Yalgorup National Park|April 2019

DRB Nats excursion

We had a ball. Thirty-seven DRB members and visitors took over the Myalup Pines Cottages for an unofficial long weekend beginning on Anzac Day. The accommodation was excellent and the resulting camaraderie was wonderful.

We began the weekend with a nature inspired art exhibition courtesy of Andrew Kay, Yvonne Kay, Diana Papenfus and Bill Fitzgerald. A special thanks to Andrew for a fascinating talk on the making of bronze sculptures.

Each day began with an early morning bird walk led by Ross McDougall through the mixed tuart, peppermint, marri, and jarrah woodland around the camp. These were followed by excursions into the park proper led by Diana Papenfus, who had really done her homework well.

We visited multiple sites of interest over many tens of kilometres. This included the thrombolites at Lake Clifton where many Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) and Banded Stilts (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) were also seen. We also visited the southern end of Lake Preston and saw eight White-fronted Chats, (Epthianura albifrons). At Preston Point Reserve various cormorants, terns, grebes, and a dolphin were observed and when visiting the Leschenault Inlet a Sacred Kingfisher, (Todiramphus sanctus), a Greenshank, (Tringa nebularia) and Yellow-billed Spoonbills (Platalea flavipes) were present.

Each night back at the camp we had spotlighting expeditions – a new experience for the several children who were present. We found countless spiders, a Boobook Owl (Ninox boobook), and three species of frog including a Moaning frog (Heleioporus eyrie). A large golden orb weaver (Nephila sp.) was seen efficiently capturing a moth which was attracted to the web by our bright lights, and the spider was seen to extricate it from the web and take it high up into the tree above, presumably for later consumption.

Great excitement was generated when a Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa) was spotted right outside the community hall – unfortunately, at that time, only one person, John Abbott, saw it. However, in the small hours of the following night Leanne and Ella Norbury heard scratchings and got up to investigate, resulting in a brief video recording of the phascogale climbing the wall of their cottage.

As might be expected for the time of year not many flowers were seen, though a large number of species were identified. Of particular note was a fine specimen of a white bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus) in full bloom. Numerous fungi were also seen and photographed but regrettably, in the absence of Kevn Griffiths, no one was able to identify any of them precisely.

Each evening in the community hall many photographs taken during the day were presented, and the compilation of our lists prompted lively discussion that went on late into the evening. We noted 63 bird species, and even more plants, thanks to Annie Keating’s attentive eye.

Many thanks are due to Rachel Green for the weeks of work she put in to organising the event and also to Diana Papenfus for her very knowledgeable leadership.

Mike Green

See page 2 for Plant List