Category Archives: Field reports

Grass-trees in Canadian Regional Park

Two grass-trees grow in Canadian Regional Park. Austral Grass-tree Xanthorhoea austalis is wide spread in the park with Small Grass-tree Xanthorhoea minor in a few areas. In some areas these two species grow in close proximity.

Austral Grass-trees develop a trunk as they grow where as the Small Grass-tree stem is mainly below ground level.

Other differences

Feature Austral Grass-tree Small Grass-tree
Flower spike Flowering section longer than stem. Flowering section shorter than stem.
Leaf cross-section Diamond shape. Triangular shape.
Leaf colour Blue-green with whitish bloom. Green.
Form Trunk may branch. Several tufts of leaves at ground level.

Xanthorrhoea australis and minor IMG_4227aAustral Grass-tree on left with skirt of dead leaves covering trunk. Small Grass-tree on right with several tufts of leaves.

 

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A walk in the sunshine

About thirty people turned up for the walk in the northern end of Canadian Forest today. We enjoyed a stroll through the bush looking at various sites related to the Cremorne Rifle Range and then onto the site with the tree ferns. There were a few fungi to see but not many flowers. We finished the walk which was led by the Friends of the Canadian Corridor, with a cup of tea and some fruit cake. We noticed the colourful heath on the way out of the park.

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Bring on the Emperor

This caterpillar was spotted in some bush near Bannockburn recently.

Emperor Gum Moth larvae

A chance inspection

Unfortunately sometimes the only way we get to see a bird close up is when it dies. In this case it was a juvenile Crimson Rosella. The colouring is beautiful.

 

Digital Resources

Jacky Winter

Jacky Winter

At our club meeting on Friday night mention was made about the recent SWIFFT video conference.  It was all about new digital resources such as databases  where you may add your own sightings, projects,photos or chat with others interested in biodiversity. If you have records why not add them to a database where they can contribute to our knowledge of our local biodiversity. It would be a great place for your field reports.

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Victoria Dam Smythesdale

While out taking photos of duck orchids yesterday I took this photo of Victoria Dam with my phone set on panorama. Most water we have seen in the dam for quite a while.

 

Canadian (Woowookarung) Regional Park – Monitoring Vegetation Change

Some examples of Photo-Point data  –  recorded in Aug-Sept 2013 & 2016.
See Map of approximate positions of example sites on last slide.
The 5 examples are drawn from 17 sites recorded by the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat.
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Example one – 2016 shows much improved soil cover, with good native herbs and some tree seedlings

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Example two – 2016 shows improved soil cover, with good regen of Eucalypts & Blackwood

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Example three – 2016 shows heavy invasion of Gorse, English Broom and exotic grasses, with some sedges and Cassinia
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Example four: – 2016 shows fair soil cover, with a mixture of weeds (Gorse) and native shrubs (mainly Cassini and a few tree seedlingsSlides4aPPT14LookingSouth.jpg

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Example four: 2016 show good soil cover with mainly Cassinia species and a few Eucs
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Many thanks to Colin Hancock of Ballarat Bushwalking and Outdoor Club for help with photography and GPS work. We were able to return to within 1 metre of the marker pegs at 16 of 17 sites, after 3 years.

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Photo below shows bushwalkers (BBOC) passing through very weed infested area near powerlines in SE Canadian in 2015. Burgan and English Broom seeding heavily.

Walkers in Boome weed invasion Walking through Broome and Burgan Canadian Dec 14.jpg

Lal Lal and Moorabool Falls

If you didn’t make it out to see the Lal Lal Falls in the last week, here are some photos from Friday.  There were lots of people looking at the water today.

Not everyone knows about Moorabool Falls and they are smaller than the Lal Lal Falls but close by.  It is a bit a a walk to get to them, but if you park in the carpark in Harris Road and take the scenic walk you will be rewarded with plenty of views and you may spot a wallaby or two.

Spring is here

Probably Sprinter is here if you subscribe to the six season calendar. On a recent trip out to the Enfield Forest Bill M. really felt spring had arrived when he saw  Chiloglottis trapeziformis , Corybas incurvus , Pterostylis concinna , Pterostylis nana and the find of the day was a large colony of Cyanicula caerulea.

Mooney’s Dam

Mooney’s Dam at Smythesdale is a Crown land reserve managed by the Ballarat Environment Network and the last site we visited on our August excursion.