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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Acacia Way entry

Acacia Way Track – Mt Gravatt Campus

By: Michael Fox

As part of National Tree Day celebrations, Laurie Deacon and I were privileged to lead a guided walk in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve for twenty-one Griffith University students and friends. We have partnered with Griffith Mates since 2012 to offer students the opportunity to give back to the tranquil bushland surrounding Griffith University.

 

Watershed - Bulimba & Norman Creek catchments .......... Acacia

Watershed – Bulimba & Norman Creek ………… Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata

On track

Fishing line and bush food

Rain falling on Mt Gravatt flows into two different river catchments: Norman Creek catchment via Ekibin Creek and Bulimba Creek catchment via Mimosa Creek. Acacia Way follows the ridge line forming the watershed between the catchments.

Winter is flowering time for many of our wattles, like this beautiful fragment delicate Brisbane Fringed Wattle.

Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve has an amazing species diversity with two hundred and seventy-one native plant species identified, including Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps which was used by indigenous people to make fishing lines, and bush food Molucca Raspberry Rubus moluccanus.

Planting Team

Planting Koala trees

Luke tree

Laminated tags identify each planter

 

Arriving at Fox Gully Bushcare the team prepare to plant twenty Koala food trees including Small-fruited Grey Gum Eucalyptus propinqua, Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus racemosa and Qld Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis.

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Len Kann introducing Australian native bees

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Len Kann introduced the team to our Australian native bees. Len keeps hives with the small black Stingless Native Bees Trigona carbonaria. He has also developed a deep knowledge of native solitary bees like our local Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata and Teddy Bear Bees Amegilla bombiformis.

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Afternoon tea

Bush food – punkin scones, jam and crea

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With the work done time for the reward. Thanks to Margaret Medland for the delicious home made punkin scones, jam and cream!

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Sign

BCC Habitat Brisbane interpretative sign

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The walk back included a detour to the Summit where we inspected the new interpretative signs installed by BCC Habitat Brisbane team.

Thank you to our Griffith Mates visitors. We look forward to meeting again at a bushcare.

 

Koala - Fox Gully - 8 March 2014 - 7-01am

Koala with brown pelt? That is different.

By: Michael Fox

Saturday morning I was preparing to lead a guided walk for students from Griffith University and QIBT when my wife, Jude, calls to tell me there is a Koala in the tree behind our house. This is exciting because I can always find a tree with scratches to show people but if I can lead these students to a Koala in the wild right beside their university campus, that will be something special.

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Griffith and QIBT student explorers

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Rainbow Lorikeets

Laurie Deacon and I are joined by ten enthusiastic participants from all over the world – Europe, China, Japan, as well as country Victoria, all keen to explore Mt Gravatt walking tracks.

Acacia Way from Mt Gravatt Campus leads along the ridge that acts as the watershed between Ekibin/Norman Creek catchment and Mimosa/Bulimba Creek catchment passing a tree with a nest hollow being used by a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus.

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Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

I was able to introduce our visitors to bush food – Native Raspberry Rubus moluccanus, unfortunately not in fruit at the moment, and Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps with tough fibers used by aborigines to make fishing lines.

Joining the Geebung Track we continued onto the Fox Gully Bushcare site where I explained the nestbox project that is providing breeding habitat for Squirrel Gliders Petaurus norfolcensis and Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae.

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Mountain explorers powering up the hill

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Our friendly Koala has moved high up into the branches, however, it was still a special opportunity to show visitors one of these amazing animals in the wild, not in a zoo, just 15 minutes from the city and right beside their campus.

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Re-energised our team powered on to Mt Gravatt Lookout for a break before returning to campus.

I was particularly pleased to photograph a Spangled Drongo on the way back. We had the Spangled Drongo on our species list but no photograph.

QIBT and Griffith students are invited to join us in our bush restoration work.See Griffith Mates for events. 

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Mt Gravatt Lookout

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Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus