May 31, 2010

National Tree Day in August

Friends of Peacehaven are having a community field day at Peacehaven Botanic Park in Highfields on Sunday 1 August.
This will be National Tree Day and Toowoomba Landcare will be marking their 10th anniversary on the day.
A joint display with Friends of Franke Scrub is proposed. We have much in common as many of the plantings at Peacehaven are of species surviving in our remnant scrub on the edge of Highfields.
We are looking for ideas and assistance for this display.

May 28, 2010

Under supervision

Graham and Judy noticed some movement in the canopy while working, and we then found that our owl was keeping a close eye on activities just above us. We enjoyed our morning in late May, sheltered from cold winds.
The diversity of plants in the scrub is quite challenging when one is more accustomed to other vegetation types where a few species predominate. Perhaps it is a reason why this type is endangered? We just can't get our heads around it?

May 24, 2010

May meeting

A late reminder that the May working bee is on this week Wednesday 26th May. It looks like being a pleasant morning out there, so let's hope you can join us sometime between 9 and 11 am for a spot of weeding or a chat, wander and smoko. Bring your own tools, smoko, chair, camera etc.

May 19, 2010

A grant for our patch

Rachel Pignat of Toowoomba Landcare tells us she has been successful in applying for a "Caring for our Country" grant for Franke Scrub to help pay for an interpretive sign.

Flutterings at Franke Scrub

The dam adjacent to Franke Scrub

My latest visit to the scrub was on a beautiful autumn morning. It was still quite cool in the scrub but the edges were alive with fluttering. Along the road verge it was all Caper White Belenois java, Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Wanderer Danaus Plexippus, and Large Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe butterflies. As I walked down the fenceline towards the water course my eye was caught by fluttering at the edge of the neighbour’s dam. Although in heavy shade there was much bird activity so perhaps the water was warming up enough to stir the insects. A number of small birds were flying down to the water then back to the wires on the fence or the scrub. They included, Willie Wagtail, Grey Fantail, Double-barred Finch, Superb Fairy-wren, White-throated Scrubwren and Yellow-rumped Thornbill.

The constant to-and-fro made me pause and I sat on the grass to watch for about fifteen minutes. They were mainly after insects and I watched a beautifully coloured male Superb Fairy-wren bash the living daylights out of a large moth it had caught. The finches were more involved in drinking and bathing, but what interested me the most was one White-throated Scrubwren that looked as if it was actually after insects in the water. It was dipping its face into the water and making small movements. When it raised its head it didn’t seem to drink, but neither did I see it catch anything. I’ve never seen or heard of this with Scrubwrens before.