Wildlife of Mt Gravatt Reserve


By: Michael Fox

Mother of Millions - Bryophyllum tubiflorum - weeds - 29 May 2018

Mother-of-Millions

Tuesday Bushcare focused on maintenance and clearing weeds at the 2017 National Tree Day planting site.

Two garbage bags of Mother-of-Millions Bryophyllum tubiflorum removed will not eradicate this garden escapee. Complete eradication will take years however systematic control will reduce the spread while the area is cleared of other weeds.

Resurrection Plant - Bryophyllum pinnatum - leaf sprouting - 13 Apr 2018 lr

Resurrection Plant growing from a leaf.

Dumping garden waste like Mother-of-Millions is a real problem for our bushland, parks and creeks. Being a succulent it survives even in harsh conditions. Like Resurrection Plant Bryophyllum pinnatum, another invader from Madagascar, Mother-of-Millions regrows from as little as a single leaf. Garden waste like lawn clippings, prunings from shrubs and old pot plants are rubbish not compost adding value to bushland.

 

 

Dump garden rubbish in rubbish bin not in bushland.

 

 

 

I was also able to show Jake and Carl some of our interesting flora.

Like the curious Bird’s Nest Fungi Cyathus novaezelandiae which propagates by the action of rain drops knock the egg-like peridioles out of the cup shaped fruit body.

 

 

 

 

We also found moss fruiting. Orthodontium lineare, called Cape Thread-moss in the United Kingdom, an addition to our Flora & Fauna Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve species list.

 

 

Insect - 29 May 2018

Rasp Fern

 

 

Rasp Fern Doodia media (australis) with an, as yet, unidentified insect. You realise how well named Rasp fern is when you run your fingers over the leaves: they feel just like the rough sharp surface of a wood rasp.

Star Goodenia - Goodenia rotundifolia - 29 May 2018 cropped

Star Goodenia

 

 

Star Goodenia Goodenia rotundifolia is easy to identify with its unique leaf shape.

The yellow flowered Star Goodenia is a caterpillar food plant for the Meadow Argus Junonia villida butterfly.

 

Pardalote nest holes - 29 May 2018 lr

Pardalote nest holes

 

 

 

We also found what are probably nest holes for the small Pardalotes: small birds that dig nest holes in earth banks but spend most of their time high in the trees where you can hear their distinctive “chip chip chip” call. Watch video of Striated Pardalote.

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By: Michael Fox

 

Tuesday Bushcare today was weeding the 2015/16 National Tree Day planting and preparing for this year’s planting site.

The planting was planned to create habitat for small forest birds. A combination of Habitat Tripods to create the scrubby tangled space that is safe for birds like Fairy Wrens to nest and attracting insects as food for Fairy Wrens. #WaterFoodShelter

Large Grass Yellow - Eurema hecabe - 24 Apr 2018 lr

Large Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe

Today’s Bushcare was very special as I three species to our database: Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

A dragonfly, Black-headed Skimmer Crocothemis nigrifrons, two Large Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe butterflies doing some speed dating and a Brown Bush Fly Musca terraereginae are all new species add to the database.

 

Brown Bush Fly - Musca terraereginae - 24 Apr 2018 cropped

Brown Bush Fly Musca terraereginae 

We also spotted Wide-brand Grass-dart  Suniana Sunias and Small Dusky Blue – Candalides erinus butterflies and a Magpie Moth Nyctemera secundiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding all these species in the small bird habitat is evidence of success and an excellent example of how Pollinator Link Plant Local to Feed Locals can bring Birds, Butterflies and Bees to your garden. #WaterFoodShelter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Koala - Acacia Way - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

By: Michael Fox

 

Walking the Mountain this morning we saw a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita high in the trees getting very upset about something. Initially we thought they were getting upset with a murder of Crows in the trees.

Stingless Native Bees Bottle Brush Grass Tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Stingless Native Bee

Then Jude spotted a Koala hanging on for dear life as the Cockatoos and Crows all harried it.

 

In the same area I found tiny Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. collecting nectar and pollen on Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema flowers.

Look for the pollen on legs.

 

 

Ringtail Possume - dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Ringtail Possum nesting in dead tree

 

 

Our last find was a Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus asleep in its nest in a dead tree.

 

 

Ringtail Possum nest in dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

 

 

 

Dead trees (called stags) are an important part of our bushland habitat providing homes for insects, lizards, birds and even Possums.

 

 

 

Sherwood Scouts - 27 May 2017

On patrol on Farm Fire Trail

By: Michael Fox

It was a pleasure to welcome the Sherwood Scouts to Fox Gully Bushcare on Saturday.

Scout Leader Kate had a range of activities prepared to build skills in reading contour maps and using a compass.

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Ringtail family - 27 May 2017

Ringtail family

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First stop was the Federation Track to see a family of Ringtail Possums Pseudocheirus peregrinus. High in a tree with strong backlighting the two adults and a joey were hard to photograph.

 

 

 

Ed checks nest box - 27 May 2017

Checking Glider box with GoPro camera

 

Scout Ed tried his hand using the GoPro camera on a pole to check one of the new Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis nest boxes.

Nest box installation is an important part of habitat restoration as till July 1893 the mountain and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. My intial survey of the 2ha of Fox Gully Bushcare reflects this history with only thirty six trees older than 100 years and only five old enough to have a 50% chance of having nest hollows. Many bird species and arboreal marsupials like Giders depend on tree hollows for breeding. Nest boxes provide a interim solution for these species as the forest recovers and natural tree hollows develop.

