Field Trip 5th October 2014 Spectacles Nature Reserve

The October KRMB excursion was to the Spectacles Nature Reserve. Despite the weather forecast being unfavourable, a total of 10 members turned out for our walk through the Spectacles Nature Reserve. As we set off the sky was overcast and it soon turned to rain with a few heavy showers. The Spectacles Nature Reserve, just north of Kwinana, is 360ha of natural bushland that has been incorporated into the Beeliar Regional Park. It takes its name from two wetlands joined by a waterway that give it the appearance of a pair of spectacles. It is an important heritage site for the local Nyoongar People who play a role in its ongoing management as well as leading informative walks through the reserve.

On setting out down the access track our first impression was that there were many weeds present including Arum Lilies. Our walk firstly took us down to the lake where there is a boardwalk over the water and through the swamp paperbarks to a bird hide overlooking an area of open water. The boardwalk and hide were in good condition. A few wetland birds were spotted including a Nankeen Night Heron, Eurasian Coots, Grey Teal and White Ibis. Common Mignonette Orchids were seen in good numbers near the lake.

Frogs heard calling were the Slender Tree Frog (Litoria adelaidensis) and Sandplain Froglet (Crinia insignifera). The water level was good and the swamp paperbarks were doing well, but a large patch of typha was visible from the hide.

Coastal White Spider Orchid (1 of 1)

We then set out on the 3 kilometre Banksia Walk. None of the Banksias were in flower but many other plants were flowering, including Conostylis sp., Swan River Myrtle (Hypocalymma robustum), Jacksonia sternbergiana, Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata), a small Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus drummondii), Pimelia rosea Fringed lily and both male and female plants of Macrozamia reidlei. Other orchids in flower were the White Spider Orchid (Caladenia longicauda subsp. longicauda), Coastal White Spider Orchid, (Caladenia longicauda subsp. calcigena) (left), Carousel Spider Orchid (Caladenia arenicola, though the specimens found were past their best condition) and Dancing Spider Orchid (Caladenia discoidea). Other flora included Purple Tassles (Sowerbaea laxiflora), Hibbertia hypericoides, Macarthuria australis,

Bee-fly

False Boronia (Phyllanthus calycinus), Hardenbergia comptoniana, one of the gompholobium species (a yellow pea), an Isopogon and a Scaevola. Of the invertebrates two species of crickets, a Bee-fly (right), a Dragonfly and several small butterflies were spotted.

There were a low number of bird sightings with Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Raven, a flock of 12 Shelducks in flight, Galah, Common Bronzewing and a Whistling Kite in addition to the wetland birds already listed. Despite the weather it was a very pleasant walk through the reserve and we had found many plants in flower and apparently surviving well despite the incursion of some weed species.

Colin Prickett