Insect Whispering and Sour Plums – A Celebration of Native Species

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”    Jane Goodall

I’ve recently returned from an attempt at hiking to the summit of Mt Maroon in Mt Barney National Park, south- southwest of Brisbane, but haven’t had time to write up a report. The attempt was “interesting.” It didn’t quite go to plan, but none of my long hikes ever seem to!  My hiking partner and I are alive which is the most important thing. Here are a couple of pictures of what is to come at a later date.

Mt Maroon - view on ascent

Mt Maroon - Jane on ascent

This week I’ll be sharing  another  nature post celebrating native Australian species in my local area. I hope you aren’t all natured out just yet!

“Honk! Honk! Honk!” For once this wasn’t the sound of an aggressive car driver unwilling to wait ten seconds until it was safe to pass my  non-polluting, health-improving, less-damaging-to-the-road-surface bicycle!

This time it was the cry of a bird I’d never seen in the wild before – the magpie goose, Anseranas semipalmata. I dropped by Sherwood arboretum wetlands again for lunch recently and was rewarded with a sighting of four of these unique birds. I never got round to finishing my lunch…

magpie geese 2

magpie geese 3

Unlike most waterfowl, the magpie goose only has  partially webbed feet with strongly clawed toes. While they can be seen in huge flocks in northern parts of Australia, in many southern localities they have disappeared for a number of reasons, mainly the destruction of wetland habitat. Magpie Geese numbers are affected by drainage of wetlands, increase of weeds such as Mimosa pigra, invasion of hoofed animals in wetlands,  heavy metal contamination of water, changing weather patterns, hunting and lead toxicity due to ingestion of lead pellets.

If you aren’t familiar with these birds here are a few facts about them. Magpie geese mate for life but the males often have a pair of females. Males usually make the simple unlined cup nest which may rest on flattened floating reeds or in a treetop. A pair of females sometimes share a nest and all adults take part in parenting. Magpie geese mainly feed on wild rice, Oryza, Paspalum, Panicum,  and spike-rush, Eleocharis and are regarded as an agricultural pest by some.

I returned to check on my magpie geese a few days later but they’d gone. However, despite it being almost winter here, there was a great deal of breeding behaviour in progress and not just of the feathered kind! In my last post, I caught an image of a pair of dragonflies on the ground at Nerima Gardens. Here at Sherwood wetlands, there was such a frenzy of this behaviour that one couple even landed on my hand temporarily! Here are a few one-handed shots before they flew away again to land on a reed.

dragonfly mating 1

Dragonfly mating 2

dragonfly mating 3

Next I was startled to receive the attention of  this dart butterfly (family: Hesperiidae). I’ve tried to identify it but even within a species, colour and patterns can vary and I’m not a lepidopterist. It may possibly be a Suniana sunias, Cephrenes augiades or Ocybadistes walker?

dart butterfly

dart butterfly 2

butterfly6

Mystery butterfly seemed to love my lily-white hand and pale straw hat and kept returning. At this stage I was starting to wonder if I’d magically become the “insect whisperer”. I know there are perfectly good scientific explanations for the dragonfly and butterfly landing on me but hey, we all have to have fantasies!

The next romantic couple I found were high in this forest gum. I noticed a flash of red and spotted this rainbow lorikeet guarding a nesting hole. After a while, its mate emerged to stare suspiciously at me.

rainbow lorikeet nest

Rainbow Lorikeet nesting pair

A further wander brought me to this sight – a group of freshwater turtles sunning themselves.

 

turtles at Sherwoon Arboretum

Shy grebes tease me all the time but I managed a blurry distance shot of one of these fluff balls. I think it’s an Australasian grebe (or little grebe) – Tachybaptus ruficollis. An interesting fact about little grebes is that the parents feed their own feathers to their young. I found a couple of  suggestions why they do this: (1) the feathers help form a plug between the stomach and small intestine in a young chick which acts as a strainer for small bones so that they can be dissolved properly and, (2) the feathers mix with food in the stomach lumen and are eventually ejected as pellets, possibly helping to facilitate the removal of parasites which tend to be a problem for grebes. Perhaps there are ornithologists out there with more knowledge?

