The common and widespread orchid Parson’s Bands, are flowering now but they may be tricky to spot. The flower is about a big as a five cent piece. The leaf is usually not fully developed at flowering, but appears later. The flowers are pollinated by native bees. There are lots of crane flies in the local forest too and they belong to the largest fly family in Australia with over 800 species.
The last site on our February Skipton excursion, was to where the rail trail crosses Spring Hill Road. We went for a short stroll and looked at a wetland that is virtually invisible from the nearby highway but may be glimpsed by cyclists. Running Marsh-flower edged the wetland and the Magenta Stork’s-bill and Yellow Rush-lily were almost hidden in the thick grass.
Did you know that the Belladonna Lily is also known as Naked Ladies? We came across a few at Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary after our last club excursion.
We popped in to have a quiet cup of tea beside the lagoon on the way home. One lily was coming up in the middle of the lawn but there are a few clumps near where there used to be an old cottage. The pink flowers emerge well before the foliage and many people don’t even notice the leaves, hence the reference to nakedness.
There were plenty of Magpie Geese at Serendhip Sanctuary near Lara in mid February but yesterday near Bacchus Marsh there were reportedly over 26oo feeding in a stubble paddock. A big thank you to my photographer friend who let me tag along for this special sighting. Magpie Geese are widespread in northern Australia but in Victoria they are listed as endangered. Read more on the BirdLife site.
Our February excursion was to the Skipton area and began at the common and also included several sites we hadn’t been to before. The full report is in our newsletter. Here are some photos from Jubilee Lake, which many people would drive past, when instead they could stop and have lunch as we did and take a stroll around the lake.
The next photos are from the Skipton Historical Precinct which also includes good signage, a walk and a lookout with large red gums. Both sites are just off the main road through the town and easy to find.
A trip to Spargo Creek Mineral Springs for a drop of mineral water is just the thing to do on Christmas Day. Here are some photos from a recent trip. This is a lovely reserve managed by the Shire of Moorabool. It has very diverse ground flora.
As we all struggle to come to terms with what is happening with so many fires burning across Australia here is a message from the Victorian National Parks Association. It contains some useful references for those who want ‘measured commentary’ in preference to some of the more prevalent rhetoric currently circulating.
We hope you enjoy this beautiful series of photos of a family of Peregrine Falcons taken by our club member Carol Hall. After discovering that the Peregrines were nesting last spring, these photos are taken over the period October 23-December 16, on regular visits to Devil’s Kitchen, near Linton.
From the female incubating eggs to the three youngsters feeding, fledging and flying, this series shows the family “at home” high on the escarpment of rocks. On December 16 Carol only found one youngster – they had stopped gathering together and were presumably learning how to catch their own prey.
We held our final excursion for the year in the Creswick area yesterday. The first stop was at the indigenous area that is part of the Park Lake Botanical Reserve. Most of us were unaware of the existence of this area. We were met by Kevin and Rosemary Tolhurst and were led on ‘an indigenous walkabout’.
The history of the reserve dating from 1869, was outlined by Kevin and then we investigated the replanting of the northern end of the reserve and learnt about the ongoing restoration plan and how the plantings are laid out. Thanks to Kevin and Rosemary for taking time out of their weekend to show us around.
It is interesting to see the variety of native grasses and other plants are gaining a foothold on the harsh site. The plantings have been chosen for the site with care and most are making good growth. Continue reading
Plants List observed during excursion of Field Naturalist Club of Ballarat, 3 November 2019.
