27 July, 2008

Petersen Creek Walk, Yungaburra

In clear winter sunshine we went for an afternoon walk along Petersen Creek in Yungaburra. The path here is maintained by a group of volunteers from the village.

Rainbow Bee-eaters flock to our area in large numbers during the winter. As they fly out from their perches in pursuit of bees and wasps their wings flash bronze or orange depending on the light.

One distant view of a Platypus was all we got but at that time of day more than we expected.

This is a great spot for Platypus which are often seen in the early morning or late afternoon.

Did you know that Platypus have electro-sensors in their bills to detect the nerves firing the muscles of their prey. this enables them to hunt in total darkness.

Despite it being the middle of winter there is plenty of new growth in trees and shrubs along the creek. The Grey Bollywoods, Noelitsia dealbata, produce pendant flushes of white new leaves which age to pink and then bronze before standing out into their normal position and turning darker greens as they age.

Laughing Kookaburras do sit in gum trees but don't eat gum nuts as one of my guests recently sang to me in their version of the children's song. They eat snakes, lizards and large insects. These birds are resident in Yungaburra but in winter are sometimes joined by the more colourful Blue-winged Kookaburras. As well as the more extensive and brighter blue, they have blue rumps. The males also have blue tails while those of the females are orange and black.

Not so many butterflies are flying at the moment but there are some hanging around waiting for warmer weather. These larvae are of the Orchard Swallowtail and Ulysses Butterflies.


peeramon said...

Beautiful photos! What trees/shrubs are the "larvae...of the Orchard Swallowtail and Ulysses Butterflies" feeding on?

cheers, Maria Pesavento

Alan Gillanders said...

The Ulysses is feeding on Euodia, Mellicope elleryana, and the Orchard Swallowtail on Clausena brevistyla