Little Grebe

Something really fishy was going on in the waterway. I kept hearing splashes and seeing large ripples.  While searching for names of possible fish I found sites where people discussed the kind of species they caught there – cod, catfish and eels. There is a large “No Fishing” sign at the wetlands though! I hope these aren’t introduced European carp.

fish at Sherwood Arboretum

Fish at Sherwood Arboretum 2

A couple of Australian magpies were scavenging on the ground. I wondered if this spotty one was a juvenile in the process of getting all its feathers; however, it was larger than the other “normal” one and I’ve never seen a young one look quite like this before.

spotty magpie

magpie

Pelicans floated elegantly along the perpetually brown Brisbane River.

Pelicans in the Brisbane River

And a fig bird sat high in the treetops near a nest.

Fig bird - Sherwood Arboretum

I found a tree loaded with large purple fruit. There were many lying on the ground uneaten so I suspected it must taste terrible or be poisonous. Sorry, but my mildly extreme nature didn’t stretch to testing it out on myself.

It turned out to be a Burdekin Plum, Pleiogynium timorense, native to Australia and it is indeed very astringent. In fact, they need to be buried or stored in a paper bag in a dark cupboard for a week or two to become tasty. Apparently they don’t ripen properly on the tree.

Burdekin Plum Sherwood Arboretum

There are a few varieties  with the lighter greenish-white ones being less astringent. They can be used to make jams, jellies, preserves, to flavour meat and to make wines. You can see by this photo of the core of seeds next to fresh fruit, that there is only a thin layer of flesh. Here in Australia, native flora and fauna that are able to be used as food are often referred to as bush tucker. Here are a few more examples of useful native plants.

Burdekin plum and seeds

I did read that the bark and roots of the tree were also used as a fish poison by Indigenous Australians but I couldn’t find  verification for this at the time of writing. I’ve also read that  the wood is highly valued among wood turners. Apparently sulphur-crested cockatoos and brushtail possums will eat the fallen fruit.

 

 

I also came across this dazzling  Xanthostemon Chrysanthus a native rainforest tree, obviously very popular with nectar-feeders.

Yellow flowers - Xanthostemon Chrysanthus - Sherwood

Xanthostemon Chrysanthus - Yellow flowers - Sherwood

The noisy miners were being, well…noisy.

Here is a reminder from a previous post of what their nest and eggs look like.

Noisy miner nest

Noisy miner nest

And here are young and old examples of a native banksia flower (Banksia serrata?)

Young banksia flower - Sherwood

old banksia - Sherwood

It was low tide along the Brisbane River so  mangrove roots were visible from the board walk. They perform a valuable role in coastal ecosystems.

Mangrove roots

These gum tree branches were quite impressive.

gum tree branches

And came from this huge specimen. A woman sitting underneath gives us some scale.

 

wide gum tree

And lastly on this rough and ready nature walk, something tiny but no less important in this world.

bug

Thanks for reading!

 

References:

http://australianmuseum.net.au/magpie-goose

Pringle, J.D. 1985. The Waterbirds of Australia. Angus and Robertson/National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife, Sydney.

http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/wildlife/native/common/goose#.VVsK8ZPfSHR

 

78 thoughts on “Insect Whispering and Sour Plums – A Celebration of Native Species

  1. You have very sharp eyes and good photographic skills to show us what you see, very interesting. However the picture that took my breath away was the one at the top of the post, I look forward to reading about your adventure there and was glad to read that it didn’t kill you!

    • Thank you for such kind feedback, Susan. I’m glad you enjoyed yet another nature post! The Mt Maroon walk was very challenging in some ways. I hope I can find enough interesting photos for a decent story. There was quite a lot of huffing and puffing going on, and a bit of slipping and sliding too! The camera had to go safely back in its case often. Have a lovely week. 🙂

  2. Another wonderful post Jane, love all that you showed, such amazing variety of creatures, especially your magpie geese, that was such a great gift for you. Your wildlife photography is of such a high quality, and your commentary very interesting. You live in a very beautiful part of our nation. Thanks so much for sharing, I get so delighted reading your posts.

    • What lovely feedback. Thank you! I’m afraid I struggled trying to capture good pictures of the magpie geese as they were on an island in the waterway so I couldn’t get very close, however I really enjoyed my first sighting of them! The memories of their honking and preening activities will stay with me forever. Yes, I do live in a beautiful part of Australia. While I struggle with the heat and humidity of summer, the cooler months are glorious here. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Best wishes. 🙂

      • Yes the honking noise is very special and brings excitement to me also. It always brings back the memory of being in Kakadu NP and looking for these birds specifically and did not see them, though later I found I had photographed some in the distance. I was just about to leave the park to return to Darwin and the person with me was urging me to go, as there was no sign of the goose over the swamp. I prayed a simple prayer and waited, and the person became more instant that it would not happen. Then Jane, I heard the honk sound, and flying in from the distance a small flock came circled once and flew off, I said “Thank you Lord!” and left. That honk honk sound is wonderful sound for us both Jane. If you ever get to Newcastle, Hunter Wetlands a huge flock live on a small island there and toy can observe them from the balcony of the coffee shop. Your pics are very special as they are in the wild.

