Tuesday, 9 August 2011

On burnt ground

We have part of the property where grass, mainly native blady grass, is the dominant vegetation and we have the area divided into three sections which we burn in rotation. The burning helps keep the grass thriving and inhibits the introduced whisky grass from taking over. The grass areas are important habitat for quail, bandicoots, bush rats, grass birds and many insects and unfortunately many properties keep their grass constantly mown turning the area into a green desert. We burnt one section last Sunday and the fire brings a feast for Butcher birds and Kookaburras picking off the insects as they take flight. Then burnt area becomes a feeding ground for other species and today we had a Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis probing the ground for grubs, worms and insects.

The afternoon sun catching the back plumage and bringing out the colours that are often missed just looking like a plain black back. A Masked Lapwing or Spur-wing Plover Vanellus miles (southern form) also worked over the ground whilst its partner stayed on the eggs nearby.

As the new grass starts to emerge the kangaroos and wallabies will converge to make the most of the tender new shoots, so we will have lots of activity in this area through spring.

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