Well this was quite an outing! Twenty or so field Nats and six visitors/guides in 10 vehicles, zig zagging over almost 100 kilometres of rough, dusty tracks across the back blocks of Millmerran. We turned off the bitumen into the Wondul Range National Park and were introduced to our first rare plant, the cycad Macrozamia machinii. This is an unprepossessing straggly plant not much more than knee high. Some bore a large cone and apparently pollination is done by a beetle. Damage to some cones suggested predation by some animal. M. machinii mostly occurs on deep sandy soils from Texas north to the Wondul Ranges. Due to its limited distribution and vulnerability to malentities such as fire, it is perhaps not entirely secure.
Further into the forest we were told about some native wells nearby testifying to human occupation over the ages. We stopped here and there to admire the masses of white flowers of Olearia sp. Musk Daisy Bush, to bird watch and to have lunch overlooking a small dam. Glossy Black Cockatoos flew noisily overhead and through the persistence of a few persons a reasonable bird list was compiled (see below). Of special interest seen in Bringalily State Forest was the plant Commersonia inglewoodensis, its dull green leaves spreading flat over the track and found only in this area. (So rare it would not Google!!) By mid-afternoon we were thoroughly disoriented and dependent on our guides to lead us out of the forest.
Thank you Ben for organizing us and a particular thank you to National Park Rangers: Rod Hobson, Mark Weaver, Martin Ambrose and Toby Esstoe who gave so generously of their time and knowledge to make this a very memorable field excursion. This National Park was gazetted to ‘conserve open woodland species typical of the Western Downs’. It will do this even more effectively if the adjoining Bulli State Forest is also given this status.
Report by Neil McKilligan
Bird list for July outing: Wondul Range N. P: et environs (compiled by Nicci Thompson)
Little Pied Cormorant, Peaceful Dove, Laughing Kookaburra, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Striped Honeyeater, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Speckled Warbler, Weebill, Grey-crowned Babbler, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Currawong, Grey Shrike-Thrush, Willie Wagtail, Grey Fantail, White-winged Chough, Silvereye, Double-barred Finch
|Macrozamia machinii (female)|
|Small leaved Olearia - Olearia microphylla|
|Macrozamia machinii (male cone)|
(Above photos by Mike Ford)
|Scorpion Isometrus melanodactylus or Lychas |
viriatus from Wondul NP (ID by Rod Hobson;
photoby Al Young)
|Eastern Tiny Blue China Orchid -|
Cyaniluca caerulea, taken in
Bringalily SF 0 (ID by Rod Hobson,
photo by Al Young)