Wildlife


Koala - climbing - Miranda Scott - 11 June 2016

By: Michael Fox

Fox Gully neighbours Miranda, Scott and children, Freya and Clementine, had a special wildlife experience today.

Walking the Geebung Track just near the National Tree Day planting site the family spotted a Koala Phascolarctos cinereus on the ground beside a tree. They managed to get a special photo of the Koala reaching up to climb a tree.

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Koala - Scott and Miranda - 11 June 20161

                                                                Koala beside Geebung Track

The family’s sighting has been added to Koala Tracker and our Google Earth map of wildlife sightings.

Google Map - Koalas 2016

                      Koala sightings 2016

Koala 8 June 2016

Koala in Tallowwood

8 June 2016

Healthy-looking Koala at Gertrude Petty Place 

He (or she) was in a large Tallowwood between public housing at 59 Gosford Street and footpath from Gertrude Petty Place to Federation Outlook this afternoon. Was quite high up so this is the best I could do with my Iphone.

Also two quite large microbats patrolling GPP at 5.15pm tonight.

Sue Jones

 

Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus - 23 Apr 2016

Koala – Federation Track

23 April 2016

Griffith Mates – Lantana Busters

Our Griffith Mates bushcare partners were very happy to find a Koala beside the Federation Track heading down to Granby Street.

 

 

 

Koala - Vittal - 17 April 2016

Koala – Federation Track

17 April 2016

Koala along Federation Track 

We are sighting a koala bear for last two weeks, during a trek to Mount Gravatt lookout.
Today, we sighted them on top of a eucalyptus tree 100m from carpark near Logan Road entry. Last week, sighted them near Federation lookout.

Attaching pictures of the same to inform respective authority.

Vittal

 

 

Koala - Upper Ekibin Creek - Pieter D. 9 April 2016 close

Koala – Ekibin Creek – P. Demmers

9 April 2016

Koala – Ekibin Creek Pollinator Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koala - Fox Gully 10 Dec 2016 - Maria Hill adj

Koala – Fox Gully

 

Koala – Fox Gully Pollinator Link

Maria, Matt and their children often find Koalas in the trees right behind their house.

In January 2013 the family had a Koala mum and joey visiting.

Photo: Maria Hill

 

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By: Michael Fox

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Summit Track entry

Council contractors have started redevelopment of the entry to the Summit Track. The objective is to change the signage and entry to make the track more inviting to visitors.

The recycled porphyry street guttering is being used for steps will create a very attractive entry to tempt picnickers into the forest.

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Butterfly sign

Butterfly interpenetrate sign

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Once work is finished a new interpretative sign will be installed at the site.

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Dainty Swallowtail  12 Mar 2016 low res

Dainty Swallowtail on Barded Wire Grass

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The natural amphitheater created by the slope of the picnic grounds is a popular speed dating site for butterflies. I photographed a beautiful Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus flying around this morning. The butterfly has landed on native Barbed Wire Grass Cymbopogon refractus.

Find out about butterflies found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

 

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Mimosa Creek in flood – Jan 2015

Edited By: Michael Fox

Saturday December 5th was the last working bee of the year at Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve.

2015 started out very wet with January storms flooding the new bikeway bridge over Mimosa Creek.

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Flood damage repair – straightening and staking

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After the flood Lomandras have done there job holding the bank in place. However, the newly planted trees are a different story with most knocked flat by flood water.  Liz, Marshal and I moved in to straighten and stake before this beautiful new planting is lost.

Zone 2 - 22 May 2015

Zone 2 – weed infestation May 2015

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Repairs done our Bushcare team returned to working in Zone 2 to tackle the infestation of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Small Leafed Privet Ligustrum sinense, Easter Cassia Senna pendula and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus.

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Zone 2 - 15 Dec 2015

Zone 2 – weeds gone – natives returning

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Having cleared the larger weed species the area we are working on near the boundary with Upper Mount Gravatt School now resembles a primary forest. In the open spaces, native plants no longer smothered in weeds, are springing back to life. Many Cheese trees Glochidion ferdinandi, free from competition are racing for the sky. Ground covers such as Native Wandering Jew Commelina diffusa and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus are protecting the soil from erosion and keeping it cool, acting as Living Mulch.

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas - 15 Dec 2015

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas

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As we were packing up and looking forward to morning tea, a delicate Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas damselfly with bright metallic green stripes paid a visit, hovering over a small patch of vegetation.

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Koala 13 Nov 2015

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

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We now have proof at last that it’s not just Mount Gravatt that is home to Koalas Phascolarctos cinereus. The one pictured here, almost invisible from the path was spotted last month by a dog walker. A mother and baby have also been sighted. This is another good reason to keep weeds at bay. Koalas need to come to the ground and move across the forest floor to look for suitable food trees. Their task is made much harder when there’s a lot of thick weedy vegetation in the way.

Calendar coverBring mountain magic into your home or office or share the with family and friends.

Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader has produced a special 2016 calendar as a fundraising initiative for Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

This year’s Photography Workshop was called Nature Close-up, so Alan has selected participants pictures show the mountain habitat up through a macro lens.

Order your 2016 Magic of the Mountain calendar and put a bit of Nature Close-up on your wall at home or share with family and friends around Australia or overseas.

Thumbnails example

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“Stunning, well done!”

Robert Ashdown – Nature Photography

Peek inside your calendar

Price: $15 plus $3.00 post & packing.

Purchase calendars at:

All funds raised will contribute to Mt Gravatt Environment Group research and community education activities.

Easter Cassia flower - 15 May 2015

Easter Cassia Senna pendula var. glabrata

By: Michael Fox

Around Easter each year you can see the beautiful yellow splashes of colour in our urban bushland as the environmental weed Easter Cassia Senna pendula var. glabrata comes into flower.

Our last Friday Bushcare at Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve focused on clearing Easter Cassia before another season’s crop of seed matures and spreads the weed further.

Easter Cassia seed pods - 15 May 2015

Easter Cassia seed pods

Diamond-leaf Pittosporum - Auranticarpa rhombifolia - 15 May 2015 lr

Australian Holly/Christmas Berry Ardisia crenata

Australian

Easter Cassia produces beautiful flowers for much of the year. However, it also produces large numbers of seed pods spreading from gardens into urban bushland and shading out native plant species.

You can help protect our bushland by replacing Easter Cassia with native Sennas which have yellow flowers, grow to a similar 2 to 3 metres in height and attract a range of butterflies to your garden. See Toowoomba Plants article on native Sennas and butterflies.

Attractive garden plants like Australian Holly/Christmas Berry Ardisia crenata often become environmental weeds in our urban bushland as they are dumped at garden waste or spread by birds. The moist conditions within Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve make this important habitat particularly vulnerable to invasion by Ardisia crenata.

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Chinese Elm - 15 May 2015

Chinese Elm removed with Treepopper

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We also used the Treepopper to remove a well established Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis. Another garden escapee that crowds out native plant species vital to our native birds, butterflies and bees.

When ever possible we avoid using poison. Instead we pull woody weeds up roots and all with the Treepopper.

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Grey Butcherbird - 15 May 2015

Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus

Our bush restoration work is very satisfying as we clear the weeds and watch the regrowth of native habitat. And every Friday as we work we are joined by a family of Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus looking for breakfast of spiders, centipedes and bush cockroaches. These birds are so used to us now that they will land on a branch right beside you and pose while you take photos or sing cheerful tunes that seem to be thank-you songs.

Koala mapping - Mar 2015

First Koala sightings 2015

By: Michael Fox

2015 is off to a good start with six sightings of Koalas reported already, and, importantly, the sightings have been right around the Reserve.

Koala - Mt Gravatt Campus - 23 Feb 2015 - Michael McGeever

          Koala – Griffith Uni Mt Gravatt Campus                          Photo: Michael McGeever

The latest sighting was on Sunday while we were doing a guided walk for our Griffith Mates visitors. Pieter Demmers spotted the Koala high in a tree beside Acacia Way. Seeing this Koala in the bush was particularly special for our visitors from Germany, France and China.

Michael McGeever spotted another Koala, probably a male,  just at the entry to the Mt Gravatt Campus

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Koala - Fox Gully - 27 Feb 2015

Young Koala Fox Gully

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Then we were woken about 4am last week. A young Koala seemed to be calling its mother with the short squeal – almost a ‘yip’, they use to communicate. I was able to get a photo when is climbed an Acacia near the house.

