By: Michael Foximg272

Aldi have bought back their excellent, and at $129 excellent value, Maginon wildlife cameras. If you want one be quick because they will sell out fast.

We have been using two of an older version of these cameras for a couple of years now with excellent results. This new one is of course better with higher resolution video and sound recording. Sound recording would be great at the moment when we are capturing video of the very shy Noisy Pitta living in Firefly Gully. Marshal can hear its call but our camera does not handle sound.

The only issue we have found with these cameras is the intensity of the infrared leds used for video. I have fixed this with masking tape covering two thirds of the leds to reduce the intensity and make the camera less noticeable to our Squirrel Gliders.

See some samples:

Noisy Pitta – day time in colour

Koala at night

Squirrel Gliders at night

Bob Hawke

The Hon. Bob Hawke AC launches Landcare

By: Michael Fox

It was a real pleasure to watch Gardening Australia over the weekend as Costa interviewed The Hon. Bob Hawke AC about his support to establish Landcare Australia in 1989, then followed up later in the program interviewing an amazing 84 year old ball of energy, Don Wilson of Clive Park Bushcare in Sydney and founder of Bushcare’s Major Day Out.

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Click on link to watch the two segments: 25 Years of Landcare Australia

Don Wilson with Costa - Gardening Australia

Don Wilson talking with Costa at Clive Park

I met Don Wilson last year and visited Clive Park Bushcare. Don really is an inspiration. Not only is he out there pulling weeds … I hate Asparagus Fern too Don … he has also pulled together an amazing group of professionals who are behind the annual Bushcare’s Major Day Out. In 2014 BMDO has spread to every Australian state except NT with a record 58 events in Queensland.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group was not involved this year however our 2013 Bushcare’s Major Day Out – Photography Workshop was a great success with participants really starting to see the bush in a different way.

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View over Sailor’s Bay & Middle Harbour

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The Clive Park Bushcare site is worth a visit. With views over Sailor’s Bay and Middle Harbour …

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Clive Park - tree - 2 April 2013

Picnic in the park with water, trees and wildlife

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… it has some of the most beautiful picnic spots you will find in Sydney.

Click on photo to fully appreciate this majestic tree.

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Nest box monitoring - 3 Sept 2014

(l-r) Marshal, Alan, Saki and myself. Liz is on the camera

 

By: Michael Fox

Kyoto University student, Saki, joined Marshal, Alan, Saki, Liz and myself at Bushcare on Wednesday to check the nest boxes providing important habitat for hollow dwelling wildlife.

We the GoPro camera to  drop in on the Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis family were at home in one of the glider boxes.

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Squirrel Glider family

Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis family

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A bundle of Gliders.

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Brushtail & baby - 3 Sept 2014

Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula & baby

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Then we visited mother Brushtail and her baby (called a joey like Kangaroos) in the Kookaburra nest box. The Brushtail took over the nest box not long after the installation by Hollow Log Homes. The Kookaburras took over the Boobook Owl box to raise their family.

Mia & Camilla - Griffith Mates 1 - 23 Aug 2014

Mia & Camilla dressed for action

By: Michael Fox

I was very proud of our Griffith Mates partners today. Rain and mud did not stop Camilla and Mia.

The rain meant it was unsafe to work removing Fishbone Fern on the steeper areas of the gully, so our focus was restoring and strengthening the silt filters along the Farm Fire Trail.

Simon Fox checking silt level - 20 Aug 2014

Simon Fox checking level of silt captured

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The silt filters are proving very effective. Simon Fox, our BCC Habitat Brisbane coordinator, is impressed with our simple low-tech solution to reduce erosion. Recycled deck timber is used to make stakes and timber barriers to hold the mulch forming the silt filter.

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Mia & Camilla - Griffith Mates insert - 23 Aug 2014

Muddy silty water

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The filters slow muddy water so the silt has time to settle out while the water filters away. In some areas up to 100mm of silt has been captured and stopped from flowing into Mimosa Creek.

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Restoring mulch around Koala trees

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We also restored mulch around the Koala trees Griffith Mates planted for National Tree Day.

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Golden-tailed Ant nest - 23 Aug 2014

Golden-tailed Spiny Ant nest

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Camilla and Mia were fascinated by what we found while we were looking for rocks to help manage erosion. The first two rocks we turned over we found ant nests so we carefully restored their home.

The first nest was a Golden-tailed Spiny Ant Polyrhachis ammon. When they named it spiny they were not kidding. Aside from the spines over the head and caster (tail) this ant has extraordinary sharp horns on the body.

Black-headed Strobe Ants - composite - 23 Aug 2014

Black-headed Strobe Ant nest

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Under the second rock we found a new ant to add to the species list for the Reserve. Black-headed Strobe Ant Opisthopsis rufithorax.

Enough work. Time to get out of the rain, have a hot drink and warm up.

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Noisy Pittas are normally found in rainforest habitat like Lamington National Park or Tamborine National Parks where our New Zealand visitor captured the video above.

Marshal Kloske rang today really excited. A brightly coloured plump bird he had never seen before was pecking around the ground under his bird feeder. Initially he thought it was some sort of parrot then it turned its head … no curved beak. Marshal had a Noisy Pitta Pitta versicolour in the Firefly Gully wildlife corridor. First glow in the dark mushrooms now my favourite bird.

We had another sighting of this cute little bird in March 2013. It is a hopeful sign that small forest birds are returning to our mountain gullies.

Let us know if you see a Pitta – megoutlook@gmail.com

 

 

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

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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.

 

Oxalis chnoodes 4 - 3 July 2014 - Alan Moore

Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes – photo: Alan Moore

By: Michael Fox

I am currently checking and uploading our research Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Keep checking for updates.

Botanist, Ann Moran, has generously checked our first couple of files and we gained another native species bringing our count to 270 native plant species in the Reserve.

Oxalis chnoodes 1 - 3 July 2014 - Alan Moore

Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes – photo: Alan Moore

I had photographed and identified what I thought was Creeping Oxalis Oxalis corniculata, a weed. Ann took one look at my photos and said that is the native herb, Hairy Oxalis Oxalis chnoodes.

Hairy Oxalis? When I had a close look I found the leaves of our local plant are very hairy. To be able to show this curious plant to community members we needed some real close-up pics … time to call in Alan Moore our local photography guru.

 

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