Bushcare


Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae - 27 May 2016 - T Ashworth

Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae

By: Michael Fox

The Mt Gravatt Walking Group spotted this handsome Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae along the Summit Track on Friday morning. Photo: Tony Ashworth

While I hear the Bookbook’s “boo-book” call regularly this is the first sighting reported so I was very excited when Tony and the group joined us at the small bird habitat planting.

I have updated the Birds files in our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve lists with Tony’s photos.

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Tree Water Spider - Dendrolycosa icadia - 18 Apr 2016

Tree Water Spider Dendrolycosa icadia

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The Tree Water Spider Dendrolycosa icadia with its curious funnel shaped web is a new addition to Spiders in Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

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Tree Water Spider - Dendrolycosa icadia - web side - 18 Apr 2016

Tree Water Spider web

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Mock-olive - Notelaea longifolia - Tree - 23 May 2016

Long-leaved Mock-olive Notelaea longifolia

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Long-leaved Mock-olive Notelaea longifolia is an addition to our Tree-Shrub species found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

By: Michael Fox

Creeping Lantana - Lantana montevidenses - 23 Apr 2016

Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses

Griffith Mates joined me at Fox Gully Bushcare on a beautiful fine Saturday morning to work as Lantana Busters. Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses is one of our major weed threats in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Lantana competes for native plants for scarce water reserves and the chemicals in Lantana have a significant negative effects on native plant species.

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Griffith Mates - Lantana Busters - 23 Apr 2013

(l-r) Sophie, Lifen, Noe – proud of their work

Removing Creeping Lantana is detailed work requiring team members to get down and pull the roots of individual plants. Fortunately the Griffith Mates team were patient and through leaving the area spotless.

As always, it was fascinating to talk to the students about home towns in Japan and China, catching up with one of my old Management Concepts students or hearing about intern experience with KPMG in Korea.

Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus - 23 Apr 2016

Koala high in tree on Federation Track

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Outstanding effort deserves a reward, so we headed off down the Federation Track to find a Koala Phascolarctos cinereus in the wild. The track down towards Granby Street is a reliable place to spot Koalas. Sophie was first to spot a Koala high in a Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys.

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Joseph’s Coat Moth Agarista agricola – Photo: K. Sinigaglia

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We also spotted a brightly coloured Joseph’ Coat Moth Agarista agricola flying around a large clump of Forest Grape Cissus opaca an important caterpillar food plant for this amazing moth.

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Brown Ringlet - Hypocysta metirius - 23 Apr 2016

Ringlet butterfly

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We also found a Ringlet butterfly Hypocysta sp. which depend on Poaceae (grass) species for caterpillar food.

The work of the Lantana Busters clearing the weeds will allow regeneration of important butterfly caterpillar food like Forest Grape and native grasses.

Every visit of our Griffith Mates partners strengthens the habitat for all our native species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by: Michael Fox

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Mulch filter

 

Sunday 10th April, a lovely sunny morning and new volunteers join the team for the second community working bee of the year.

First step, before it gets too hot, is working along the fence between the reserve and Upper Mt Gravatt SS oval. One group continued clearing weeds along the fence line while the other group starting moving the mulch delivered by BCC Habitat Brisbane last month, staking plants and installing a timber edge to contain mulch to create a break between the oval and the bush. The 20cm thick layer of mulch will act to slow the large volume of  water runoff from the large area of the school oval. This allows the water to soak in rather than just run off and also acts as a weed seed filter protecting the bush.

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Kate demonstrates cut and dab

Only partially complete this mulch filter is already working to stop weed regrowth and promote growth of the planted melaleucas (doubled in size) and the clumps of Common Rush Juncus usitatus

Kate Flink, our Habitat Brisbane Officer, also joined us for the morning. Besides helping to move heavy barrow loads of mulch she gave a demonstration on herbicide application using the cut and dab method.  This is an ideal way to deal with thickets of Easter Cassia Senna pendula var. glabrata and Small Leaved Privet Ligustrum sinense that have infested this area.

Morning tea for team

Hard work is rewarded with morning tea

At the end of a busy morning we were very grateful for our morning tea (especially the raspberry slice) prepared and brought to us by Trevor and Carol.  Thank you to all the volunteers and especially Kate for her help, encouragement and invaluable information.

