Wildlife of Mt Gravatt Reserve


Mt Gravatt Bush Blokes - Marshal, Michael & Paul

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Mt Gravatt Bush Blokes installed the first of our new nest boxes high in a Tallowwood ready for a family of Rainbow Lorikeets or Pale-headed Rosellas to move in.

The nest boxes made by Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed also include designs for Squirrel/Sugar Gliders and the smaller Scaly-breasted Lorikeets – green with yellow ‘scales’ on their chest and bright orange flashes as their underwings are exposed in flight.

The initial order of ten boxes which will be used in restoration of the Fox Gully and Firefly Gully wildlife corridors which will provide urgently needed nesting sites and bring birds and Gliders literally into the community backyards.

The Men’s Shed boxes have been beautifully made with high quality materials – stainless steel hinges, galvanised nails, FSC certified exterior ply, Cutex wood preservative donated by , all following nest box designs from Nest boxes for wildlife by Alan & Stacey Franks – a copy was donated by Hollowlog Homes.

The design includes a lid that can be lifted for inspection, an internal ladder and a removable base for clearing ferral invaders like Indian Mynas.

The box was attached to the tree using 3mm fencing wire covering in hose with a zig-zag section on both side to allow for expansion as the tree grows.

Our community is committed to restoration of Mt Gravatt wildlife corridors.

You can be part of this important project. Join us for the first Community Gully Day – Sunday 13 November – 8am to 12noon. For information contact Michael Fox – 0408 769 405

Koalas are returning, Sugar Gliders have been sighted, Green Tree Frogs living in our gully wildlife corridor and BAAM environmental researchers have identified three species of mico-bats on the mountain. Long term survival of these species is critically dependent on wildlife corridors linking Mt Gravatt Reserve with other local habitats like Mimosa Creek and Roly Chapman Reserve.

The Community Gully Day activities include cleaning out weed trees/rubbish, replanting, stabilising banks with logs and mulch, and installation of nest boxes for gliders and birds.

Preparations for the event are well underway. Shawn and Genevieve have installed steps to improve access and safety.

Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) are providing public liability insurance cover for this event and the B4C Sustainability Centre Nursery has donated forty native plants.

Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed have made ten nest boxes based on Hollow Log Homes design specifications. These boxes will provide nest sites for Rainbow and Scaly Breasted Lorikeets, Pale-headed Rosellas, Squirrel and Sugar Gliders.

Southside Community News - October 2011

Local state MP Phil Reeves is providing a rubbish skip.

Jenny Lang, Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld, is arranging a micro-bat visit around morning tea time. Jenny is a big hearted person who cares for injured bats like the two cute micro-bats she bought around when I was preparing this article for the Southside Community News.

Restoration of wildlife corridors has to be a whole of community focus because wildlife does not recognise human created property boundaries or roads. Effective habitat consolidation and linking requires co-operation of a diverse range of property owners – private, corporate, local/state/federal government, community groups, schools and university.

Our Community Gully Day is a small step in building our whole of community focus.

Please join us even if it is only to meet the cute micro-bats over morning tea.

Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus – race melanocephalus

Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus

The BAAM envirionmental researchers started their fieldwork for the Flora & Fauna Assessment of Mimosa Creek Precinct. Working in Fox Gully and Firefly Gully last Monday/Tuesday they identified three species of micro-bats Gould’s Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii, White-striped Freetail Bat Tadarida australis and Eastern Bentwing Bat Miniopterus oceanensis. They also found Koala while spotlighting and identified Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus.

Topknots have not been identified in the Reserve before and yesterday a flight of 10 to 15 birds came over very quietly cruising around then settling in a large gully tree. The addition of Topknots to our species list brings us to forty-nine native bird species identified on Mt Gravatt.

Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus - race melanocephalus

Today I was lucky to get my first photos and video of our Striated Pardalots Pardalotus striatus – race melanocephalus. I frequently hear these cute birds when walking the Summit Track however they are small and flighty so I have not been able to get any photos.

Black Jezebel Delias nigrina

To top off a big week for new species I also photographed a female Black Jezebel Delias nigrina butterfly. This brings our species count up to forty-six butterflies in the Reserve.

The Flora & Fauna Assessment project is funded by a grant from Dept of Environment accessed with the support of Phil Reeves and then Enviornment Minister Hon Kate Jones

Tawny Frogmouth Podagus strigoides

Thanks to Miranda and Barry, neighbours who live in Arafura Street,  we have photos of the family of  Tawny Frogmouths  Podagus strigoides living behind their houses.

These special birds are well camouflaged against the trunk of a Liquid Amber growing in the gully. These North American trees lose their leaves in winter which allows these photos.

Tawny Frogmouth Podagus strigoides

Tawny Frogmouths are nocturnal, feeding at night on insects. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. During the day these birds pretend to be tree branches, sometimes opening an eye when people are around then going back to sleep.

Click on the photo to see the cute moustache.

Barry, Miranda and fourteen other Fox Gully and Firefly Gully property owners are now committed to restoring their properties as part of these wildlife corridors.

Animal Ambulance driver

Wildlife sightings like these will contribute to the Flora and Fauna Assessment which will evaluate the potential of these corridors and provide recommendations on links across Klumpp Road to Mimosa Creek.

