Allen from members' sightings).
Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Baza, Crested Pigeon, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pale-headed Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Bee-eater, Superb Fairywren, Spotted Pardalote (heard), Striated Pardalote (heard), Noisy Miner, Eastern Whipbird, Scarlet Robin, Golden Whistler, Willy Wagtail, Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike (heard), Pied Butcherbird, Grey Butcherbird, Australasian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Red-Browed Finch.
The sighting of the Mulgowie section of the day were the two Pacific Bazas (2) which appeared and stayed in the trees above our lunch spot, and were clearly seen by all.
Gatton College Dams:
Magpie Goose, Australasian Grebe, Plumed Whistling Duck, Pink-eared Duck (hundreds!), Grey Teal, Hardhead, Pacific Black Duck, Intermediate Egret, White Ibis, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Caspian Tern, Crested Pigeon, Brown Honeyeater, Grey Fantail, Magpie Lark, Noisy Miner, Welcome Swallow, Martin sp.
Butterfly List: (Compiled by Michael Rooke from members' sightings)
Doug and Deirdre Smith's property, Mulgowie:
Little Grass Yellow, Large Grass Yellow, Wanderer, Common Eggfly.