Monday, November 15, 2010

Déjà Vu....

Three years ago, an Angophora costata landed on our roof during heavy rain. It's happened again, but this time it's a Corymbia gummifera. Once again, I'm waiting for the State Emergency Service to arrive with a tarpaulin. Lesson: don't grow large trees on rock platforms. :/

Heavy rain brings down trees that are poorly rooted. And it brings leeches. This afternoon, I was sitting at my desk writing a paper on symbiosis, mutualism and parasitism, and what should I see on my desk? This little creature, reading all about itself. But no pseudoreciprocity for it.

UPDATE: No damage to the roof tiles, I'm happy to report! The verandah awning took most of the brunt, but there is no visible buckling. Huzzah!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Garden Census: reptiles, mammals, amphibians

Earlier, I posted the Garden Bird Census. Here are the rest of the vertebrates. I might well be missing some, since many Australian mammals are nocturnal. I've never seen an echidna in our garden, for example, but would be surprised if we had none. And of course, bats aren't always easy to spot or identify!


Pseudechis porphyriacus Red-bellied Black Snake
Morelia spilota spilota Diamond Python
Dendophis punctulata Green Tree Snake
Physignathus lesueurii lesueurii Australian Water Dragon
Varanus varius Lace Monitor (Goanna)
Lampropholis guichenoti Common Garden Skink
Ctenotus taeniolatus Copper Tailed Skink
Eulamprus quoyii Eastern Water Skink

Diamond python
Morelia spilota spilota Diamond Python


Limnodynastes peronii Striped Marsh Frog
Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Spotted Marsh Frog
Crinia signifera Eastern Common Froglet
Litoria peronii Peron's Tree Frog
Litoria phyllochroa Leaf Green Tree Frog

Litoria phyllochroa Leaf Green Tree Frog


Wallabia bicolor Swamp Wallaby
Trichosurus vulpecula Common Brushtail Possum
Pseudocheirus peregrinus Common Ringtail Possum
Perameles nasuta Long-nosed Bandicoot
Pteropus poliocephalus Grey-headed Flying-fox (Fruit Bat)

Ringtail possum family
Pseudocheirus peregrinus Common Ringtail Possum, mother and babies

EDIT: A neighbour tells us that he's seen both echidnas and tiger quolls in his garden. One day, I'll construct a hide in the garden, and spend the night there with infrared glasses. Okay, maybe not. But I'd love to see them!

Garden Census: birds

Just for the fun of it, I've decided to do a census of all the vertebrates spotted (or heard!) in our garden, and in the case of some species, in the sky above our garden. I'll update these lists as I sight more.

First up, birds! I've linked each to the Australian Museum's Birds in Backyards website.

Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata)
Zoothera lunulata Bassian Thrush

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Eastern Spinebill
Accipiter fasciatus Brown Goshawk
Alectura lathami Australian Brush-turkey
Alisterus scapularis Australian King-Parrot
Anthochaera carunculata Red Wattlebird
Anthochaera chrysoptera Little Wattlebird
Aquila audax Wedge-Tailed Eagle
Aviceda subcristata Pacific Baza
Cacatua galerita Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Cacatua roseicapilla Galah
Cacatua tenuirostris Long-billed Corella
Calyptorhynchus funereus Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus lathami Glossy Black-Cockatoo
Corvus coronoides Australian Raven
Cracticus torquatus Grey Butcherbird
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing Kookaburra
Eopsaltria australis Eastern Yellow Robin
Eudynamys scolopacea Common Koel
Grallina cyanoleuca Magpie-lark
Gymnorhina tibicen Australian Magpie
Leucosarcia melanoleuca Wonga Pigeon
Macropygia amboinensis Brown Cuckoo-Dove
Malurus cyaneus Superb Fairy-wren
Manorina melanocephala Noisy Miner
Menura novaehollandiae Superb Lyrebird
Myiagra cyanoleuca Satin Flycatcher
Neochmia temporalis Red-browed Finch
Ninox novaeseelandiae Southern Boobook
Ninox strenua Powerful Owl
Ocyphaps lophotes Crested Pigeon
Oriolus sagittatus Olive-backed Oriole
Pachycephala rufiventris Rufous Whistler
Pardalotus striatus Striated Pardalote
Pardalotus punctatus Spotted Pardalote
Philemon citreogularis Little Friarbird
Platycercus elegans Crimson Rosella
Platycercus eximius Eastern Rosella
Podargus strigoides Tawny Frogmouth
Psophodes olivaceus Eastern Whipbird
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Satin Bowerbird
Scythrops novaehollandiae Channel-billed Cuckoo
Sericornis frontalis White-browed Scrubwren
Sericornis citreogularis Yellow-throated Scrubwren
Strepera graculina Pied Currawong
Trichoglossus haematodus Rainbow Lorikeet
Zoothera lunulata Bassian Thrush

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Photo competition....

Delighted to have just learned that I've won first prize in the inaugural Macquarie University Arboretum photo competition! And also delighted that the prize is $500 cash. Whoop!

Here is the image: an Angophora I walk past every day from the railway station.

Personally, the judges' choice rather surprises me, because I think that there are others among the finalists far better than this, but I am absolutely not complaining.

As you can see from all the images, the flora on the Macquarie campus is just beautiful. So much open space, wonderful landscaping, and a huge variety. Congratulations to all the other photosnappers, and thanks to the judges!