Monday, 28 December 2009


My sister lives near some excellent places for bushwalking, and when I stay with her we go out walking most days, sometimes surveying for birds. Here are some photos of the things we encountered.

The biggest fly I have ever seen! A female Robberfly (Asilidae) laying her eggs under the bark of a gum tree.

This place, a nature reserve which is used for a number of strands of scientific research, was completely burnt out 6 years ago. Only a tiny handful of the resident wildlife survived. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see that there is a sort of grey haze over the trees on the hills. These dead branches are the still visible aftermath of the fire.

A Tau Emerald dragonfly Hemicordulia tau, female, resting in a Wattle Acacia sp.

My sister, surveying for birds. Like many birdwatchers, my family contributes to the national Atlas scheme to record the distributions and status of bird species.

A flowering gum tree Eucalyptus sp, full of European Honey Bees Apis mellifera.

Smooth Drooping Mistletoe Amyema miquelii, growing in a gum tree Eucalyptus sp. Most Australian mistletoes have evolved to have leaves that look very much like their hosts. They are spread by a tiny bird called the Mistletoe Bird, and the flowers provide nectar for honeyeaters. Some species of butterfly caterpillars eat only a single species of mistletoe.

A pair of Eastern Grey Kangaroos Macropus giganteus. They are so numerous here that contraceptives are being used to lower the birth rate and control widespread overgrazing and starvation.

Ivy-leaved Violet Viola hederacea.

A pair of Emus Dromaius novaehollandiae.

A female Common Brown butterfly Heteronympha merope merope, totally camouflaged in the leaf litter.



chm said...

Hi Susan and Simon.

Two ifs. If I were younger and if I were richer I'd love to go visit Australia and see with my own eyes all this beautiful wildlife.

Beautiful photos, as usual.

Leon Sims said...

Simon and Susan,
Nice pics - would have been good to meet you while you are here in Oz, but promise to say hello in March.

I see your comments on a few blogs and enjoy your comments.
As much as we love travelling France, Oz is home and it's appreciated more with travel. Many of us here don't get to see more of this great continent.
As for visiting Oz, you don't get younger and you can't take it with you. Maybe one day you will visit.
Keep in touch thru

chm said...

Thank you so much for your kind remarks on the comments I leave on the several blogs I read every day.

I have restricted myself to the four oldest blogs I have been reading for some time now. Since I have only dial-up, here in the boonies of Southern California, it takes forever to surf the net. Progress has not reached us yet!

Because of that dial-up thing, I spend too much time at my computer and do not give my old bones enough exercise. I'll try to remedy that. My tourist days are over if not my traveling from the US to France and back.

I just checked your blog, Melbourne Our Home. It is, indeed, very interesting and illustrated with beautiful photos, whether your own or otherwise. LOL - MDR

Congratulations and thank you.

wcs said...

All your photos say one thing to me: summer! :)

RKB said...

These pictures are beautiful!

I'd like permission to use your photograph of honeybees in eucalyptus blossom for an article on our blog. There would be a link back to your blog.

Please let me know. Thanks!

Susan said...

RKB: yes you may use the photo. As an Australian interested in ecology, I found your website a fascinating read. Although I would quibble with some of the detail, I am inclined to support your bid to save Sutro Forest in its current form. Well done for handling a controversial subject in such a civilised and positive manner.

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