I have an answer for at least one species. We saw these strange shadowy shapes in the Poison Peach Trema tomentosaone one night in November. On investigation we found two Noisy Minors Manorina melanophrys cuddled together.

With their heads tucked in they were almost impossible to identify.

Wednesday Bushcare was in Zone 14 today.This area was replanted with native grasses, Acacias and Tallowwoods planted in October 2009.

The growth has been amazing! This Tallowwood planted less than eighteen months ago is now towering Lu, a Griffith University Environment student who helps with Wednesday Bushcare.

We can all be proud of this fantastic result, particularly considering the hot dry conditions at the time of the planting. The planting was done with water crystals, the Tallowwoods sprayed with Yates DroughtShield, protected with shade cloth and the area heavily mulched to reduce heat damage to roots and retain moisture.

The hot dry conditions can be seen in photo below taken when planting was almost complete. Because we could not get tank water to this part of our Bushcare site, the BCC Habitat Brisbane team organised a water tanker to visit the following week.

Read about the event: Fox Gully Restoration Update – Oct09

Weather conditions have been very different since then so our work today was weed control and putting mulch filters in place to control silt runoff from the maintenance track.

Considering the size of the area restored weed control onsite is a  relatively small job because the native grasses are now doing an excellent job of suppressing weed growth. At the same time we are starting to see natural regeneration with Scambling Lily Geitonoplesium cymosum, Poison Peach  Trema tomentosa (food plant for Speckled Link-blue butterfly) and Gotu Cola Centella asiatica (bushtucker: leaves eaten as vegetable. Aborigines soaked the flowers to make a syrup to drink for sore throats and colds.) all starting to return to the site.

Therefore, Steve and Lu were able to work on installation of mulch filters. The filters work by slowing the water flowing off the track allowing time for the silt to settle out before the water passes through and down into the gully. The extraordinary January rains did no damage to our restored sites which are layered with logs retrained from the clean-up, then covered with mulch to retain moisture and reduce erosion. However, the maintenance track did suffer significant erosion which showed as muddy water in the gully.

The first filters are proving effective with in controlling silt so we are expanding the area protected. We are also hopeful that these filters will also reduce the spread of weed seeds, particularly the highly invasive Giant Parramatta Grass which has recently appeared along the track.