Late Winter Snapshots

mid August, 2018

This is the first in a new Atlas of Life series. 
Snapshots
 will showcase a small selection of recent sightings recorded in our NatureMapr database.


PLANTS

Bodalla Silver Wattle in flower

Acacia silvestris is a true local. This species occurs in just a few areas of the south-east corner ... including the Brogo region. And the local trees are flowering.

  Acacia silvestris   Recorded by Max Campbell  in Brogo

Acacia silvestris Recorded by Max Campbell in Brogo

A few orchids making an appearance

The drought is taking its toll on orchid flowering, but a careful search of known orchid territory has uncovered a few determined blooms. 

   Pterostylis concinna    Recorded by Paul Whitington  in Nadgee Nature Reserve

 Pterostylis concinna  Recorded by Paul Whitington in Nadgee Nature Reserve

BIRDS

Hoodies back in action

August is the predicted start of breeding season for Hooded Plovers – and local pairs are reappearing on our beaches. 

 Hooded Plover ( Thinornis rubricollis )   Recorded by Leo Berzi  ns at Haycock Point

Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis)  Recorded by Leo Berzins at Haycock Point

A regular lakeside sighting

White-fronted Chat are listed as Vulnerable in NSW. These small birds favour saltmarsh vegetation, and Liz notes that they are a regular sighting alongside Wallagoot Lake.

 White-fronted Chat ( Ephianura albifrons )    Recorded by Liz Allen, Wallagoot Lake

White-fronted Chat (Ephianura albifrons)   Recorded by Liz Allen, Wallagoot Lake

Widespread but rarely seen

These near-silent nocturnal hunters are widespread and probably quite common, but positive sightings - and photo opportunities - are not so common. This female was probably chasing mice when she became trapped in a chicken coop. She was safely released ... but not before posing for a few photos.

MAMMALS

Echidna encounter

It's still breeding season for Echidna, which may explain this midday sighting near Bournda National Park.

 Short-beaked Echidna ( Tachyglossus aculeatus )    Recorded by Liz Allen in Wallagoot

Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)   Recorded by Liz Allen in Wallagoot

INSECTS

Beetles in hiding

There are still very few adult insects in evidence, but a closer look uncovers a few in winter shutdown mode.

Some species spend their entire lives in hiding, largely unaffected by the seasons. Passalid beetles are intriguing insects. They live in groups, tend their young, and even make audible 'calls' ... not something you expect from a beetle living inside a rotting log!

 Spotted Ladybird ( Harmonia conformis )   Recorded by Jackie Miles in Bega

Spotted Ladybird (Harmonia conformis)  Recorded by Jackie Miles in Bega

 Leaf Beetles (?) (Chrsyomelidae) - TBC    Recorded by Jackie Miles in Brogo

Leaf Beetles (?) (Chrsyomelidae) - TBC   Recorded by Jackie Miles in Brogo

 Passalid beetle ( Aulacocyclus sp. )    Recorded by Jackie Miles in Brogo

Passalid beetle (Aulacocyclus sp.)   Recorded by Jackie Miles in Brogo

Early damselfly breeding

It's been a few months since the last Odonata sightings were recorded. These tiny damselflies were seen in large numbers this week, mating and egg laying in a salty, beachside lagoon.

 Iota Ringtail ( Austrolestes io )    Recorded by Kerri-Lee Harris in Nadgee Nature Reserve

REPTILES

Another sign of an early Spring

This large goanna was seen sunning itself. And, unusually for a reptile emerging from winter slumber, this one looks quite well-fed!

 Lace Monitor ( Varanus varius )    Recorded by Liz Allen in Bournda National Park

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius)   Recorded by Liz Allen in Bournda National Park

MARINE INVERTEBRATES

Swarming Jellies

The most commonly encountered jellyfish of eastern Australia, this species sometimes 'swarms' in estuaries ... as was apparently the case in Eden recently, where hundreds were seen in Curalo Lagoon.

 Blue Blubber ( Catostylus mosaicus )    Recorded by Max Campbell in Eden

Blue Blubber (Catostylus mosaicus)   Recorded by Max Campbell in Eden


To browse more sightings – or to add your own! – go to the NatureMapr database  


[cover image: Hooded Plover, by Leo Berzins, Haycock Beach]