Saturday, December 29, 2012

White-throated Gerygone Nesting 29/12/12

This morning we discovered a nest of a White-throated Gerygone at Jarowair.  The nest is in a medium sized gum tree located between our house and our shed.  We remember seeing a similar nest in the same tree around 6+ years ago.  Brendon captured these photos of the nest this morning.  J.G.

Nest of White-throated Gerygone 29/12/12

White-throated Gerygone in close vicinity to the nest.

White-throated Gerygone in it's nest.  Note the nest has bottle-brush flowers in it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Spotted Python making good use of the boat 23/12/12

While cleaning out the shed today, Brendon moved some things out of his boat, to find a Spotted Python residing in it.  The boat sadly has had little use of late and has been used to store some bags of bird seed, hence the mice have found found the seed, and the python has found them!  After having a look at the snake and showing it to the kids, Brendon let it go back in the shed, hopefully it will continue to keep the mice at bay.  J.G.

Spotted Pyton 23/12/12

Friday, December 14, 2012

Robust Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops ligatus) 14/12/12

While walking to the house from the shed at night, we came across this blind snake on the gravel driveway at our patch.  I am yet to identify which type of blind snake this one is.  I grabbed the camera to take a few photos and placed a 20c coin near the snake for size comparison at the time. 

Blind Snakes feed on termites and the larvae and pupae of ants, and are non-venomous and cannot bite, so therefore are harmless.  J.G.

UPDATE:  28/12/12  Thanks to Rod Hobson for clarifying the identification of this blind snake as Ramphotyphlops ligatus (aka Robust Blind Snake).  It is much appreciated.

Ramphotyphlops ligatus (aka Robust Blind Snake)

Robust Blind Snake. 14/12/12

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Patroling Peril - Lace Monitor Under Attack

Persistant Noisy Miners causing much Peril to this Lace Monitor last week at Jarowar.  J.G.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Return of the Dollarbirds 21/11/12

The Dollarbirds have returned to Jarowair this summer and have been present most days over the last few weeks.  J.G.

Dollarbird at Jarowair 21/11/12. J.G.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Noisy Miner V's Common Myna

By Judith Gray

This week I have had a baby Noisy Miner come into care after it was found on the ground near Queens Park in Toowoomba.  The juvenile bird is very cute and I shared a photo of this bird with my friends on my personal facebook page.  One of my friends enquired as to why I would be looking after a bird that kills other baby birds and is a pest... so this article is for you Leesa and other non-birders who are confused by these two Very different Miner and Myna Bird Species in Australia.  J.G.


Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)
AKA:  Soldierbird, Mickey

Australian Native Bird - Honeyeater Family

Identification:  Length: 25cm, Grey with white forehead and black face, slightly curved yellow beak, narrow yellow patch around eye. Yellow Legs.

Feeds On:  Nectar, Fruits & Insects

Breeding:  The Female makes a nest in trees, often the nests may only be a few meters from the ground.  The female incubates the eggs alone, but both sexes will care for and feed the young birds.

Notes:  The Noisy Miner - while being very noisy, this is a curious bird and is often responsible for allerting our attention to a nearby wildlife intruder, e.g. Lace Monitor (Goanna) or a Visiting Water Bird!

Australian Native Noisy Miner

 Noisy Miner Nest image at Jarowair

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
AKA:  Indian Myna or Mynah

Introduced Bird - Native bird of ASIA.

Identification:  Length: 25cm, Dark Brown bird with short tail, yellow beak and yellow patch around the eye and legs. Located wide-spread but mainly down East Coast of Australia.

Feeds On:  *Common Myna's are scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, pets' food and even fledgling sparrows.

Breeding:  *Nests are made in tree hollows, which would normally be used by native birds. Nests are quite messy and consist of a variety of materials,  Leaves, grasses, feathers and assorted items of rubbish are common materials.  When nesting hollows are rare, the Mynas will resort to walls and ceilings of buildings, making these birds a nuisance to humans.

Introduction to Australia:  *The Common Myna was introduced into the cane fields of north-eastern Queensland in 1883, to combat insect pests, particularly plague locusts and cane beetles. Other releases occurred, and by the 1940s and 1950s it was established in many eastern metropolitan areas.
In southern Asia Common Mynas are not generally considered pests, as flocks follow the plough to feast on the insects and grubs turned up with the soil. In Australia, however, their fruit-eating habits make them a pest of fruit trees, especially figs. Birds are also responsible for picking off seedlings in market gardens. 

