Griffith Mates -  23 July 2016

Griffith Mates Partners

By: Michael Fox

Photos: Kate Flink

OWeek Semester 2 2016

It is always a pleasure to lead a guided walk with our Griffith Mates partners, sharing some of the surprising relationships between different plants and between plants and the animals that depend on them for food and shelter.

Many of the students who join the walk are international so it is a great opportunity to introduce these visitors to our unique bushland. Unfortunately no Koalas spotted this time.

Handout pic

 

Walking Acacia Way we discussed the importance of tree hollows for nesting and the curious Allocasuarina: male trees have russet (red-brown) flowers on tips of leaves and female trees have red ball flowers growing directly from the branches.
Pardalote sign

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Stopping at the interpretative sign I used the QR code to bring up the online video of a Striated Pardalotte Pardalotus striatus with its “chip-chip” call on my iPhone. As soon as the birds high in the trees head the call they started to respond with their own calls.

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Explaining use of Settlers Flax - 23 July 2016 cropped

Discussing Settlers Flax

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Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps has an interesting history of use by indigenous people and white settlers:

“Fibres were used to make fishing line. There are records of use as string by Europeans (to bind and carry pigs by the feet).” Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN)

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After visiting Fox Gully Bushcare site we spent time clearing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By: Michael Fox

Alan & Stacy with glider box

Alan & Stacy Franks of Hollow Log Homes visited Fox Gully Bushcare today to install ten new nest boxes to provide breeding habitat.

Up to July 1893 Mt Gravatt and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. Kate Flink, BCC Habitat Brisbane, worked with us to research availability of nest hollows within the Fox Gully site reflects this history with only a

Pardalote

limited number of trees older than 100 years and only a very small number of tree hollows suited for nest sites.

Smaller bird species like Scaly-breasted Lorikeets and Pardalotes are particularly impacted as they are out-competed for the limited nest sites. Nest boxes can be used to help restore the balance in the habitat.

Nest box for Boobook and Barn Owls

BCC Habitat Brisbane have contracted Hollow Log Homes to install nest boxes for Boobook and Barn Owls, Kookaburras, Pardalotes, Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Rainbow Lorikeets/Pale-headed Rosellas as well as boxes for Sugar & Squirrel Gliders.

See one year update – Christmas in Fox Gully

“I get a real feeling of achievement when I find a new bird species on the mountain.” Sue Jones

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis

Sue and I walked the Summit Track yesterday morning to prepare the new self-guided trail brochure. Morning is always a great time to see birds on the mountain. We were looking around to spot the Pardalote we could hear calling when we spotted this spectacular yellow, black and white bird.

Fortunately I was able to get one quick photo before he moved, so we were able to identify this as a male Golden Whistler which has not been listed in any of the species lists for Mt Gravatt Reserve. We now have forty-six bird species identified in the Reserve.

Like Sue, I love walking in the Reserve. There is always something new to find in this amazing bit of bushland only ten minutes from the city. As well as the Pardalote and the Golden Whistler, we saw a Grey Fantail and several Firetails. Unfortunately even Sue’s excellent bird imitations could not tempt the Firetails close enough for a photo, however, it did have me looking around until I realised it was Sue calling.

If you would like more information on these birds and their calls, follow the links to Birds in Backyards:

Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis – listen to call

Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus – listen to call

Grey Fantail
Rhipidura fuliginosa listen to call

Firetail or Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis listen to call

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