Early Spring Snapshots

Snapshots

SEPTEMBER, 2018

The latest in a new Atlas of Life series. 
Snapshots
 showcases a small selection of recent sightings recorded in our NatureMapr database.


PLANTS

 

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!

  Lyperanthus suaveolens  (Brown Beaks)  Recorded by Nicholas de Jong, Ulladulla

Lyperanthus suaveolens (Brown Beaks) Recorded by Nicholas de Jong, Ulladulla

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?

  Caladenia carnea  (Pink Fingers)  Recorded by Derek C, Murramarang National Park

Caladenia carnea (Pink Fingers) Recorded by Derek C, Murramarang National Park

  Glossodia minor  (Small Wax-lip Orchid)  Recorded by Max Campbell, Ben Boyd National Park

Glossodia minor (Small Wax-lip Orchid) Recorded by Max Campbell, Ben Boyd National Park

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!

  Dendrobium speciosum  (Rock Lily)  Recorded by Max Campbell, Brogo

Dendrobium speciosum (Rock Lily) Recorded by Max Campbell, Brogo

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.

  Telopea specialissima  (NSW Waratah)  Recorded by Charles Dove, Ulladulla

Telopea specialissima (NSW Waratah) Recorded by Charles Dove, Ulladulla

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.

  Passiflora cinnabarina  (Red Passionflower)  Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek

Passiflora cinnabarina (Red Passionflower) Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek


BIRDS

  Falco cenchroides  (Nankeen Kestrel)  Recorded by Max Campbell, Buckajo

Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) Recorded by Max Campbell, Buckajo

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.

  Chalcites lucidus  (Shining Bronze-cuckoo)  Recorded by Leo Berzins, Pambula

Chalcites lucidus (Shining Bronze-cuckoo) Recorded by Leo Berzins, Pambula

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.


INSECTS

Some insects we see most of the year, including the Red-headed Spider Ants.

  Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus  (Spider Ant)  Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek

Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Spider Ant) Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek

Others, such as native bees and butterflies are just beginning to reappear. Spring is definitely under way!

  Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus  (Metallic Green Carpenter Bee)  Recorded by Charles Dove, West Nowra

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus (Metallic Green Carpenter Bee) Recorded by Charles Dove, West Nowra

  Hypocysta irius  (Orange Streaked Ringlet)  Recorded by C.Brandis, Dolphin Point

Hypocysta irius (Orange Streaked Ringlet) Recorded by C.Brandis, Dolphin Point


REPTILES

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.

  Pseudechis porphyriacus  (Red-bellied Black Snake)  Recorded by Max Campbell, Bemboka

Pseudechis porphyriacus (Red-bellied Black Snake) Recorded by Max Campbell, Bemboka

  Morelia spilota spilota  (Diamond Python)  Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek

Morelia spilota spilota (Diamond Python) Recorded by Maggie, Dignams Creek

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.

  Tiliqua scincoides  (Eastern Blue-tongue)  Recorded by ‘Margieras’, Cunjurong Point

Tiliqua scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) Recorded by ‘Margieras’, Cunjurong Point

  Tiliqua scincoides  (Eastern Blue-tongue)  Recorded by Libby Hepburn, Merimbula

Tiliqua scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) Recorded by Libby Hepburn, Merimbula


To browse more sightings – or to add your own! – go to the NatureMapr database: Coastal Wilderness or Budawang Coast


[cover image: Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, by Leo Berzins in Pambula]