Wow our GSB has got off to a great start! Eight keen observers turned up to our Five on Friday - Pizza in the Park event and captured quite a few waterbirds around Regatta Lake, namely our local Australasian Swamphens, Dusky Morehens & Australian Darter, as well as a number of other larger birds such as Olive backed Orioles and Magpies staying still to pose for the cameras.
The Spotlight Night was very successful, with some very obliging Brush-tailed Possums, a Ringtail Possum, a Huntsman spider, & 23 Cane toads having their photos taken. The Tawny Frogmouth although well camouflaged was also spotted by some of the younger observers, proving that 2 pairs of eyes is better than one. Our Squirrel Gliders delighted audiences with their quick tree-climbing skills & their calculated gliding skills. Our Waterbug Blitz was very successful, with lots of water boatmen, mollusc, mayflies, water striders & a freshwater crayfish. It wasn’t as popular as our other events but surveying water health for macroinvertebrates does tell scientists how healthy our creek is. The higher rated waterbugs which are more sensitive to pollutants compared to the majority of bugs found which can tolerate water that contains some pollutants. Using the Waterbug Blitz app to compile the score produces a signat score for the creek which can be used to research what can be undertaken to improve the water quality. One of the participants put their body on the line for science allowing a large horsefly to be photographed for science.
The Frogging Adventure on Saturday night attracted 16 participants who located 4 species of frogs which were & photographed added to our data, with 2 other frog calls recorded & submitted. The intrepid forgers along with our expert herper & team leader Brett Malcom photographed several frogs from the Tyler’s Tree frog along with the larger Green Tree Frog. The tiniest Eastern Sedge Frog and the well camouflaged Striped March Frog were easily located once they began to call.
(Photo credit : PGelding taking a picture of Tyler’s Tree frog)
Moth night got some great contributions on the 29th October had over 19 species added but it seems moths can show up at strange times with one large Granny Cloakmoth (below) coming on Halloween & landing on a large inflatable bat decorate.
The Birdwalk around Swanbank Lagoon was very popular with 12 participants who saw 8 Black Kites soaring above us with a few flying across our group in full view & one perched on a nearby branch. As always with birds some were obliging & stood still for a photo, whilst others were camera shy. Thanks to two Great Egrets who decided to join us at morning tea & flew into a large gum tree. Yes, we really did see 85 Ibis, they sit on the lagoon bridge railings because it's right next to the Ipswich Rubbish Dump. The scavenger birds are also known as Bin Chickens in Australia, for obvious reasons, they hang around bins in parks - grabbing out food waste. A total of 28 different species were observed and heard and overall 147 birds were counted but not all were photographed due to the distance of the species & limited zoom lenses.
Thanks everyone for your contributions. So far, 15 observers have submitted 355 images with 226 species (link here) which means we have well & truly beaten last year's record of 255 observations & 166 species. From the Team at Springfield Lakes Nature Care Inc.