Park News – November, 2017

Recent High Rainfall Events

  • We’ve recently had some large rainfall events after what has been (generally) a prolonged dry spell.
  • Ruth’s photo of the bend just to the east of The Billabong clearly shows that the highest level flowed over the northern bank – we’re hopeful the Melaleucas there will spread further and provide a strong bulwark against similar events in future.
  • The park has had a good soaking (130mm) over last weekend – as well as local flooding with most of the creek’s flows coming from the stormwater system.
  • For those concerned about the dirty water in the creek on 28th November – the source was a burst water main in Husband Road near Aqualink.  Incredible just how extensive our catchment is via the stormwater system!

Laurel Grove North Street and Drainage Works

  • Speaking of stormwater, we are happy with the way plans are progressing towards dealing with drainage from Laurel Grove North and nearby streets.  Council is taking over responsibility for private roads and drains in that area from the private domain.

  • It is likely the park will benefit in several ways.  Detailed plans are expected to be drawn up by mid-February in time to tap into funding options.

Cricket Season

  • Ruth’s photo shows a pair of Straw-necked Ibis on Kalang Oval.  The reason for their name is very obvious on the bird to the left!

  • We’re not sure what game was in progress – but we do know these birds like to eat cricket rather than play it!  On land, they thrive on grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts, and are often called the Farmer’s Friend because they feed on pests that would otherwise eat farm crops.

Tawny Frogmouth Chicks

  • The Tawny Frogmouth is arguably our signature bird species in the park.  We’re very pleased to bring you some shots including the next generation after breeding and nest building seemed to get off to a slow start this year.

  • Friend Ken’s wonderful shot above shows their feathered camouflage in striking detail.  It’s not easy to take such a beautiful photo – as Ken says:  “Rather serendipitous to get 3 together! Mind you I did take 50 pics … for this one brilliant one”.
  • In Ruth’s shot of another family, mum or dad is clearly keeping an eye on us and facing right, but the young chick is giving us its full attention even though Ruth knows not to disturb birds unduly.  Of course, they can catch a moth in flight… in the dark!

  • Not to be outdone, other species have had breeding success too:  Below we have Ruth’s shot of Pacific Black ducklings under mum’s watchful eye in Black’s Walk (where else?) – people have counted 15 in one clutch!

  • Geoffrey’s shot reveals a Mudlark showing a little trepidation above the flood waters.  As Geoffrey says “The nest near the bridge at Laurel Grove looked rather exposed during the recent rain, but that didn’t deter mum from doing her duty“.

In the Corridor

  • There has been plenty of avian activity in the corridor too.   Ruth’s evening shot below shows White-faced Herons in golden light – nesting in Acacia Street.
  • Our roving paparazza also took this charming shot of two Little Corellas having a chat at the entrance to a tree well in Fuscia Street.

  • For those living in the corridor around our park, one useful thing for our birdlife is to maintain a birdbath – especially in hot weather.  For best results, the water needs to be kept clean and topped up in extreme heat.  You can find detailed instructions on siting, cleaning etc here.

Current Noticeboard Display

  • Our current Noticeboard display features our local butterflies.  You may have noticed the currently booming population – for example, around the grassy areas in Furness Park.

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month is Twiggy Daisy-bush (Olearia ramulosa). 

Olearia ramulosa var ramulosa

  • Twiggy Daisy-bush looks very pretty in November/December with its tiny white daisy-like flowers.
  • It grows to an attractive medium-sized, spindly shrub with small leaves.  The gloves are there for scale (not protection!) – to give you an idea of the size of the flowers.

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the Month is Umbrella Sedge or Drain Flat Sedge (Cyperus eragrostis).

Umbrella sedge

  • Drain Flat Sedge is a species of sedge native to the West Coast of North America as well as to parts of South America.  It is found in riparian areas (river or creek banks), roadside ditches, drains, damp grasslands and other moist habitats.
  • Our picture shows a cluster of weeds at the southern end of the Waratah Wetlands – the weed of the month is the weed looking like an umbrella without its cover.  The seed heads turn a brown colour when ripe and its roots often have a reddish colour.

Word of the Month

  • We have become aware that there is an interesting Japanese word: “shinrinyoku” (森林浴).   There is no English equivalent – it means “forest bath” and describes walking through a forest (or bushland park!) and soaking in all the green light, sounds and smells.
  • Most of us would be aware of the restorative and other beneficial psychological and physical effects of visiting the Creeklands.  We predict that our needs for such revitalisation and calming will steadily increase as our modern society “progresses” with escalating local population densities, incessant electronic “aids” and so forth…
  • さようなら (sayōnara!)
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  1. Pingback: Park News – December, 2017 | The Blackburn Creeklands

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