Please email photos of wildlife including details of location to megoutlook@gmail.com. I will include your sightings in the wildlife database I am building. Even photos of dead animals are valuable information on our local species and their movements. Unfortunately this week we have had two Eastern Blue-tounged Lizard Tiliqua scincoides that appear to have been hit by cars in O’Grady Street.

This one was lucky, Annette rang the Animal Ambulance: BCC Call Centre 3403 8888. Within an hour this tough little lizard was on his way to see the RSPCA vets. We are now waiting on news. Hopefully there will be a full recovery and return to the wildlife corridor.

Ten days on and the Noisy Miner chicks are growing. The little balls of fluff have grown and it is getting crowded in the nest. The two bigger chicks walk all over the baby.

One chick fell out of the nest while I was watching. You can watch him on the video climbing back in and acting cool while he walks all over another chick: “I didn’t fall out. I meant to do that.”

You need space when you want to stretch your new wings.

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They are almost fledglings with two showing off their wing feathers but Mum and Dad are still on feeding duty. Filling those gaping beaks is a full time job.

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Watch the 11 Aug video.

It is Noisy Miner Manorina melanophrys breeding season again and we have three chicks in a nest just outside our bedroom window. The female does the nest building lining the twigs with bit of carpet from the cat’s scratching post. This year she was cheeky enough to pinch some of the cat’s fur itself! Poor Sally was asleep in the sun and leapt a foot in the air.

We were confused for a while when we saw four different birds coming to the nest to feed the chicks. Apparently a number of male birds help with the feeding.

We like the Noisy Miners. They are a honeyeater which habitats the disturbed edges of forests and our backyards. The Miners do force some smaller birds out these forest edges: edge effect. However, they also keep the Indian Myna Acridotheres tristis – chocolate brown colour, out of our forests. They are also the alert birds for their habitat, letting everyone know if is a cat or snake on the prowl or a bird of prey around.

Rather than worry about the Miners we are working to reverse the edge effect by consolidating the forest habitat by clearing garden plants that have escaped into the bush and where possible taking the native plant species into the backyards.

Watch the chicks growing up – almost ready to fledge.

Southside Community News - ISSUE 27 August 2011

Waking up to a Koala climbing into the house is special. Knowing that this is a sign of a strengthening Koala population in our special piece of suburban bushland gives me a real feeling of hope for the future.

Koalas are only one fauna species in a reserve where we have already identified forty-five butterfly species and two hundred and fifty-four native plant species, however, they are one of our iconic Australian animals.

Koalas will help us not only protect our special piece bushland they will also help change the way people think about the future. I write about birds, butterflies, Koalas and frogs because community members relate to these animals at a direct emotional level. They open their hearts and allow themselves to learn about the complex web of interrelationships that bring our mountain habitat alive with these special creatures.

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Female with Joey - Sept 2009 - Sue Jones

We have been collecting flora and fauna data for some years and I have now started a wildlife sightings database to capture more accurate information on species, date/time and location.

This female and joey were photographed by Sue Jones on the northern slope of the mountain in 2009. We also have photographic evidence of Koalas near Gertrude Petty Place, Rover Street Bushcare and Fox Gully Bushcare. Photos and location details of Echidnas, Squirrel Gliders and frogs, as well as, some unusual bugs are all contribution to our knowledge of the Reserve.

The BAAM team will also use any data we collect for the Flora and Fauna Assessment project.

Please email any wildlife sighting details, species, date/time, location preferably with digital photos, to megoutlook@gmail.com Infomation on dead wildlife is also important as it helps build up a picture of wildlife movements and potential dangers like vehicles and domestic dogs.

We love living with our bushland backyard.

Last night we had a Koala visiting: read Do Koalas visit you at home? Today we were being entertained by a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus playing in the birdbath.

These beautiful birds tend to flock with the larger Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus. At first glance Scalys are not as colourful as Rainbows however as you will see in the video their true colours are hidden and only show when they fly.

We have four Pale-headed Rosellas Platycercus eximius visiting  our forest this winter. My wife calls these pretty gentle shy birds Blue-boys, a good name.

Our Blue-boys visit the bird bath along with a host of others however they are so timid I have not yet been able to get some video.

We do not feed birds. We just provide water in several bird baths. In our dry winter weather is very popular with a wide range of birds from meat eaters like Kookaburras and Butcher Birds to seed eaters like the Blue-boys, Rainbow Lorikeets and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.

We are also working with BCC Habitat Brisbane to research and install nest-boxes to support our bird population.

Winter in Brisbane is a wonderful time. Warm and sunny then occasionally we have a cold day like yesterday, 13° centigrade at 10am.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

Even the Kookaburras thought it was cold yesterday. This one looked so cute perched on our fence and all fluffed up against the cold. Click on the photo to see it full size.

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx

Winter also means displays of yellow Wattle flower like the Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx with its distinctive long cynctrical flowers. My sister calls this Lamb Tail Wattle because of the flower shape.

Red coloured triangular stem

Leiocalyx can be identified by the red colour and distinct triangular shape of the stems.

Leiocalyz is also a caterpillar food plant for a number of different butterflies:

Wattle Notodontid Moth Neola semiaurata

Imperial Hairstreak, Small Purple and Short-tailed Line Blue as well as caterpillars of Granny’s Cloak Moth and  Wattle Notodontid Moth.

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