        • I’m so glad you got to hear and see them in the end, even though they weren’t in large numbers. I had read that there can be huge flocks in the Northern Territory and that they have a hunting season as well. The sound of just these four magpie geese was very loud. I can’t imagine what hundreds would sound like! Perhaps such a flock may have deafened you temporarily had you heard it. 🙂 Thank you for the tip about the places down south. I will be sure to check them out if I am in that area. I wouldn’t have noticed the magpie geese at Sherwood had it not been for their honk. My eyesight is not fantastic and they were mingling with the similar coloured ibis. Thanks for sharing your experiences. 🙂

    • Thank you for taking a look and also for kindly commenting. I also enjoy following blogs from other countries. I’ve already checked out your blog quickly too! Lots for me to enjoy there. Have a great week. 🙂

  3. Hello, Jane. I always look forward to your posts—beautiful pictures, great information, wonderful insights, comfortable writing style. I was lucky enough to find your blog in the beginning and am amazed at the growth. Thank you for sharing. Have a peaceful week.

    • Thank you, John! Yes, I’ll always remember your support right from the start and it’s so greatly appreciated. Having such encouraging people like you at the beginning meant I had enough confidence to keep going. I haven’t been able to write about many long hikes this year. I miss the company of my lovely daughter as a walking partner but she is extremely busy doing a degree now. Instead, I’ve been doing shorter nature walks in my local area. I thought people would be bored with them but they are still kindly supportive. Thank you so much, John. You have a peaceful week too. 🙂

  4. Jane you have already kept us dangling in suspense in the first paragraph, speaking of still being alive after the attempt to hike the summit of Mt. Maroon! I can hardly sit still to wait for you to publish that post!

    I love that you are so interested in the little things on hikes, that often you are privy to events and moments few people ever see or notice. These photographs of coupling and “romance” are just not noticed by most folks. I am always taken aback at my luck at being able to photograph what many people never see. I think it is truly about being so connected and interested in nature that we just absorb all around us – like little sponges, always learning. Even though we don’t always have time to deeply research the information, it’s good to research enough to satisfy some of the curiosity, and help to educate readers. Thank you for such a lovely and exciting hike! It was another grand adventure in your neck of the woods!!

    • Thanks Lori! It’s possible I may have built up the hike as much more exciting and action packed than it really was! 😉 I think the words, “at least we are still alive” may have given the wrong message! It was more about having to change original plans and me being thankful rather than disappointed. But I will do my best to make it live up to my suspenseful introduction though. 😉
      I sometimes wonder if my ability to see more little things these days is due to being forced to slow down more. I have joint issues and some other health problems which mean I’m a bit of a snail now. I have to stop more. I think it’s also a conscious decision to slow down mentally as in the past I allowed my mind to get too busy worrying about things that didn’t matter. It was making me ill so life had to change. I’ve always been an annoyingly curious person though and happiest when outdoors surrounded by the natural word so that helps. I think your connection with wild creatures is amazing, Lori. The relationships you have and the observations you make are so wonderful to read about. I was hooked when I read your posts about your deer and squirrel encounters. Thanks for your very kind and supportive comments. I’m also eagerly awaiting more stories from “the farm”. Have a beautiful week. 🙂

      • Like you, I am learning to listen to my body. Stress has been the worst of it, but I think I am finally “getting it” about letting go of things that either worried me or upset me. Nature is so healing… I can’t describe it but I feel it. I feel like we are kindred souls, Jane. It’s good to have a friend who understands! 🙂

        • Yes, I lived too many years carrying mental burdens that exhausted me. In nature I am far better at gaining perspective about life. I know what you mean about not being able to describe that healing feeling. It’s indescribable really. It’s something you just soak up. I’m also very glad to have you as an understanding friend! Thank you! 🙂

  5. Jane, it is thrilling to see and read what you experience on a hike. I can’t find the words for the dragonflies. I find it very special even if clothes and colours are the reason. But maybe you are an Insect Whisper ❤ 🙂
    Your photos are beautiful ❤
    I'm looking forward to your telling about the hike on MT Barney!!!

