DRB September 2018 Excursion
Overall more than 100 flowers were identified in two hours, when 26 members and visitors went on a flora walk, beginning from the new subdivision ‘Conti Gardens’ in Walliston, which is west of the Alan Anderson car park (currently closed for renovation.) It was a great day for seeing flowers and there were so many in such a small area. We split into two main groups seeking flora, and a small group intent on finding birds and orchids.
Although the land close to the park entrance has been cleared for development, the flowers were abundant, including a swath of Red & Green Kangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos manglesii). Lynda Tomlinson had prepared a list of 52 flower species from an earlier reconnaissance of the area, which greatly assisted everyone to work out what they were seeing. Lesley Brooker was in attendance and her Darling Range Flora and Fauna Database was on people’s phones to also help with identification.
One of the highlights was finding thirteen different flowering orchids. These included the Bronze Leek Orchids (Prasophyllum giganteum), Flying Duck Orchids (Paracaleana nigrita)(below right, M Clayton), Hammer Orchids (Drakea glyptodon) Hare Orchids (Leporella fimbriata), Jug Orchids (Pterostylis recurva), Purple Enamel Orchids (Elythranthera brunonis)(below left, M Clayton), and Red Beak Orchids (Pyrorchis nigricans). More orchids were ready to flower.
There were many splashes of orange, red and pink from the Coral Vines (Kennedia coccinea), Swan River Myrtles (Hypocalymma robustum), and Hairy Jugflowers (Adenanthos barbiger). White, yellow and blue flowers such as the Old Man’s Beard (Clematis pubescens), Prickly Moses (Acacia pulchella), Common Dampiera (Dampiera linearis) and Blue Leschenaultia (Lechenaultia biloba) completed the colourful bushland trails. Flowers at their early stages of growth were Red Ink Sundews (Dorseras erythrorhiza), Triggerplants (Stylidiums androsaceum), and False Boronia (Phyllanthus calycinus).
Other trees and established bushes encountered throughout the walk were a mixture of Parrot Bush (Banksia sessilis), Couch Honeypot (Banksia dallanneyi), Water Bush (Bossiaea aquifolium), Snottygobble (Persoonia elliptica), and Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea sp.), the latter with and without new spikes.
Fifteen birds common to the Darling Range were heard or seen. The area has an abundance of Marri trees (Corymbia calophylla) so it attracts the Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius) whose elongated upper mandible is adapted for dislodging the large seeds whilst the nut is being held in the bird’s feet. On this occasion, none of the Black Cockatoos which live in the area were seen. The Mistletoe Bird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) was seen, as was a Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus), Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus), Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) and the Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis).
Regrettably there were introduced species, including the Sydney Wattle (Acacia longiflora) and Tagasaste (Chamaecystisus palmensis). Joy McGilvray explained how to remove these weeds and avoid spreading their seeds. On the disturbed area close to the bush trails Freesia alba and Lupinus albus highlighted how quickly they can establish, as the suburb is less than 18 months old.
Overall it was a fantastic morning and worth following up again next year.