Mt Gravatt Campus - 22 July 2015

Mmm … almost there. Now to just get past this fence.

By: Michael Fox

They go looking for a good education.

An alert cleaner at Griffith Mt Gravatt Campus caught this intruder on camera. Outstanding wildlife photography!

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Mt Gravatt Campus - rail - 22 July 2015

Just hanging out. Don’t worry about me.

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Of course being a university qualified Koala he was climbing into the Education building.

Monkey Rope Vine - 17 July 2015

Vines, ferns and shadows

By: Michael Fox

In some parts of Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve you would think you were in a rainforest miles from anywhere, not in the middle of Brisbane.

One feature of the habitat is the Monkey-rope Vine Parsonsia straminea snaking up the paperbark trees all surrounded by a forest of ferns and deep shadows.

Roly Chapman micro-climate is very different to most of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, riparian woodland with permanent water in Mimosa Creek. Paperbark trees, Willow Bottlebrush Callistemon salignus, are a significant feature in this wet habitat.

Monkey Rope Vine - close - 17 July 2015

Monkey Rope Vine

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Marshal and I discovered this massive vine once  Small Leafed Privet Ligustrum sinense and Easter Cassia Senna pendula var glabrata were cleared. The thickest Monkey Rope Vine I have found, this seems to be three or four vines that have fused together as they grew.

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Monkey Rope Vine - high - 17 July 2015

Monkey-rope Vine climbing high

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Parsonsia vines are quite aggressive growing high in the trees and even pulling large trees down.

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Common Crow - caterpillar - 11 Mar 12

Common Crow Euploea core
caterpillar

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Parsonsia vines may damage the trees however they are also a caterpillar food plant for Common Crow Euploea core caterpillars.

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Blue Tiger sex brand

Blue Tiger sex brand

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While male Blue Tiger Tirumala hamata may be seen on Parsonsia straminea vines scratching the leaves and collecting alkaloids to be converted to pheromones and stored in sex brands to attract females.

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Blue Tiger - claws 1 - 6 Feb 2015 cropped

Blue Tiger claws

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How can a delicate butterfly scratch a leaf?

Claws. Blue Tiger butterfly claws may be tiny but they are every bit as business like as their namesake cats.

Small bird planting - sign - 13 July 2015

Planning a habitat haven

By: Michael Fox

Brisbane winters are just stunning … as long as you are in the sun and out of the westerly wind.

I spent time this morning laying out the site for our National Tree Day planting. Two sets of concentric circles will create both the protection for nesting and the food – insects, nectar and seeds, required by our small forest birds.

Our two habitat havens will each be 8 metres in diameter and based on the Habitat Network model – Creating a small bird habitat haven.

The Inner Sanctum planted with Coastal Banksia Banksia integrifolia, Prickly Pine Bursaria spinosa and Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana to provide height and tangled habit that larger birds cannot get into making it safe for building nests.

How to plant tubestock

Planting guide for participants

The Protective Circle will be a thick planting of spiky plants like Creek Mat-rush Lomandra hystrix  and Saw Sedge Gahnia aspera. This habit will be attractive for lizards and butterflies while restricting access from feral cats and foxes.

The Shrub Circle will include a range of native herbs and vines with different flowering times and different colours to attract a range of insects. Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variable is a small herb with delicate flowers that Eastern Bearded Dragons Physignathus lesueurii like to eat and provides caterpillar food for a number of different butterflies.

The Eating Out planting of native grasses will provide year round food for seed eating birds like the Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis which will duck out of the safety of the Protective Circle to feed.

Thirty-three participants are registered for the National Tree Day planting so we may have a many as fifty at the event. To help us manage the work I have sourced an excellent “How to plant tubestock” guide from SOWN.

Morning Mist - 30 June 2015

Winter sun through the mist

By: Michael Fox

Winter is a great time to walk in the bush in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Misty mornings, bright sunny days and no summer heat.

The light in winter is special – softer. Winter light helps you see and photograph the bush in different ways.

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Acacia leiocalyx  - flower - Jun 07

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx

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Explore the mountain tracks and discover the winter flowers.

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx is just past its best.

Also called Lamb’s Tail Wattle, it is a key food supply for caterpillars of Imperial Hairstreak butterflies – Jalmenus evagoras. Look for the caterpillars around February-March.

Learn to identify Early Black Wattle with the winter flowers so you can find the trees in summer. The red colour and triangular shape of the stems are key identifiers.

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Acacia fimbriata - flower - 5 Aug 10

Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata

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Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata is now coming into flower.

With its bright yellow ball shaped flowers this is one of the most attractive trees in the forest.

Once the Acacia fimbriata produces seeds it is very popular with the spectacular King Parrots Alisterus scapularis.

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Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa - 12 June 2015

Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa

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Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa flowers all year.

As the name suggests Blackthorn, with its spiky habit, is useful for Security Planting keeping people out of bushland areas and protecting small forest birds from larger more aggressive birds.

Blackthorn nectar is also popular with butterflies like the Blue Tiger Tirumala hamata.