|Scientific name||Common name||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Acacia genistifolia||Spreading Wattle||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Acacia mearnsii||Late Black Wattle||Conglomerate Gully|
|Acacia paradoxa||Hedge Wattle||Conglomerate Gully|
|Acacia stricta||Hop Wattle||Conglomerate Gully|
|Acacia verticillata||Prickly Moses||Conglomerate Gully|
|Acaena echinata||Sheep’s burr||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Acaena novae-zelandiae||Bidgee widgee||Conglomerate Gully|
|Acrotriche serrulata||Honeypots||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Adiantum aethiopicum||Maidenhair||Conglomerate Gully|
|Aira caryophyllea||Silvery hair grass||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Amyema pendula||Drooping mistletoe||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Arthropodium strictum||Chocolate lily||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Asperula scoparia||Prickly Woodruff||Conglomerate Gully|
|Astroloma humifusum||Cranberry heath||Conglomerate Gully|
|Billardiera mutabilis||Common Apple-berry||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Bossiaea prostrata||Creeping Bossiaea||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Bracteantha viscosa||Sticky everlasting||Conglomerate Gully|
|*Briza maxima||Large quaking grass||Conglomerate Gully|
|Brunonia australis||Blue Pincushion||Conglomerate Gully|
|Burchardia umbellata||Milkmaids||Conglomerate Gully|
|Bursaria spinosa||Sweet bursaria||Conglomerate Gully|
|Calochilus robertsonii||Purplish Beard-orchid||Conglomerate Gully|
|Cassinia longifolia||Shiny Cassinia||Conglomerate Gully|
|Cassytha glabella||Slender Dodder-laurel||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia||Rock Fern||Conglomerate Gully|
|Chiloglottis valida||Common Bird-orchid||Conglomerate Gully|
|Clematis aristata||Mountain Clematis||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Comesperma volubile||Love Creeper||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Correa reflexa||Common correa||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Coronidium scorpioides||Button Everlasting||Conglomerate Gully|
|Daviesia leptophylla||Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Dianella revoluta||Black-anther Flax-lily||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Dichondra repens||Kidneyweed||Conglomerate Gully|
|Dillwynia sericea||Showy Parrot-pea||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Diuris sulphurea||Tiger Orchid||Conglomerate Gully|
|Drosera auriculata||Tall Sundew||Conglomerate Gully|
|Eucalyptus dives||Broad-leaved Peppermint||Conglomerate Gully|
|Eucalyptus obliqua||Messmate||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Eucalyptus radiata||Narrow-leaved Peppermint||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Exocarpos cupressiformis||Cherry Ballarat||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Gahnia radula||Thatch Saw-sedge||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Galium gaudichaudii||Rough bedstraw||Conglomerate Gully|
|Goodenia ovata||Hop Goodenia||Conglomerate Gully|
|Hardenbergia violacea||Purple Coral-pea||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Hydrocotyle hirta||Hairy Pennywort||Conglomerate Gully|
|Hypericum gramineum||Small St.John’s Wort||Conglomerate Gully|
|Leucochrysum albicans||Hoary Sunray||Conglomerate Gully|
|Lomandra filiformis||Wattle mat rush||Conglomerate Gully|
|Lomandra longifolia||Spiny-headed Mat-rush||Conglomerate Gully|
|Microlaena stipoides||Weeping Grass||Conglomerate Gully|
|Microceras walteri||Yam daisy, Murnong||Conglomerate Gully|
|Olearia argophylla||Musk Daisy-bush||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Olearia lirata||Snowy Daisy-bush||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Ozothamnus obcordatus||Grey Everlasting||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Pelargonium rodneyanum||Magenta Stork’s-bill||Conglomerate Gully|
|Pimelea humilis||Common rice flower||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Poa sieberiana||Grey Tussock-grass||Conglomerate Gully|
|Pomaderis aspera||Hazel Pomaderis||Conglomerate Gully|
|Poranthera microphylla||Small Poranthera||Conglomerate Gully|
|Senecio glomeratus||Annual fireweed||Conglomerate Gully|
|Senecio odoratus||Scented Groundsel||Conglomerate Gully|
|Solenogyne dominii||Hairy Bottle-daisy||Conglomerate Gully|
|Stylidium armeria subsp pilosifolium||Hairy-leaf Trigger-plant||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Thysanotus patersonii||Twining fringe-lily||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Triptilodiscus pygmaeus||Dwarf (Common) Sunray||Conglomerate Gully|
|Viola betonicifolia||Showy violet||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Viola hederacea||Ivy-leaf violet||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Wurmbea dioica||Early nancy||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|
|Xanthorrhoea australis||Austral Grass-tree||Conglomerate Gully||Gap Rd, Riddells Crk|