Monday, March 16, 2015

Franke Scrub Remnant Bushland

15th March 2015

A walk through Franke Scrub on the western side of Highfields was most enjoyable late this afternoon. We watched Superb Blue Fairy wrens dart in and out of the thick scrub trees. Double -barred finches were a delight to watch and listen too, along with Brown Honeyeaters having a feed on the many flowering mistletoes within the area. Butterflies were out and about including many Orchard Swallowtails, Caper Whites, Common Crows and Small Grass Yellows.  We walked through the 'wallaby track' that cuts through
the centre of the bush and emerges on the north western side on the vibrant red dirt track, bringing with it, a complete contrast in landscape, with tree cleared grazing fields and new brick housing on either side.

A large Blue-younger lizard was seen basking in the storm water pipe of one of the nearby houses as we walked back to the car. The lizard quickly retreated back into the pipe as soon as I spotted it.

The Friends of Franke Scrub do an amazing job maintaining the weeds an d preserving the environment in this small patch of remnant dry rainforest scrub. Find out more about it's history and how you can help here:

It was good to get out and explore the local area for a short time this weekend. There is always so ,any places to see I your iwn backyard, you just need to step outside and discover them.
J & B

Double-barred Finch at Franke Scub.

Farmland surrounding Franke Scrub

The northern side of Franke Scrub

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Joseph's Coat Moth at Glen Gowrie

15th March 2015

A stunning Joseph's Coat Moth was the highlight of our first visit to Glen Gowrie Environmental Park at Gowrie Junction today. Glen Gowrie Environmental Park is located on a small hill in a residential area on the south- eastern side of the country town. The area consists of dry rainforest scrub and can be accessed from Parkway Drive.  There are a couple of designated car parking spots at the entrance to the park, which is marked with green and yellow painted timber signage (reflective of the Rosalie Shire Council days).  There is a cement path entrance to the park located in between two houses to access the park after which a mowed track winds up the hill through the remnant bushland to the top, where the hill is largely cleared with a few selective trees remaining overlooking a great country view.

The environmental park was sadly littered with a great deal of rubbish along with the remains of bush camp fireplaces.  Weeds such as asparagus, wild choko vine and the horrible tiger pear were prolific amongst the native vegetation.  Someone has also installed a number of bee boxes in trees along with a few bee hives that we're buzzing with activity on the ground.  Two lovely Bottle trees grace the top of the hill with really nice rural views over rooftops to the surrounding valleys. Wildlife was minimal on the time of our visit with only Noisy Miners, Pale-headed Rosellas and Scaley-breasted lorikeets to be seen. Orchard Swallowtail Butterflies were plentiful and the sighting of two Joseph's Coat Moths were the highlight of our visit.

This little hilltop patch of scrub could certainly do with some tlc. It would be nice to see surrounding property owners In the estate, get involved in cleaning up the rubbish and maintaining some of the environmental weeds, so that the native plants can floirish.
The cleared grassLands and walking track were recently mowed and well maintained.
B & J

(iPhone 6 photo) More photos to come. 

My Instagram photo of the Joseph's Coat Moth was shared by Southern Queensland Country Tourism on their Facebook Page 😀  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly 28/02/15

Currently on the Darling Downs, butterflies are prolific after an apparent good season.  My daughter and I spotted this beautiful Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly (papilio demoleus) while doing a spot of shopping in Toowoomba and I couldn't resist taking it's photo.  We also have these at Jarowair, but only see them on occasion.

Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly (papilio demoleus) (iphone4 photo)