Lord Mayor's 2016 Australia Day Awards

Laurie receiving Green Heart Award

By: Michael Fox

Mt Gravatt Environment Group was honoured on Australia Day with presentation of the Lord Mayor’s Green Heart Award – Organisation 2016.

 

 

 

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The award citation:

“Mount Gravatt Environment Group is dedicated to their local environment. Their mantra ‘bringing birds and butterflies back to suburbia’, is achieved by the careful planning and implementation of many projects within the local community including mountain and gully restoration and various flora and fauna projects. The group has been responsible for the rehabilitation of Fox Gully into a vibrant wildlife corridor.

The group works closely with other community organisations to ensure maximum outcome and benefits for Mount Gravatt.”

Laurie Deacon Family and Cr Adams

Cr Krista Adams, myself, Laurie and Sigrid with Green Heart Award

Our President, Laurie Deacon, Sigrid – representing the next generation, and I all attended the award ceremony. An impressive event held in City Hall and hosting an amazing group of individuals members who are giving their time generously to our community.

As with many community groups, the achievements acknowledged with this award are the combined efforts of many individual Mt Gravatt Environment Group members, as well as, some extraordinary community partners who provide support with training, equipment, plants, grant funding, research and boots on the ground. Thank you to:

 

 

 

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By: Michael Fox

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Rainbow Lorikeet at home in Fox Gully

A pair of Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus are the first to successfully hatch a family in our Fox Gully nest-boxes. Two chicks have been hatched out and seem to be doing ok although the parents are rarely home.

At least we think they are Rainbow chicks. This particular nest box was originally occupied by a pair of Pale Headed Rosellas Platycercus eximius who laid three eggs before they were kicked out by the Rainbow couple.

Rainbow chicks - 7 Dec 12

Rainbow Lorikeets chicks or Pale-headed Rosella?

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Given the increasingly blue colour of the chicks we are wondering if our Rainbows are raising a pair of Pale-headed Rosellas.

This nest box was made by Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed and our nest-box monitoring equipment is a GoPro camera on a 7 metre pole and connected by WiFi to an iPad on the ground. The equipment was purchased with a grant from Southside Sport and Community Club.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

I also checked the new Hollow Log Home nest-boxes but no eggs or chicks in any yet. However, as I was walking back I saw this Kookaburra sitting in the entry to the owl box. Unfortunately I was carrying the monitoring equipment and was not quick enough to get a photo of him actually sitting in the owl box.

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New tennents

New tenants – Photo: Alan Moore

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Alan Moore also reported some hopeful news on the Pale-headed Rosellas. A pair seem to be very interested in one of the new Hollow Log nest-boxes.

By: Mike Fox

Neighbours pitch in to clear up

A 20 metre Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis creates a lot of green waste to be chipped and cleared from the gully. Neighbours Rebecca, Didier, Don and Clair pitched in to clear up the huge pile of branches.

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Miranda, Griffith Uni Environment Law student

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A big clean-up needs a big chipper. Miranda loved using our Greenfield’s 8.5hp Piecemaker that virtually sucks the branches into the blades for chipping. Thanks to Southside Sport & Recreation Club who provided the grant for purchasing the chipper.

The Piecemaker is proving its value saving over $2,000 on the cost of removing the Chinese Elm, a benefit for our whole community, in particular restoration of Mt Gravatt Environmental Reserve.

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Miranda, Annette and Marshal hard at work

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The clean up is well on the way with Marshal and Annette (property owner) in background preparing branches for chipping and Miranda operating the machine.
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Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

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Even the local wildlife is joining in the clean up. This Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae is hunting for worms and spiders among the leaf litter. The Kookaburras are really enjoying the restoration work as more worms, insects and spiders are thriving among the planting, mulching and logs.

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Northern Jumping Spider Mopsus mormon

It is inspiring to find the variety of wildlife returning to the gully. This beautiful Northern (Green) Jumping Spider Mopsus mormonwas hunting for flies, moths or grasshoppers for lunch. Creating habitat for wildlife means we have natural pest control and over time we will hopefully tempt some of the beautiful insectivorous birds out the forest. Birds like the Striated Pardalots Pardalotus striatus and the beautiful Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsiss not only add sound and beauty to our backyards, they also hunt insects like mosquitos on our behalf.

Striped Marsh Frog eggs

Another amazing find was these eggs of the Striped Marshfrog Limnodyynastes peroni in one of semi-permanent rock pools created by the return of the permanent spring.

Striped Marsh Frogs are a native ground dwelling frog with a distinctive “toc …. toc …. toc” call. To listen scroll to Calling on the Frogs of Australia web page and click “Hear it now.”

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Red Cedar

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With the Chinese Elm down and the chipping finished we can now plant nine advanced Red Cedars donated by Dave and Liz, Roly Chapman Bushcare. Red Cedars (common name for a number of Toona species) are an attractive fast growing native that will help restore the gully habitat and privacy for the neighbours.

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Arrowleaf Violet

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The planting done on the Community Gully Day in August is now starting to create a presence in the gully.

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Arrowleaf Violet in seed

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Particularly pleasing was finding that the Arrowleaf Violet Viola betonicifolia has set seed. This pretty violet is the only caterpillar food plant for the endangered Laced Fritillary butterfly Argyreus hyperbius inconstans. Now that this Violet has set seed it will spread quickly in the gully.

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Splendid Ochre Trapezites simmomus

The Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variabile, caterpillar food for Australian Leafwing butterfly Doleschallia bisaltide, Waxflower Vine Hoya australis and Coinspot Treeferns Cyathea cooperi are all growing. The Creek Mat-rush Lomandra hystrix are thriving even with the dry weather. These Lomandara are caterpillar food for the Splendid Ochre Trapezites simmomus and Brown Ochre Trapezites iacchus butterflies as well as providing valuable erosion control in the gully.

Clean up complete in time for storms

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Finally finished clearing the branches, raking the loose leaves and putting logs in place ready for the storms expected over the weekend.

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Hollow log habitat for lizards and frogs

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Final touches … hollow logs will create safe habitat for lizards and frogs.

Cr Krista Adams presenting Grant cheque

By: Michael Fox

An outstanding morning tea served in the Carson Room, Mt Gravatt Bowls Club, and politicians handing out grant cheques, no wonder everyone had a smile on their face. I can definitely recommend the morning tea if you are looking for a venue.

As part of their community focus Southside Sport & Community Club gives about $500,000 in grants each year. On behalf of Mt Gravatt Environment Group I received a grant cheque from Cr Krista Adams. The grant will be used to purchase specialised digital camera, iPad and nine metre aluminum pole to allow us to monitor nest boxes installed in wildlife corridors.

Pale-headed Rosella inspecting new Men’s Shed nest box

The nest boxes are made to our specifications by Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed and installed 6 to 8 metres in trees so checking to see who is occupying a box is a challenge. Monitoring is important to ensure they have not been occupied by feral species such as Indian Myna Acridotheres tristis and also provide research data on species restoration and movement through wildlife corridors.

Sharing our table were other grant recipients Wayne & Jennifer on behalf of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C), Maree – Xavier Children’s Support Network and Hanna – Mt Gravatt West C&K Childcare Centre.