In 2014 at least two Joeys (baby Koalas) were born in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. In 2015 we want to do more tracking of Koalas with the aim of identifying and tracking individuals to help us understand their movement patterns and how to reduce the number killed on the South-east Freeway.

So if you see a Koala, please take a photo – phone camera is ok, note the location and any comments eg. mother with joey or walking along the road.

Sightings can be reported to Koala Tracker and/or emailed to megoutlook@gmail.com.

Tunks Park East Bushcare

Tunks Park East Bushcare

By: Michael Fox

Visiting my daughter in Sydney is a great opportunity to check out the local bushcare sites like Flat Rock Gully  on the boundaries of North Sydney and Willoughby City Councils. Flat Rock Creek is piped under Tunks Park creating a popular community space with children’s playground,  cricket pitches, football fields and great space for dogs to play with their owners.

Difficult bushcare

How do I reach that Asparagus Fern?

Weeds

Asparagus Fern and Mother of Millions on rock face

Tunks Park East & West and Mortlock Reserve Bushcare groups (North Sydney Council) are active restoring the along the southern side of Flat Rock Creek while The Drive (Flat Rock Gully) Bushcare group (Willoughby City) is working on the northern side.

The rock formations common in Sydney make very attractive landscape but challenging sites for bushcare.

Tunks Park East group leader Steve Miles who told me that a large  Privet grove had been the priority initially.

Nature is resilient

Nature is resilient

Steve explained that one of the key issues was that the site, like so many in Sydney, is narrow with housing right along the edge which means dealing constant reinfection with garden escapees.

However, Steve is still optimistic “Nature is resilient and just needs a chance.” Like this native fig finding any crack or fissure for its roots to get a hold. Steve explained that Flat Rock Gully is a diversity hot spot and wildlife is returning as restoration progresses. Aside from a Brush Turkey mound the team regularly sights green tree snakes, king parrots, scaly-breasted lorikeets and bandicoots are returning. The return of bandicoots is excellent news however it does highlight the need for gully neighbours and visitors to control their pets. Dogs on leash in bushland and cats kept inside at night.

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Cammeray Bridge

Bandicoots, like many of the small to medium-sized marsupials of Australia, have undergone several species extinctions and significant contractions in distribution since European settlement because of land clearing and the introduction of predators (foxes, dogs and cats) 

Other exciting news from 2014 is the new native plant nursery at The Coal Loader Sustainability Centre and a couple of sea lions sunning themselves on the shore-front rocks.

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The spectacular Cammeray Bridge with its castellated towers forms the boundary of Steve’s Tunks Park East site.

Following the tracks up Flat Rock Gully markers tell some of the European history, for example, the original Northbridge Suspension Bridge was a toll bridge built in 1889 and replaced in 1939 with the Cammeray Bridge, retaining the towers.

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Log boundary

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The bushcare teams have been active on both sides of Tunks Park with logs allowing weeds to be composted onsite.

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Creek crossing

Crossing Flat Rock Creek

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The track along Flat Rock Creek is cool and peaceful, very popular with walkers and runners. Unfortunately most dog walkers I passed ignored the many signs saying dogs must be on a leash in the bushland area. This is particularly disappointing considering the huge area of parkland just a short distance down the track where dogs are free to run and chase balls.

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angophora costata

Smooth-barked Apple Angophora costata

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Many of the native plant species are ones we find in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, like Sweet Sarsaparilla Smilax glyciphylla, Tree Ferns Cyathea cooperi and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus. There were also quite a number of species I didn’t recognise spectacular like Smooth-barked Apple Angophora costata all orange as they shed their bark.

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On-site weed recycling

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I always get new ideas when visiting other bushcare sites. One interesting idea is the separation of woody weeds from grass and soft weeds which can be covered with black plastic to compost quickly. Simple but effective. We already use black plastic but putting the woody weeds into a different pile will create good habitat for lizards while allowing the softer weeds to compost faster.

I look forward to exploring further up Flat Rock Gully on my next visit to Sydney.

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