Tuesday Bushcare Team planting Basket Ferns

By: Michael Fox

Restoring the Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve habitat is one of the most satisfying projects I have ever undertaken. I realised this today when our newest volunteer, Eleanor, PHD student at Western Sydney University, commented on our National Tree Day planting.

Eloise helping me glue fern to log.



Tuesday last week the team ‘planted” eighty Basket Ferns Drynaria rigidula. When I say “planted” we actually super-glued many of the ferns to rocks and logs. Basket Ferns naturally grow on top of rocks and logs so we decided experiment. The most successful approach seems to be wrapping the fern with woven coir matting with extra extra coir to improve water retention while the fern gets its roots into the rock or log. I always thought of ferns as plants you find in moist gullies not on top of mountains and particularly not on top of rocks.

Gorse bitter pea Daviesia ulicifolia

National Tree Day in a time of COVID has been challenging so it has been amazing to see the plants thriving with 95% survival rate, some flowering already and new growth on most. The Gorse Bitter Pea Daviesia ulicifolia, Hardenbergia violacea Native Sarsaparilla and Goodenia rotundifolia Star Goodenia are all flowering already.




Plant Local to Feed Locals

The Poison Peach Trema tomentosa has new growth and is already Feeding Locals. This fast growing tree is an excellent pioneer plant for habitat restoration as it also food for caterpillars of Speckled Line-blue Catopyrops florinda butterflies, Splendid Ghost Moth Aenetus splendens and fruit eating birds like Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis and Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus

We have already found Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia and Brown White Banded Noctuid Donuca castalia on site. Today we found a Burton’s Legless Lizard Lialis burtonis.

COVID Safe Team Brief

By: Michael Fox

Saturday 10:30am: Site prepared – weeded and mulched, holes dug, water tank filled, soil and stakes on site. COVID Safe app set up, digital National Tree Day sign-on ready, plant info signs in-place, tables, fertiliser tabs, etc in car. Heather Woods and the Bush Monsters have helped me sort the plants and put in Seasol.

“Ok, I just need to put the plants in the car in the morning and go.” That’s when I received a message from my son in Canberra telling me: “Brisbane is in lockdown from 4pm!

We have five and half hours to lockdown. What can we do in that time?

I got on the phone to our National Tree Day team and started sending emails to notify registered participants that the Sunday event was cancelled but if they could join us we would be onsite at 12noon we aimed to save National Tree Day. Meanwhile, Heater Woods posted on the Wishart, Mansfield & Mount Gravatt Community 4122 Facebook Group.

First GSDVIA arrivals: more on the way

The community response was amazing.

Within minutes Michelle Lee, President (Volunteer), of the Global Sustainable Development Vision Innovative Association (GSDVIA) was on the phone telling me she would put a call out.




Catch them young



The number of community members who responded to the Facebook Group post was amazing.

Recruiting a mother, son and pup walking in the forest was particularly special. This family team planted a special bush food plant Sago Flower Ozothamnus diosmifolius which is a good substitute cooking herb Rosemary.

What a community. One hours notice and we have a team that saved National Tree Day with 450 native plants local to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

Plant Local to Feed Locals. Download the GroNative app from Apple or Google Play to identify local natives for your garden.

Our Community Steps Up

Bellvine - Ipomoea plebeia - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Young Bellvine Ipomoea plebeia

By: Michael Fox

I love the sound of rain so I was very happy to sit with my coffee yesterday watching the rain. I also appreciate not having to water the National Tree Day plants this morning.

Good site preparation and good planting means the most of the plants have been going well even with the dry weather. So it was particularly special to visit the site this morning and find the first signs of natural regeneration: a young Bellvine Ipomoea plebeia with it distinctive first two leaves.

Dusky Coral Pea - Kennedia rubicunda - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Dusky Coral Pea Kennedia rubicunda



The Dusky Coral Pea Kennedia rubicunda is already spreading ready to climb the Habitat Tripod to create habitat for small birds. Note the new dusky ping leave to the right.


Costal Banksia - Banksia integrifolia - 1 Oct 2018

Coastal Banksia Banksia integrifolia




A number of Coastal Banksias Banksia integrifolia have been lost to the dry weather. However, most have not only survived but are already putting out new shoots.



Flat-stemmed Wattle - Acacia complanata - 1 Oct 2018 lr

Flat-stemmed Wattle Acacia complanata




The Flat-stemmed Wattle Acacia complanata also have new shoots.





Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle - Ancita varicornis - 1 Oct 2018

Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle


Even more exciting when I was inspecting a Flat-stemmed Wattle I found a Small Acacia Longicorn Beetle Ancita varicornisa new species addition to our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. This is part of the planning for the small bird habitat: attracting insects to feed insect eating birds. Providing food for insects is a key to attracting birds and butterflies to your garden: Plant Local to Feed Locals.














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