On Sunday 26th August we’ll meet for a Working Bee at Mildenhall Place, Fraser, from 09.30. On Monday 3rd we’ll meet at the Wickens Place, Fraser carpark at 09.00am.
Sometimes spring’s here and then another front comes through and blows away the illusion.
BIRDS: For those of you who go across country be aware that there are over a dozen magpies keen to investigate anyone walking through the reserve on the way to the summit. The magpies might seem to swoop but are flying in closely, checking to see if you’ve brought food. Someone has been feeding magpies, so the flock has become opportunistic.
Some species of birds are definitely in the pre-nesting phase with predawn carolling from the local magpies. Cuckoos have been photographed around the region … they don’t have the “cuckoo” call but do trick other species into incubating their eggs & raising their chicks.
Perhaps someone will be lucky and find a roosting pair of Frogmouths before they begin building their cryptic nests.
This afternoon a Thornbill was bathing in a puddle on the track to the twin reservoirs. As you’d realise this puddle was a very unusual sight in the drought situation. There was a flock of small birds flying between taller trees. Amongst them was a Grey Shrike Thrush and possibly a Whistler.
Reports of Boobooks calling came through on the Canberra Ornithologists’ email-line on August 5th. There was also a report from Angharad in Fraser to the Mt Rogers email list.
Ten days before that a Mt Rogers volunteer found this delightful but newly dead Boobook in their yard in mid-Flynn. The little corpse was next wrapped in butcher’s paper and put in a plastic bag in the freezer. They then contacted the Australian National Wildlife Collection via their website to ask if the Boobook would be useful for the collection. The answer was “Yes please”, so a few days later they took the bird out to the collection. It followed the route-to-science that Hayward and Ruth’s young Koel followed from Mt Rogers earlier in 2018.
Please remember that if you approach injured animals, use CAUTION. Wear gloves when handling dead animals. To report injured wildlife (including its exact location and whether it’s dead or alive), call Access Canberra (phone 13 22 81). Or you can call ACT Wildlife (phone 0432 300 033) for any injured wildlife, excluding kangaroos and snakes.
PLANTS: Steve’s been digging out Serrated Tussock plants, with a pair of Scarlet Robins as a rewarding visitor to their garden. Between his and my efforts this week, 200+ plants have 'hit the dust'.
The honeysuckle debris we pulled from three sites has been taken away by a TCCS crew. We still have to dig out the plants’ main roots and there are at least two more patches to work on.
Ivy is proving more of a problem because each branch takes root when it touches down on soil of on a hapless tree’s trunk. We, like the Umbagong Landcare Group at Latham, intend to notify TCCS of these infestations.
Some of the north-facing leaves of an ivy on the big Banksia looked as though they’d been frosted. Some Hardenbergia bushes were rusty brown. Hopefully this was a reddish-brown reaction to the frosty nights and not dead leaves.
The creamy-flowered Early Wattles near the main carpark are almost past their flowering prime but Cootamundra Wattles will take over. Hopefully there will be some insects in the Cootamundras to feed insectivorous birds.
ECHIDNAS: at least two people have reported seeing Echidnas on Mt Rogers.
FUN: Look at this cubby, built on a fallen 'dinosaur-lookalike' trunk (photos before and after).
See you “on the hill”, soon.