DCIM100GOPRO

Squirrel Glider at home

The initial installation of ten Hollowlog Home nest boxes 2012 was so successful that BCC Habitat Brisbane organised installation of an extra ten boxes last year.

So it was particularly special to find our find a Squirrel Glider in one of the new boxes. Squirrel Glider are listed as threatened by Brisbane City Council and families typically use up to five nest hollows.

Brushtail - Kookaburra Box - 27May 2017

Mother Brushtail at home

With installation of nest boxes the initial one family of Squirrel Gliders has been breeding and there are now two families living in the Bushcare site. Evidence that the Gliders have now started using the new nest boxes is a sign that the population of these special creatures may expand further.

Continuing on down the Geebung Track we checked on mother Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in the Kookaburra nest box. Mother Brushtail moved in shortly after the initial installation and has since raised at least two joeys in her home.

Returning via the Eastern Outlook Track we examined the seam of quartz rock that runs through the mountain, the natural regeneration in the area where Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses has been cleared and the Stingless Beehive Tetragonula sp. in a fallen tree.

The Scouts had a good time and we hope to welcome them back for National Tree Day on 30 July

 

 

 

 

 

wild-cowpea-vigna-vexilata-var-augutifolia-17-dec-2016

Wild Cow Pea Vigna vexillata var. augustifolia

By: Michael Fox

Finding a Wild Cow Pea Vigna vexillata var. augustifolia brings the number of native plant species found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve to two hundred and seventy eight.

Two hundred and seventy eight native species in our 66 hectare Reserve is equal to 20% of all native plant species in Great Britain which has 22.6 million hectares. The extra ordinary species diversity in the Reserve is something worth protecting and valuing.

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koala-gpp4-20-dec-2016

Koala Mum & Joey

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As well as plant diversity the Reserve has a healthy population of breeding Koalas.

Andrew Wallace our BCC Habitat Brisbane Officer spotted this mother and joey (baby Koala) at Gertrude Petty Place a couple of weeks ago. This is one of at least two joeys born in the Reserve during 2016. There have been twenty-three Koala sightings reported in 2016

Please keep reporting the sightings: photo (phone camera photos are fine), approximate location, date time. Your reports are important evidence that helps us get ongoing funding and support for our restoration work.

google-map-koalas-2016

Koala sightings 2016

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Citizen Scientists checking nest boxes - 27 Aug 2016 low res

Citizen Scientists using iPads to check nest box

By: Michael Fox

On Saturday morning our Griffith Mates partners joined us at the National Tree Day planting site for some Citizen Science: doing an initial check on the nest boxes installed in July, to see if any boxes were occupied and meeting some of the local wildlife.

Carl checking Boobook Owl box - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Carl checking BooBook Owl box

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I led the team on an off track adventure to reach the nest boxes. While Carl operated the GoPro camera on the extendable pole the ground crew monitored on iPads using WiFi connection.

Carl became a real professional keeping the tall wobbly pole under control while he lifted the lid on each box and inserted the camera.

Lantana Busters - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Lantana Busters at work

Not surprisingly none of the boxes had been occupied in the short time since installation. However, it is valuable to get a information on how long it takes before boxes are adopted.

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Then is was back through the bush to the Lantana Busting site.

Scolopendrid centipede - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Scolopendrid centipede – tail to left

1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis were cleared and raked into swales on National Tree Day. Now we are doing the detail work of clearing the remaining roots to eradicate this invasive garden escapee.

There is an amazing about of wildlife among the leaf litter as well as in the trees. We disturbed a Scolopendrid centipede which I think Baoyi wanted to keep as a pet. Be careful handling centipedes as they may bite if disturbed or handled. The bite may cause severe pain and associated swelling.

Griffith Mates team - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Home made cakes a reward for hard work. (l-r) Sophie, Jocelyn, Harry, Baoyi, Carl, Amanda and Dana in front

Centipedes are predatory and will kill and consume a variety of other invertebrates such as spiders, molluscs, many insects, slaters and other centipedes. Prey is usually immobilised by venom injected through the fangs and then torn into pieces by the mandibles and the soft parts are eaten.

All that hard work deserves a reward. Thanks to Mt Gravatt Environment Group member Dana for the home made cakes.

By: Michael Fox

Alan presenting crop

Alan Moore introduced contre jour

At our 2016 Photography Workshop Alan Moore introduced us to a new way of seeing the bush around us … contre jour: French for “against daylight”, a technique in which the view is directly toward a source of light. A form of photography artistry Alan related to French impressionists like Claude Monet.

Alan challenged participants to experiment with their camera’s manual settings like aperture and exposure before sending them out on assignment to see nature in a new light.

See ferns in a new light:

IMG_9634

Fiona

Katrina

Katrina

Playing with camera flair:

Kate 1

Kate

Dana - 15 May 2016

Dana

Lyn C

Lyn

Jude

Jude

Gregg

Gregg

Greg

Greg

Margaret

Margaret

Nat

Nat

Marie

Marie

Misting spider webs to catch the light:

Tricia

Tricia

Fiona

Fiona

X-ray view of leaves:

Tony

Tony

Maree

Maree

Forget contra jour and just meet the locals:

Toni

Toni

The 2017 Photography Calendar will be available in November ready for posting to family or friends overseas.

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