In the glassy, clear pools of the Sandy Bay Rivulet something stirred. The slow, languid movement of fish suddenly erupted and in a silver flash they chased each other over the sand and shingle stream bed. The rivulet in its lower reaches is alive with three species of galaxias at this time of year, twisting and turning in the chilly waters as they prepare for their migratory journeys out of the rivulet into the wide expanse of the Derwent estuary. The galaxias make their … [Read more...] about Heron reads the nuances of the seasons
The mournful cries of yellow-tailed black cockatoos hung in the mist as runners lined up at the start of the weekly Queen’s Domain Park Run. I had joined them in an exercise that was not supposed to be about birding, more an exercise about just that – exercise – after an extended holiday period drifting into the end of summer had taken a toll on my waistline. Despite my preoccupation with my growing weight, the birds still featured as they always do with any activity … [Read more...] about A measure of the changing seasons
The squeaks and squawks of a family of brush wattlebirds have woken me at daybreak in the early autumn. I’m so attuned to the songs and calls of the resident birds in my garden I sleep blissfully through them as they start up but any new sound immediately makes me sit up in bed, as with the wattlebirds. Although wattlebirds are not uncommon in the Hobart area, they usually prefer drier bush rather than the wet forest found around my home. It was something of a mystery why … [Read more...] about Red-hot pokers a link to the past
Out of sight and out of mind, the Bassian thrush has always escaped my attention on Mount Wellington towering over Hobart, where I do much of my birding. Forays to the mountain, which also carries the Aboriginal name of kunanyi, have been about exotics, endemics. The elusive scrubtit is always on my radar and if this shy species does not come into view on any given day I’m happy to settle for a slightly more common species out of the hard-to-find basket, the strong-billed … [Read more...] about A lilt for Tasmania’s secret soul.
Foreward to Field Guide to Tasmanian Fungi, published 2016 MYCOLOGISTS call them the “orphans” of the wild, the fungi that live at the fringe of our consciousness when we tramp forest and glade. In search of a metaphor I prefer to call fungi Cinderellas of the woods. You find Cinderella working away in the dim, dank basement of the forest floor, often being bullied and threatened, at least in my Hobart valley in the shadows of Mount Wellington, by the ugly sisters of … [Read more...] about Cinderellas of the glades