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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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By: Michael Fox

Gertrude Petty picnic area 8 March, Ann, Sarah, Liz and Mike

………….(l-r) Ann, Sarah, Liz & myself

I was honoured to lead an enthusiastic group of YHA Bushwalkers Queensland – variety YHA Bushies. The Bushies were interested in everything from plants and animals to the geology of the mountain.

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Starting from Gertrude Petty Place we visited two Stingless Native Bee Trigona carbonaria hives then followed the Federation Track to Federation Lookout.

View from Federation lookout, 8 March

…………View from Federation Lookout

The Federation Lookout faces east with views to Mt Petrie, Mt Cotton and Stradbroke Island in the distance.

The track downhill from the Lookout shows the amount of quartz found on the mountain. There were some attempts to find gold but nothing came of it.

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Pink Planthoppers - 8 Mar 2016 low res

…………..Pink Planthopper Colgar sp

The next stage of the Federation Track, from the junction with the Scribbly Gum Track, took us past a number of Scribbly Gums Eucalyptus racemosa. The characteristic scribbles on the bark are created by caterpillars of the tiny Scribbly Gum moth.

We also found a new addition for our fauna species list. This cute Pink Planthopper Colgar sp. stayed still long enough for a photograph.

Galas cleaning nest hollow - 8 Mar 2016

…………..Galahs cleaning nest hollow

Just above use a pair of Galahs Eolophus roseicapillus were cleaning out a nest hollow where a branch has broken off the tree.

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At the top of Federation Track we inspected the small forest bird planting and one of the new interpretative signs. Small Forest Bird sign

Sarah and Liz are members of the West End Greening Group – restoring the habitat at the end of Dauphin Terrace, Highgate Hill. So they were particularly interested in the signs and our methodology for creating the small bird habitat.

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Bitter Bark Petalostigma pubescens 8 Mar 2016 low res

Quinine Bush/Bitter Bark Petalostigma pubescens

A break for tea and chocolate cake. I am told the Bushies consider cake an important resource for any walk in the bush.

We inspected the work eradicating Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus

I also showed them the Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana and Quinine Bush/Bitter Bark Petalostigma pubescens.

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Mt Gravatt Walk 8 March (2)

……….Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula

On to the main Fox Gully Bushcare site we talked about the nest boxes and the resident Squirrel Glider family.

The Bushies were very impressed with the way Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula is recovering with the removal of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia.

It was a real pleasure to show the Bushies Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

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.