    • Thanks Hanna! The dragonfly and butterfly encounters did surprise me. Perhaps it happens quite often and I’m sure there were scientific reasons but I was still thrilled and it at least it gave me a title for my blog post too. 🙂 I am so glad you found the post enjoyable. Your blog photos and words are always a complete delight and make me smile. I hope your week is lovely. 🙂

  6. I love seeing these unusual (at least to me!) and different specimens of nature that you so beautifully present here. The male (?) of the mating dragonflies looks to be hanging on for dear life. Likely not, but it’s a rather awkward looking maneuver. The lorikeets are gorgeous. I could go on, but my memory fails me and scrolling up and down gets a bit tedious. I can only say I enjoy all of your post(S).

    • Thanks for your encouraging feedback, Gunta! Yes, I agree that the mating ritual looks very awkward. After reading more about them I feel most sorry for the female though. The males are quite rough! I have rainbow lorikeets visit my yard and they often attempt to nest in a gum tree; however, the introduced Indian mynahs always chase them away so it was good to actually see a pair cosily nesting. Yes, I know what you mean about scrolling being tedious. I probably put too many pics into one post but it’s hard to decide what not to include and as I only post once a week rather than daily I like to include a collection as I know different people like different aspects. I always enjoy all of your beautiful comments and quotes. Have a great week. 🙂

    • Thank you for those kind compliments, Michael. I appreciate it. Yes, it was a great thrill to have the dragonflies and butterfly land on me. I think my pale skin and straw hat were rather attractive to them. I’m hoping to visit the Mt Gravatt forests very soon and see an elusive koala! I really enjoy reading the activities of your wonderful environmental group. I’ve been thinking I should try to find a similar one in my local area. Best wishes! 🙂

    • Thanks Cameron! Actually I saw a couple walking in the distance at Maroon last Friday and wondered if it was you and Maree. It was Ipswich Show Holiday in the area which meant I was able to get a walking partner. Our walking styles, expectations and abilities were a little different so that added “interest” to the walk. I think I remember you’ve been up Maroon from your blog. It’s rather steep, isn’t it? Notice I wrote I made an “attempt.” I just hope I have enough pictures to pull together a story… 😉

      • Haha. I’m not sure if it was the same day, but we were planning a trip there, so it could have been if we had actually been bothered to get out of bed when the alarm went off. :\ Stayed out a bit late the night before. I’ve been up there a few times now. It is definitely a challenge with plenty of steep bits.

  7. Another really interesting read! Particularly liked the shots of the butterfly and dragonflies on your hand – that’s always a treat when that happens!

    • Thank you! I expect this has happened to you on your many invertebrate discovery walks! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you are well in the UK and managing to get out and about? I’m looking forward to seeing more beautiful critters from your part of the world. Best wishes! 🙂

  8. Another very informative post thankyou Jane 🙂 Sounds like a lot of time and research went into this one! Love the dragonfly and butterfly photos. My Animal Spirit guide book suggests that their close proximity to you might be indicating that you’re going through some sort of transformation, and to enjoy the process as it unfolds 🙂 Leah

    • Thanks, Leah! Like for my grass trees post, I had more time to research this one. I’ve been wanting to see magpie geese for a long time and had read that they sometimes visit Sherwood arboretum. I was still pretty surprised to see them there though! 🙂 I’m currently in a transition period with all my three children at university after having been their home teacher for their entire schooling (we mostly lived in remote areas.) Soon they will be independent of me. So I guess you could say I am going through a transformation in that respect. Thanks for reading and commenting, Leah. Have a great week. 🙂

  9. I must admit that I’ve never seen a spotty magpie like that one before. 🙂 Very interesting indeed.
    Next time you come through Beaudesert, email me and let me know. It would be wonderful if we could catch up. Of course, I probably can’t walk with you because of my very unfit state and awful knees but I can certainly shout you a cuppa at the end of your walk. If you walk on weekends, I can highly recommend The Shed cafe on the corner of the Upper Logan Rd and the main road. 🙂

    • Hi Suze! I would love to catch up with you. We don’t need to go for a walk. A natter would be great. I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about. I will definitely let you know if I am passing through the area. I think I go through or near there on the way to Springbrook or Mt Tambourine? Canungra Creek has platypus apparently. I searched and searched online but couldn’t find a spotty magpie like this one. Perhaps it’s a mutation? Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope to catch up with you soon. Have a lovely week! 🙂

  10. Congratulations on seeing the magpie goose, and for becoming the insect whisperer!

    It doesn’t matter where these images were shot, they’re all great! I said it before, but it doesn’t matter where you find the beauty in nature, the important thing is to find it, and you certainly have in this post.