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Mulch filter along school fence

By: Michael Fox

 

Sunday 13th March was the first community working bee of the year. Despite the rain we decided to go for it and got our wet weather gear on. The light showers that came about every half hour were very light and kept us cool. So it proved a bonus.

Out tasks for the morning were to remove seed heads, chip away the weeds next to the school fence and cover them with a layer of mulch to suppress weed regrowth, filter out weed seeds and slow the large volume of water coming off the school oval.

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Zone 2 Mar (3) 2016

Delivering mulch

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BCC Habitat Brisbane delivered a large pile of forest mulch. So we took it in turns to fill barrow loads and dump them in a two metre strip along the fence. While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger.

Zone 2 Mar (7) 2016

Morning tea and banana cake!

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While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger. Our reward for an enjoyable morning’s work was some delicious banana cake courtesy of neighbours Carol and Trevor, who unfortunately couldn’t be there but sent the cake in their place!

By: Michael Fox

Briefing time - 6 Mar 2016

Clean Up team sign-in

7am Sunday morning!

Site coordinator Heather Woods explained that an early start would avoid the heat and leave volunteers free for the rest of the day. After the team briefing, Heather deployed different groups:

The Kokoda Youth Foundation supports young Australians, inspiring them to do extraordinary things. We challenge their deeply held beliefs, allowing them to explore their limits and abilities, and provide them with opportunities for personal growth.It was an inspiration to meet and work with these young people.

Krista with Kakoda  - 6 Mar 2016

Cr Adams with Kokoda Lantana Weed Busters

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Cr Krista Adams joined the Lantana Weed Busters learning more about our Bushcare work as well as taking the opportunity to meet some of Australia’s future leaders.

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Graham Quirk - 6 Mar 2016 low res

Lord Mayor Quirk with Clean Up team members

I had to opportunity to talk with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk as we cleaned up around the 2 Millionth Tree Planting at the Summit. I complemented the Lord Mayor on the Council support for our Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Now that Council officers lock the gate at night and clear up around the picnic area we have much less rubbish. Even the broken glass we were picking up seemed to be from older thin glass stubbies or older style beer bottles.

We also discussed the Pollinator Link project. I was proud to explain to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane that we now have our first first Certified Pollinator Link Garden in Sandgate and regular articles appear in Living in the Shires published by Harcouts Graceville. Now we just need to get our Council Parks meeting the Pollinator Link criteria with water for wildlife and nest-boxes.

Results - 6 Mar 2016

Clean Up success

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Clean Up success. Thirty volunteers scoured the Reserve and even with half working as Lantana Weed Busters there was still a huge pile of rubbish collected. Even a microwave dumped at Federation Lookout.

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Girl power - 6 Mar 2016 low res

Clean Up team sign-in

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However, I think the prize need to go to the Girl Power team who collected so much rubbish beside the road they had to return for extra bags and still struggled back to the Summit with two more full bags of rubbish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Join us for 2016 Clean Up Australia.

Each year an enthusiastic team comes together to clean up Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, collecting a strange collection of rubbish like car tires, as well as, the usual fast food > fast rubbish.

The 2011 Clean Up results were excellent:

  • 31 volunteers
  • 35 bags of rubbish (white)
  • 20 bags of recyclables (yellow)
  • Most unusual item found:
    • a full suitcase of clothing!

Planning the 2016 Clean Up Australia, with coordinator Heather Woods, has highlighted the results of the annual clean up. With the old car tires, suitcases, a piano and TVs removed, and the gates locked at night, the Reserve is looking good.

Be a Lantana Weed Buster.

Our annual Clean Up Australia has been so successful we have decided to offer an option to be a Lantana Weed Buster for a Morning. Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses is one of our major weed threats in the Reserve. Lantana competes for native plants for scarce water reserves and the chemicals in Lantana have a significant negative effects on native plant species:

“… lantana excludes native species through smothering and allelopathic effects –  toxicity to other plants.” Lantana—A Weed of National Significance

Join us for a morning in the bush. Register Now for Clean Up or Weed-busting

 

By: Michael Fox

Brush-turkey mound - 27 Dec 2015

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A special Christmas with a Brush-turkey Alectura lathami chick hatched from mound built in the Fox Gully wildlife corridor. The male turkey has been scratching together mulch, and some plants to build a mound to impress his two girlfriends. He obviously did a good job as we now have at least one new chick in the gully.

Brush-turkeys are a challenge for gardeners however they are part of our bush habitat.

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