Monday, 25 February 2013

Rainbow colours on a grey day

A break in the wet weather but still a grey and threatening sky, so likely we will get more of the wet. We now have had more rain during Jan. & Feb. than the last six months of 2012. However there was a very bright spot as I drove to the shop this morning, two pair of Eastern Rosellas were feeding near the front gate. They are the most brightly coloured of the medium sized parrots and are regularly seen but I have had great difficulty in getting a photo as they are very wary and take flight at the slightest disturbance, today was no exception and I though I was again out of luck.
On the way back I found that one was very busy eating grass seeds that could be reached by working along the barbed wire fence. It was so engrossed that I managed to get a couple of shots and then when the seeds were exhausted it flew off.
The Easter Rosella Platycercus eximius is quite a commonly seen bird ranging from SE Queensland through eastern NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and SE South Australia. When we lived in Sydney they were regular visitors to the backyard and relatively tame as they were so used to visiting bird feeders in the suburbs.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Not so secret Valentine's Love Knot

Just coming back from locking the chooks in for the night, when in my torchlight I caught sight of a couple of lovers. Well it is Valentines Day and I guess being secretive they didn't expect to be caught out , but there they were out in the open having sex.
A pair of eastern Small-eyed snakes Cryptophis nigrescens mating just outside their hole in the rocks.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Flowers in the grass

While I was doing a bit of sappling removal from the front paddock that I burnt last June, I noticed that following the rain lots of wildflowers have started to bloom in amongst the short grass.

Rice flower Pimelea linifolia

Blue Murdannia Murdannia graminea
Buttercup Ranunculus plebius
Blushing bindweed Convolvulus erubescens
Yellow Star Hypoxis hygrometrica
Love Creeper Glycine tabacino

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

An insect first

Not the first time I have seen this beetle, but the species does have the distinction of being the first scientifically described insect in Australia, after Joseph Banks found it when collecting at Botany Bay, when he landed there in 1770 with lieutenant James Cook.

It is commonly called the Botany Bay Diamond Weevil or Diamond Beetle (Chrysolopus spectabilis) and is found throughout much of eastern Australia. It inhabits areas where Acacia species that are the main food source are found. The photo does not fully capture the brightness of the metallic blue/green markings that make this insect hard to miss.