Common Myna perched above Nesting Hollow (South-East Queensland)

Click HERE to view a fantastic news article about the Common Myna - Australia's Number One Feral Enemy "Myna Fightback" by Abbie Thomas

{Information Sources: *; Birds of Australia by Jim Flegg, Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Queensland Museum Wild Guide.  Photo's:  Judith Gray  Links: "Myna Fightback" by Abbie Thomas @ }

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Three-clawed Worm-Skink 10/11/12

Three-Clawed Worm Skink AKA Verreaux's Skink (Anomalopus verreauxii) found today after the moving of large timber fence posts lying down in the grass.  It was very fast moving and hard to get good pictures of it.  Brendon picked it up so we could get a good look at the markings on its head and its little legs for identification purposes, once it was back on the ground it was burrowing away in the soft dirt very quickly.  They feed on soil-dwelling invertebrates. 

 Another newbie for our List!!

Head is hidden amongst bark/soil that was under the logs.

Three-clawed Worm Skink

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gerygone's,Triller's, Wrens & Kingfishers 07/11/12

Birds at the Waterhole at Jarowair...
It seems that more birds are frequenting the little waterhole/dam at Jarowair of recent as it is a constant source of water.  Long grasses and small trees nearby make it a non-threatening place to visit, despite an amateur photographer hidden amongst the grass on the waters edge!  Damselflies and Dragonflies frequent the waters edge and the grasses, including the Eastern Billabongfly (Eastern Dart) and the Wandering Percher.

Birds seen at Jarowair 07/11/12

White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Striated Pardalote
White-throated Gerygone
White-winged Triller
Red-backed Fairywren
Sacred Kingfisher
Willie Wagtail
Laughing Kookaburra
Noisy Miner
Australian Magpie

White-throated Gerygone 07/11/12

White-throated Gerygone

Sacred Kingfisher
White-winged Triller (Female? or non-breeding male?)

White-winged Triller (Male Breeding)
Male Red-backed Fairy Wren being non-cooperative for the camera!  Rarely do the males come out of hiding - except for when there isn't a camera in sight!

Wandering Percher Dragonfly
Eastern Billabongfly (Eastern Dart) Damselfly

last but not least... my favorite wildflower... Paroo Lily still in abundant flowers at Jarowair :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

White-necked Heron visits after the rain 03/11/12

In the last week Spring has certainly proved that is is "any kind of weather" time.  We have had very hot dry temperatures during some days over 30 degrees and then chilly cold mornings and evenings, just to confuse us all.  This week saw the very much needed arrival of rain... 35ml at Jarowair, filling the rainwater tanks, pockets of water in the dry Cooby Creek and about half filling the Dam.

Yesterday our daughter spotted this White-necked Heron visiting the "small dam/waterhole" at the top of our property.  I was able to take a few photos of it from across the eastern side of the creek bed to avoid scaring it away.  This is only the second time we have seen a White-necked heron at Jarowair, the last time was also at the same little waterhole.

This week has also seen the return of the Sacred Kingfishers... much to the Nosiy Miners disgust!


White-necked Heron at Jarowair - taken from across the creek.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Australian Buttercups at Jarowair - October 2012

The bright yellow Australian Buttercups are in bloom at Jarowair again this Spring.  The Australian Buttercup or Common Buttercup (Ranunculus lappaceus) can currently be found in only two separate areas at Jarowair.  J.G. 

Australian Buttercup Plant.
Australian Buttercups at Jarowair, Oct 2012

Yellow Rush Lily - Spring 2012

In Spring 2011, the Yellow Rush Lily (Tricoryne elatior) first showed its beautiful flowers in only one location at Jarowair.  This year I have been watching with interest as this plant's beautiful flowers open in the afternoon's over October.  I have been thrilled this spring, to discover the Yellow Rush Lily in many other different locations at Jarowair (mostly rocky areas).  J.G.

