June Excursion DRB Report
Forty-three people joined the Carmel walk in Korung National Park in spite of the cold, wet winter weather on June 30th. It was a great event for seeing plants, flowers and fungi in such a small area, encircled by a track of around 2.5 km. We split into two main flora groups, a large fungus group, and a small bird group. Forty-six wildflowers, trees and bushes were identified, along with eleven species of birds and many fungi in the Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes families.
Included in the selection of fungi was a clump of Mycena clarkeana which Kevn Griffiths describes as “pixie-like parasols” and Scotsman’s Beard (Calocera guepiniodes). In addition, we found Amanita xanthocephela—one of the smallest Amanitas and a colourful one—plus a Chimney Pot skin fungus (Henningsomyces candidus) with its minute, upright, hollow white rods.
Identification of the flora was well assisted by Lynda Tomlinson’s list of fifty-five flower species in the area, plus the Darlington and Surrounds: Local Flora and Bushlands book by Cliff and Sharron Burns, and the Darling Range NatureBase app by Lesley Brooker
The walkers encountered large numbers of Xanthorrhoea, including both the Graceful Grasstree (Xanthorrhoea gracilis) and Balga (Xanthorrhoea preissii). Previous fires had encouraged the Zamia (Macrozamia riedlei) to ooze clumps of jelly-like material which Kevn Griffiths explained were not a giant fungus attack!
The area had been recently burnt and we found the green shoots and leaves of several orchids, e.g. Red Beak (Pyrorchis nigricans) (left, Gemma Clare), Autumn Leek (Prasophyllum parvifolium) and Dark-banded Greenhood (Pterostylis sanguinea). These were plentiful in patches along the walk and given the burn, it is expected that the Red Beak Orchids, which usually only flower after a fire, will be plentiful in spring.
Red-ink Sundews (Drosera erythrorhiza), Leafy Sundew (Drosera stolonifera), Drooping Leucopogon (Leucopogon nutans) and Triggerplants (Stylidium ciliatum) were seen without flowers. Splashes of blue colour were provided by the Common Dampiera (Dampiera linearis), Blue Leschenaultia (Lechenaultia biloba) and Broad-leaved Fanflower (Scaevola platyphylla).
One of our enthusiastic Young Nats, Gemma Clare, also managed to capture photographs of the Holly-leaf Hovea (Hovea chorizemifolia) (right) and Hairy Jug Flower (Adenanthos barbiger), in flower.
Trees and bush encounters were as expected, e.g. Western Sheoak (Allocasurina fraseriana), Prickly Moses (Acacia pulchella), Brown Pea (Bossiaea ornata), Couch Honey Pot (Banksia dallanneyi), Water Bush (Bossiaea aquifolium), and Snottygobble (Persoonia elliptica). Bull Banksia (Banksia grandis) seed pods were abundant.
Of the eleven bird species, the male Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) was a standout. The area has an abundance of Marri trees (Corymbia calophylla) and attracts parrots but on this occasion, only the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) was seen, and not the Forest Red-tailed (Calyptorhynchus banksii), which are known to live in the area.
Regrettably, near habitation on the middle of the walk, there were introduced species including the Sydney Wattle (Acacia longiflora) and Tagasaste (Chamaecystisus palmensis).
Overall it was a fantastic morning and worth following up in Spring. Maps of the full walk are available here: Carmel Walking Trail