Early Spring Snapshots
The latest in a new Atlas of Life series.
Snapshots showcases a small selection of recent sightings recorded in our NatureMapr database.
Despite orchids being the Target of the Month for August and September, we have rather few reports from the Atlas region. But there are some!
If you sight orchids flowering in your area, please add a record on NatureMapr. Is it a really bad season for orchids, or are there some productive ‘hot spots’ out there?
Dendrobium speciosum - the Sydney Rock Orchid - grows attached to rocks or to trees. It sometimes forms spectacular displays on remote rock cliffs … in more accessible areas, it is rather prone to poaching by plant collectors!
The five species of Telopea are endemic to south-eastern Australia. This species is perhaps the best known, and it is the floral emblem of NSW.
Would you have guessed that this was a native plant? I might have mistaken it for a garden escapee, due to its similarity to a passionfruit flower! The Red Passionflower is a climber, native to southern NSW and Victoria.
One of Australia’s smallest birds of prey. And hovering like this is how it is most often seen, hunting above grasslands and other open country. It is found throughout Australia, moving into areas with abundant prey … typically mice, lizards or large insects.
Like most ‘cuckoos’, the Shining Bronze-Cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. In this case, Thornbills, Scrubwrens and Fairy-wrens are the typical hosts.
Some insects we see most of the year, including the Red-headed Spider Ants.
Others, such as native bees and butterflies are just beginning to reappear. Spring is definitely under way!
The best time of year to actually see snakes is late Winter and early Spring. They are emerging from their Winter hideouts, and yet are still quite sluggish.
Lizards too are reappearing. And it’s interesting to see the Blue-tongue Lizard reports from both Budawang Coast and Coastal Wilderness this month. If you see any large skinks, please add your records to NatureMapr.
[cover image: Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, by Leo Berzins in Pambula]