Goodale Sanctuary

August: KRM Branch

The August 24-25 field excursion was to Goodale Sanctuary, where we were kindly hosted by Bob and Lynette Goodale. On the Saturday morning five members plus two guests turned up in fine weather, perfect for exploring this marvellous property to see what plants were in flower and what fauna was present.

Bird sightings started immediately we finished our greetings, with the resident male Scarlet Robin checking us out from his perch on top of a sundial. Red-tailed Black Cockatoos were also present and could be heard calling as they fed on honky nuts.

We made our way down to the larger of the three lakes on the property, stopping on the way to see a colony of Small-flowered Donkey Orchids (Diuris porrifolia) that Bob has protected with a wire cage to prevent grazing by the numerous kangaroos that are present. We also found Slender Snail Orchids, Jug Orchids and Banded Greenhoods along the track to the lake. The lake itself held good water levels. Very few birds were observed on the lake: a few Pacific Black Ducks were on the water and some White Ibis flew over. However, we were treated to a phenomenal chorus of frog calls. I recorded the chorus using the FrogID app on my phone and submitted the calls for identification. A reply came in a few days later to confirm our initial thoughts that the calls were from the Slender Tree Frog (Litoria adelaidensis).

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Members enjoying the walk on the Saturday, C Prickett

From the lake we took the track towards the northern boundary. A pair of Golden Whistlers was seen hunting insects in the trees alongside the track and Western Gerygones were spotted up in the canopy. Blue Squills (Chamaescilla corymbosa) and Common Buttercup (Hibbertia hypericoides) were flowering along the track—and elsewhere throughout the property. At the boundary fence we spotted both White and Straw-necked Ibis plus Grey Teal out in the paddock, together with Magpies. Inland Thornbills and Yellow-rumped Thornbills were foraging along the fence line and a Striated Pardalote was up in a dead tree while a Red Wattlebird was spotted in a Banksia ilicifolia. Along the limestone roadway back towards the house the Painted Lady (Gompholobium scabrum), presented a colourful display with numerous plants in flower.

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Painted Lady (Gompholobium scabrum)

After a break for lunch we headed back out towards the lakes but this time taking the track in the opposite direction towards the south. We found some nice flowering plants along the track, including Basket Flower (Adenanthos obovatus), Pepper and Salt (Philotheca spicata), Aniseed Boronia (Boronia crenulata) and the Swamp Pea (Euchilopsis linearis). The Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana) and Common Hovea (Hovea trisperma) were also flowering.

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Basket Flower (Adenanthos obovatus) C Prickett

Deviating off the main track to a smaller track towards the western boundary we found a Silky Blue Orchid (Cyanicula sericea) and Little Pink Fairy (Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans) together with more of the Small-flowered Donkey Orchids. We did not spot many fungi, though those that were seen included Scarlet Bracket Fungus (Pycnoporus coccineus), Hairy Panus (Panus fasciatus), Tough Cinnamon Fungus (Coltricia cinnamomea) and Southern Oyster Fungus (Pleurotus australis) along with some nice lichens. Bob then directed us north along the boundary fence to a spot roughly on the opposite side of the lake to where we had started earlier in the day. Along the way we spotted White Chats and Yellow-rumped Thornbills foraging on the ground in the paddock. We came to a spot where he showed us some Midge Orchids (Cyrtostylis hueggelii) growing in the shade of a Grass Tree. We also found some Cowslip Orchids (Caladenia flava) in flower in this area. Then we headed back to the house, where we summed up what a great day it had been before heading home.

On the Sunday morning I drove back in and passed Bob along with Chris Punter and Heather Adamson walking along the access road. After parking my car, I joined them as they explored along the road. They pointed out a magnificent grouping of Jug Orchids (Pterostylis recurva), nicely backlit by the morning sun. Then we headed through the old campground, spotting many of the plants noted above, before making our way back to the house for morning tea. During this break, a Wedge-tailed Eagle was spotted soaring high above the property. A Swamp Harrier was also spotted soaring past and it was briefly joined by a Brown Goshawk.

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After morning tea, Bob took us down to an area surrounding the second lake that is rarely visited—even by Bob and Lynette. As we made our way in, a group of six Red-tailed Black Cockatoos flew in, landing on a dead tree to check us out. They very kindly posed for group photographs.

Leaving the cockatoos, we continued our walk and soon we found some Short-sepalled Snail Orchids (Pterostylis sp. Short Sepals) plus some Hort’s Duck Orchids (Paracaleana hortiorum)—the latter being a nice find so early in the season.

Around the lake we found ourselves amongst some magnificent Swamp Paperbarks (Melaleuca raphiophylla), with a few being much larger specimens than I have ever seen before. A similar frog chorus to that heard the day before at the main lake, filled the air. Occasionally we spotted Slender Tree Frogs amongst the reeds. Bob noticed something at the edge of the lake and a quick look through the binoculars confirmed it to be a Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina colliei)—an excellent sighting. We soon noticed another two, close by, before they submerged. Above the chorus of frogs, we heard a Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Shining Bronze Cuckoos calling.

We rejoined the main track and followed much the same path as the day before. On the flowering Prickly Moses (Acacia pulchella) we found the Green Scarab Beetle (Diphucephala sp.). Among other invertebrates, we noticed numerous tiny Orb Weaver spiders (Plebs sp.?). It was difficult to avoid walking into their webs and Heather Adamson pointed out some other tiny Orb Weavers that had their web strung horizontally in amongst Grass Tree fronds. These were later identified to be Leucauge sp. (from the Tetragnathidae or Long Jawed Spiders) from the prominent row of hairs along the back legs. A Wolf Spider was also spotted. We also saw some nice Sundews during our walk. Along the fire break near the front fence of the property we found more Hort’s Ducks Orchids and also a Pearl Flower (Conostephium pendulum).

As we made our way back to the house. It had been a great weekend. We had seen a total of thirty species of birds and ticked off many of the species on the extensive plant list for Goodale Sanctuary. Thanks again to Bob and Lynette for hosting the weekend. It was much appreciated.

Colin Prickett

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