A keen group of Nats, for once carrying their morning tea, set off from the car park at Crows Nest National Park to walk about a kilometre to the Falls. It was a mild, sunny morning for a stroll through the eucalypt forest.
There were bird sightings (see Bird List) and several flowering shrubs that created great interest. Among the latter was the Seven Dwarfs Grevillea, Grevillea floribunda subsp. tenella (Crows Nest Form) (photo below). Some specimens were flowering well and were a magnet for photographers, since we were in the only location where this grevillea is found. There was also a local variety of correa, Correa reflexa, with very straight, pure green flowers that were partially concealed by a pair of folded-down leaves. Slender Westringia, Westringia eremi-cola, was also in bloom.
Moth larvae had been at work on the Soap Ash, Alphitonia excelsa. The smaller instars behaved as leaf miners, with older caterpillars making quite conspicuous shelters from the leaves by pulling the two sides together.
On reaching the Falls, the group admired the granite cliffs and creek falling twenty metres to the rockpool below, before finding themselves perches on rocks or logs for morning tea. The highlight of this stop was the very close sighting of a Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby that did not seem at all fazed by a large party of chatting Nats. Some then took the more challenging walk to the Lookout with views of The Valley of the Diamonds. Others wandered back via the lower creek track and Bottlebrush Pool, where they had a very interesting encounter with the President of the Australasian Native Orchid Society (Qld), Graham Corbin, who happened to be searching for orchids with his parents, also enthusiasts. Graham was very generous with his time and expertise, and led several Nats to the tiny but exquisite flowering Acianthus exertis and Chiloglottis diphylla. He explained that the latter uses sexual deception to ensure pollination by specific wasps. The orchid's lip has raised calli whose structures mimic the flightless female of the wasp pollinator.
Back at the picnic area, the Nats enjoyed lunch before setting off for Tricia and Adrian Allen's property at Grapetree. Their extensive garden was at its best, having been open to the public the previous weekend. Every-one enjoyed a walk and then the excellent afternoon tea Tricia provided. It was hard to think of going home and many lingered, there being few better places for a chat and stroll on a sunny winter afternoon.Thank you, Tricia and Adrian, for sharing your beautiful property and for your generous hospitality.
Bird List (Complied by Tricia Allen from Members’ sightings)
Straw-necked Ibis, Wonga Pigeon, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, King Parrott, Pale-headed Rosella, Tawny Frogmouth, Laughing Kookaburra, Variegated Fairy Wren, Red-backed Fairy Wren, White-throated Gerygone (H), Spotted Pardalote, Brown Thornbill, White-browed Scrub Wren, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Noisy Miner, Yellow-faced Honey-eater, Scarlet Robin, Eastern Whipbird (H), Rufous? Whistler (H), Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Fantail, Australian Magpie, Torresian Crow, Currawong, Red-browed Finch.
(Report by Diane Pagel)
|Seven Dwarfs Grevillea, Grevillea floribunda subsp. tenella,|
Above photos taken by Mike Ford