Brisbane Ranges Excursion Sunday, 6 October 2013.

Brolga sitting on nest

Brolga sitting on nest

First stop was near Mt Wallace to see a Brolga sitting on a nest built amongst spike rush growing in a farm dam.

We entered the Brisbane Ranges National Park and went to Boar Gully camping area. On a walk around the dam we found several eucalypts: Manna Gum Eucalyptus viminalis, Brown Stringybark E baxteri, Swamp Gum E ovata, Scentbark E aromaphloia and Narrow-leaved Peppermint E radiata. Several Peas were also noted: Common flat pea Platylobium obtusangulum, Purple Coral-pea Hardenbergia violacea, Bushy Parrot-pea Dillwynia ramosissoma, Golden Bush-pea Pultenea gunnii ssp tuberculata. Pobblebonks and other frogs were calling.

While having a cuppa we observed where cockatoos had chewed bark off from around hollows and at the base of Manna Gum. A Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike perched briefly on a dead branch at the top of the tree. Most interesting find was watching an Olive-backed Oriole building its nest in a low, spreading peppermint. The nest was built largely of string bark. A Buff-rumped Thornbill looked closely at the nest when the oriole was absent; was it looking for nesting material for its own nest?

Next stop was at the boundary between an area burnt within the past year and bush burnt about 5 years ago. The long burnt area was dominated by an understorey of Rough Wattle Acacaia aspera while the recently burnt area the trunks of Austral Grass-tree Xanthorrhoea australis were prominent. Adjacent to the car park we found a Wallflower Orchid Diuris orientis, distinguished by the gradual change in colour from brown to yellow on its flowers. Nearby was Leopard Orchid Diuris pardina­ with distinct patches of brown and yellow.

Dense Mint-bush Prostanthera decussata

Dense Mint-bush Prostanthera decussata

Travelling along the gravel road towards Bacchus Marsh we stopped when a purple flowering plant was seen. It was found to be Dense Mint-bush Prostanthera decussata with asymmetrical purple flowers, and was the only mint-bush we saw during the day. This patch had a variety of interesting flowers. Orchids seen were Musky Caladenia Caladenia gracilis, Pink

Spiny Bossiaea Bossiaea obcordata

Spiny Bossiaea Bossiaea obcordata

Fingers Caladenia carnea var. carnea, Waxlip orchid Glossodia major and Rabbit-ears Thelymitra antennifera which needed sunshine to open the flowers. An aptly name plant seen was Spiny Bossiaea Bossiaea obcordata; a rigid plant with twiggy branches ending in a spine.

At the north end of Aeroplane Road the bush floor was white with Heath Daisy-bush Olearia minor, a spreading shrub up to 1 metre high. Also growing here was Rosy Heath Myrtle Euryomyrtus ramosissima (previously Baeckea) and Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata. Ramosissima is from the Latin, ramosus – branched, and the suffix issimus – most, referring to the much-branched habit of the plant. During the day we also saw Bushy Parrot-pea Dillwynia ramosissima.    

 Lunch stop was at Sapling Gully picnic area surrounded by Red Box Eucalyptus polyanthemos ssp. vestita. On a short walk along the creek we saw a male Mistletoebird, Scarlet Robin and White-throated Treecreeper. In the damper environment along the creek we saw Fireweed Groundsel Senecio linearifolius, Sweet bursaria Bursaria spinosa, Ivy-leaved Violet Viola hederacea, Kidneyweed Dichondra repens, Australian Buttercup Ranunculus lappaceus and Common  Maidenhair Adiantum aethiopicum.

Heading south Aeroplane Road climbed up onto a dry, stony ridge with smaller trees. The understorey was still interesting with a variety of plants. Patches of the endemic Brisbane Ranges Grevillea Grevillea steiglitziana with green and red flowers were seen. Broad-leaved Peppermint Eucalyptus dives had balls of white flowers.

Last stop was when we reached Thompsons Road. This was an appropriate spot because Trailing Goodenia Goodenia lanata, the Club emblem was growing on the roadside.                     

We were still able to see new plants in flower – Heath Teatree Leptospermum myrsinoides.  We enjoyed a cuppa and said our farewells and headed IMG_1for home.  

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