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Black She-oak Allocasuarina littoralis is one of the most interesting trees flowering at the moment. In March the male Black She-oaks started producing their flowers showing up as the russet brown tips with the trees glowing in direct winter sunlight. Female Black She-oaks only started to produce their distinctive red flowers in June.

Allocasuarina  male female

…………. Black She-oak Allocasuarina littoralis – (left) male (right) female

Bulimba Creek Environment Fund
Mt Barney National Park – Yamahra Creek Catchment
Bulimba Creek Environment Fund supports Mt Gravatt Environment Group
Please help with a Tax Deductible Donation

Bulimba Creek Environment Fund

The Bulimba Creek Environment Fund was established to accept tax-deductible donations in support of a community-driven commitment to deliver critical environmental outcomes through socially and ethically sensitive programs.

Purchase of Environmentally Valuable Land
This year B4C made an important social investment to secure a 129 ha buffer area for the World Heritage Listed Mt Barney National Park. The aim of this investment is to achieve and social and environmental return not a financial one and as such it is a social investment in the region’s future.

In this issue you will find the highlights of our donations in 2014-2015.

Open DaysB4C 1Monthly Saturday Open Days at the B4C Sustainability Centre, sponsoring expert presenters. Themes have included:

  • Native freshwater fish
  • Fauna and ecology of Bulimba Creek
  • Creating habitat for birds
  • Geology of SE Queensland
  • Worm Farming
  • Reef Check Australia
  • Native Grasses
  • Sustainable Living
  • Snails
  • Wetlands

Environmental Education and TrainingB4C 3

A number of training courses and conference attendances have been funded through the Environment Fund.

  • Site skills training for the B4C field crew in Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Training (ACDC) was completed by 10 volunteers.
  • Registration for a B4C volunteer to attend the “What’s in your Waterways” Workshop and another volunteer to attend the “Communities in Control 2014” Conference.
  • Expert guided catchment tours: Chinese delegations, Universities, International Engineers.

RehabilitationB4C 2

Donations of plants and materials for on-ground works have been given to schools and other catchment groups:

  • Gold Coast – Water quality testing for Black Swan Lake
  • 200 plants – Whites Hill College (Squirrel Glider Corridor)
  • 200 plants – Brisbane Catchments Network Clean Up
  • 20 cu mulch – Australia Day – Queensport Rocks Park, Murarrie.

ActivismB4C 4

The Environment Fund has provided support to a number of community environmental programs, which include:

  • Twinnings – School Kids Gardening & Fishing – Delegate to attend the Gregory River Trip and Landcare Rubber Vine eradication.
  • Administrative support for the Hemmant Action Group.
  • Ecological Assessment of Black Swan Lake, Gold Coast.
Variegated Fairy Wren - 22 June 2015

Variegated Fairy-wren Malurus lamberti

By: Michael Fox

Our 2015 National Tree Day planting will restore important small forest bird habitat. So it was a real pleasure to see a family of Variegated Fairy-wrens Malurus lamberti among the Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana growing just 100 metres south-east of the site.

This is the first reported sighting near the Eastern Outlook Track. I was not able to get a photo of the male with all his bright colours.

Variegated Fairy Wren - habitat - 22 June 2015

Small Forest Bird habitat

The aim is to create the scrubby tangled habitat where larger like Crows and Butcher Birds cannot get in to rob nests of egg or chicks.

Habitat Network has published an excellent guide for creating small bird habitat.

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Habiat haven

IMG_9600

“Keep up the good work. I can find more worms.”

By: Michael Fox

The locals definitely approve of our Friday Bushcare at Roly Chapman Reserve. Every Friday morning a family of Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus joins us to hunt worms, spiders and bush cockroaches uncovered as we clear the weeds and let in the sun.

Cheese Tree - regrowth - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Regrowth of Cheese Trees

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As we clear the weeds and let the light in, Cheese Trees Glochidion and other native species are sprouting new growth.

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Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Weed regrowth – Arrowhead Vine

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Unfortunately, letting in the sun also allows the weed species to regenerate. Most weed can be composted on-site, however, in future we will bag and remove any Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum.

The Weeds of Australia Fact Sheet describes Arrowhead Vine as:

Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum - roots - 19 June 2015 - Roly Chapman

Roots on Arrowhead Vine

A rampant creeper or climbing plant that grows over other vegetation, often reaching 5-10 m or more in height when climbing larger trees.

Stem segments and cuttings are commonly dispersed in dumped garden waste and woodchips. Once established, a plant will spread outwards, forming a colony, and taking root wherever its stems touch the ground. Stem segments can also be spread by mowers, slashes and floodwaters.

Weeds of Australia Fact Sheet

Most of the weeds in our first compost pile have rotted down to soil. However, the Arrowhead Vine is not composting but growing through up to 300mm of mulch cover to sprout new leaves.Normally we use black plastic to promote heat aid composting and cook weed seeds. Because the current restoration site at Roly Chapman is so close to the path people were removing the plastic covering. A Security Planting of Lomandras beside the track will progressively reduce random access to the restored area.

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