Saturday, 30 July 2011

Another moth

Another night and another moth, we seem to be having a run on moths at present. Again this one was drawn to the kitchen lights and fluttering against the window until captured and brought inside for a photo shoot,

Fairly sure on the identification when I looked checked it out on the Butterflyhouse website, being  from the family GEOMETRIDAE,  species Arhodia lasiocamparia as the colour and marking on the hind wings are distinctive.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Colour uncovered

Last night two moths drawn to the light of the kitchen window enabled me to bring them inside for a photo shoot. The first was a beige colour with a black stripe across the wings but when I placed it on the kitchen bench it displayed the previously hidden colour of the hind wings.
Checking the identification proved not too difficult as the colours and markings make it hard to confuse, so it is a male Gastrophora hendricaria  Guenee  and is found throughout SE Australia.
The second moth as yet remains unidentified but the prominent white spots on the wings I hope will give me the key.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

No sting in the tail

Di found this little critter climbing along her sleeve and was uncertain of the identity and glad it was not large, just in case it was a poisonous critter.

Although it looks like its poisonous arachnid cousin this character is a False Scorpion Synsphyronus sp. ?
One of the some 150 species so far identified in Australia where can be found under bark, leaf litter or in the house where they often arrive on firewood or getting a ride attached to a larger insect. Some species are known as Book Scorpions, as a result of being found in books, particularly old and dusty copies where they find their prey , the book louse.
It was a difficult photo to get as the macro still only had it as a speck as it was only about 2mm in length, so took the shot through my 8x Lupe and that was about a sharp as I could get.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Out of line

Found this moth on one of the verandah posts and noticed the contrast between its wavy lines and the straight lines on the post. It is a very dark moth which I have added some brightness to the photo otherwise it was very difficult to see. My best guess at identification is that it is one of the GEOMETRIDAE family, species Melanodes anthracitaria, which seems an appropriate name based on the almost charcoal colour.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Greenhood exposed

Torrential rain over the past five days kept me indoors for most of the time and the wildlife under shelter, but today we had the sun out and a chance to get out and about. I have been watching a patch of greenhood orchids, waiting for the flower to develop and today the first of the flowers opened so it is the subject of today's blog. This small patch of greenhoods developed in the wood chip mulch in one of the garden beds three years ago much to my delight and has continued to flower each year. However I discovered I need to keep a wire cover over when they are in flower, as I found last year that the wallabies like the flowers as a tasty treat.

One of the many greenhood species this one is the Blunt Greenhood Pterostylis curta and is found in all Australian states except WA and NT. It is the only greenhood species that we have found on our property to date.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rainbird weather

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos are referred to by many people as "rainbirds", (one of many birds that have been tagged with this nickname) as they are often heard calling and seen flying overhead before rains arrive, or during overcast damp wintry days. This was a very apt description of today's weather when we had a visit from a flock of about a dozen Yellow-tailed  Black Cockatoos, who spent about an hour working over a patch of forest looking for grubs. At one stage they were in some wattles close to the ground and this gave me an opportunity to get a shot of a female (white beak and bright yellow face patch).

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wing tufts

Found a small moth this morning caught up in a piece of cobweb which I cleared away so it would be free and then took a couple of photos. Only a small moth but it had an interesting feature of small tufts on the costa of each wing.

My search for the identification on the website gave me the best fit based on those tufts that are found on the male of the species Phrissogonus laticostata Apple Looper.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Super sunrise

A cold front moving across the continent brought overcast sky and one of the best sunrises we have seen this year. It made the loss of our perfect winter weather worthwhile.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Wattles before Wattle Day

As Australia's national flower the wattle is celebrated with a National day on the 1st of September each year, however many of our wattles are coming into flower now and will be finished flowering when their day comes around. So seems appropriate that they should get featured now as they also herald that Spring is just around the corner. We have a number of wattle species native to our area and we have also planted others for their colourful display. There are over 1200 species of wattles, Acacia ranging from small shrubs to large trees and the green of the leaves and gold of the flowers are celebrated in our National sporting colours.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Serious business

An Aussie icon the Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo gigas has a serious side and that is when hunting is top of mind. For the best opportunity to scan for prey a high vantage point is a preferred site and the cross member of a power pole is ideal. This character was busy checking the ground below and just after this photo opportunity dived into a shrub and plucked a tasty caterpillar off a leaf.

The largest of the Australian kingfishers gets its descriptive name from its rollicking laugh that is heard on virtually any film that is set in the Australian Bush. They range through eastern Australia around to South Australia and have been introduced into Western Australia and Tasmania.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

House hunting

It is now the time for many birds and animals to start their search for suitable housing to raise next seasons young. Tree hollows created by termites or the termites nest itself are the preferred site for cockatoos, kingfishers, many of the owls, marsupials such as possums and gliders as well as micro bats.
Sites are always in high demand often causing squabbles to breakout between prospective tenants and the pecking order usually sorts out who gets possession. The type and size of the hollow often determines the likely occupants and a site that suited a small parrot may get enlarged as a limb falls and then become more suited to a larger animal. A large eucalyptus in our front paddock had a small nest site that was used by Eastern Rosellas but a recent storm broke off a large section and now it is of interest to a pair of Galahs who were busy inspecting the site today. 

The male checks out the nest potential

Galahs Eolophus roseicapillus are one of the smaller cockatoos and the most widespread, ranging throughout mainland Australia and straying into Tasmania. 

The female keeps a watch on the proceedings

Friday, 1 July 2011

Noisy Friar-bird

Often seen in flocks as they move throughout their range mainly following the flowering of eucalypus trees but today it was just a solitary bird that gave some raucous calls to let me know what tree it was visiting. The Noisy Friar-bird Philemon corniculatus is one of six Friar birds found in Australia and part of the honeyeater family, all are distinguished by the bare black or dark grey skin covering their heads giving them a vulture looking appearance and is responsible for the "Friar" in their common names.

The loud raucous calls that are heard whenever they are around are responsible for the 'Noisy" part of the name and the other distinguishing features of this bird are the prominent knob on the forehead and the throat hackles.