Yellow Rush Lily (Tricoryne elatior) at Jarowair, 26/10/12

Paroo Lily - My All Time Favourite Wildflower at Jarowair - Oct 2012

In 2011 while I was in hospital, Brendon sent me a photo of a new "wildflower" he had found flowering at Jarowair. It was absolutely stunning and unfortunately by the time I returned home it had finished flowering and I missed out on seeing its beautiful display. I however found one more plant in flower at our patch (see Previous Post) and was thrilled to witness its bell drop flowers in a stunning purple and yellow.

This year I had been keeping watch on the Paroo Lily (that I missed flowering last year). It was almost ready to flower when overnight something sadly lopped and ate the whole stem of flowers - much to my utter dissapointment! The lily has since grown a new stem of flowers and I have proceeded to put some mesh around the plant to protect it until it flowers so I can witness its beauty.

This week, I have been thrilled (as only a plant nerd can be) to find a new small patch of Paroo Lilys at our patch that had almost finished flowering, and then to find another large patch of thick flowering Paroo Lilys on Friday. These beautiful Lilys only seem to open their flowers in mid-afternoon and then close up again by dusk, because of this, their delicate flowers can be easy to miss. This Beautiful Lily, also known as the Blue Flax Lily or Blueberry Lily, is definately my alltime favourite plant and flower at Jarowair. It is absolutley breathtaking. J.G.

Paroo Lily mid-morning, lily buds all closed up.

Same Lily Plant, afternoon abt 4.00pm. Many Buds have opened displaying the magnificent flowers.

Paroo Lily at Jarowair Oct 2012

Paroo Lily at Jarowair Oct 2012.
(Dianella caerulea, commonly known as the Blue flax-lily, blueberry lily, or paroo lily, is a perennial herb of the family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, found across the eastern states of Australia and Tasmania. It is a herbaceous strappy perennial plant to a metre high, with dark green blade-like leaves to 70 cm long. Blue flowers in spring and summer are followed by indigo-coloured berries) Source: HERE

Bulbine Lily in Bloom Spring 2012- 26 Oct 2012

The Bulbine Lily (Bulbine Bulbosa) common names including Bulbine Lily, Wild Onion, Golden Lily, Leek Lily, Yellow Onion Weed and Native Leek. Aboriginal names for B. bulbosa include "Parm", "Puewan" and "Pike".

This attractive lily is located in two separate areas at Jarowair and has just started to flower.  See Previous posts from 2011 on what the plant looks like prior to flowering.  J.G.

Flowering Bulbine Lily at Jarowair, October 2012.
Information Source:  AGNBC

Yellow Buttons - Wildflowers 26 October 2012

"Yellow Buttons" Chrysocephalum apiculatum (sold as Helichrysum ramosissimum)

This Spring, the wildflowers are not as prominent as they were in 2011 after the January Rain.  However there are still flowers to be seen.  The Yellow Buttons are a pretty little plant, low to the ground and seem to grow well in very dry areas.  J.G.

Yellow Buttons at Jarowair Oct 2012

{Small, suckering herb. It has silvery or greyish, hairy leaves and clusters of bright yellow flower heads on stems to 15cm long. Flowers are produced in spring, summer and other times throughout the year.}  Source:  Burkes Backyard

Dainty Green Tree-Frog at Night 27/10/12

These Dainty Green Tree Frogs that inhabit our pond garden area are the masters of camouflage.  They can change their appearance easily to suit whatever plant or object they are sitting on.  This photo was taken last night of the same frog and it looked remarkably different on this large tropical leaf at night compared to how it looks usually during the day. J.G.

Dainty Green Tree Frog 27/10/12

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo emerges from a Hollow 25/10/12

Over the last few days I have seen either a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo or a Little Corella emerging from this large hollow in a gum tree just up the road from the entrance to our patch.  On this day, I  happenned to have my camera and the timing was just right to see this cockatoo poping its headout of the hollow.  J.G.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo 25/10/12

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lycid Beetle - October 2012

These Lycid Beetles have been prominent over the last few weeks at Jarowair.  They are a facinating looking beetle with their broad serrated antennae and orange/brown colourings.  This photo was taken on a Yukka plant in the house garden, but they are prolific in the vegetable garden and almost everywhere really. J.G.
Lycid Beetle - Jarowair, Oct 2012.

Like A Moth to a Flame

I took these photos of an enormous amount of moths at our outside light a few nights ago... they looked spectacular.