    • Thanks Jerry! After seeing flocks of wild geese in my lovely US bloggers’ posts, I was very happy to see a few of our own (even though they are not strictly geese.) It’s very kind of you to be so encouraging of my photography. I’m learning so much about the wonderful variety of Michigan birds from your blog. Your photography is excellent. I can see why you enjoy spring so much – it’s so full of life in your part of the world. 🙂

  11. Jealous of your insect whispering Jane!! I will have to try gardening in a straw hat and see if it improves my chances of taking a good photo. I am also impressed by the way you’ve captured the spookiness of mangrove roots. Very atmospheric!

    • Thank you! I’m jealous of your creative gardening skills, kayaking ability and very entertaining writing style. 🙂 When the dragonflies and butterfly landed on me it was midday and bright sunshine. I was wearing a pale straw hat and was squatting down among the reeds. There were so many butterflies and dragonflies buzzing around, I think it was inevitable one would “hit” me! But I love the thought of it being “insect whispering.” 😉 Thanks for encouraging me and also giving my blog a lovely plug in your last post. Very generous of you. 🙂

  12. I love this series of photos. I had an adventure :). Your image of the Xanthostemon reminded me of after TC Ita came through up here. ALL of the Pendas around the district flowered profusely. The road up through the Gap was in places a carpet of Yellow from the amount of flowers that had fallen. Just beautiful.

    • Thanks Brad! So glad you enjoyed it. I always love checking out what you’ve been up to in your posts. I’ve never seen sunbirds so that will be something I hope to do if I make it up north. Wow, I thought the ONE Xanthostemon was special on its own. A whole lot of them would have been spectacular. They really glow in the sunshine, don’t they? Thanks so much for commenting. I hope you have a break from severe cyclones up there. I guess the season isn’t over yet. Have a great week. 🙂

  13. Ah! You had to tease with photos of your Mt Maroon walk! I love your photos looking up into the gum. Great perspective.
    A beautiful post as always Jane 🙂

    • Thanks Dayna! I fear I have hyped it up too much now and people will be disappointed. I may have to embellish it a tad! 😉 I’m glad you like the gum tree pics. I love our majestic Australians natives. Thanks for your support. Am looking forward to reading about more Bromptom club adventures…and trips with the mini! Have a great week. 🙂

  14. Very enjoyable post, as all of yours are! I love to see the flora and fauna there, most of which is so different from what we have here. Excellent photos!

    • Thank you, Terry! I could say the same thing about your blog. It’s wonderful to see your beautiful pictures of a place so different to my own. I hope one day I get to visit and hike in your forests and climb your mountains. Happy walking! 🙂

    • Hi Steve,
      I think the conditions were ripe for it to happen to me. I was down among the reeds in the bright midday sun wearing a pale straw hat and with my pale hand resting on my knee. There were dragonflies zipping everywhere. One or two were bound to think my hand was a nice rock. It will probably never happen again, so I’m glad I got a few shots as proof. Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts, Steve. I hope one lands on you one day and it happens to be your left hand so you can photograph it easily! 🙂

        • I am sure your hand is more photogenic than a rock! But I know what you mean about them landing on more typical natural settings. The pics on my white hands are quite awkward, and it did feel odd to have a mating couple on me. 😉

  15. The dragonflies are quite incredible, I love their mating rituals. As for the butterfly, it may be tricky sometimes to recognize them without a magnifying glass. Looking at the flowers where they stand can be of some help, but in your case, it’s a bit difficult. You must smell delicious to attract them like that !!! 😀

    Nice nature related post ! I really enjoyed discovering more of your flora and fauna ! Have a lovely week 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Dragonflies are pretty special aren’t they? I’ve seen so many lately on my little walks. The butterfly kept landing on me or the reeds. I suspect it may prefer white flowers, which is why it liked my skin or pale straw hat. I’m not sure why but it was enjoyable to get a close look anyway. Thanks for reading and for your kind feedback. You have a lovely week too. I always enjoy checking out all your great pics! 🙂

  16. There are some lovely images in this post but it was the common old Noisy miner that made me smile. They kept me company for my walk to work every day when I was living in Sydney. Also, I loved listen to the magpies on a sunny morning. Of course, unless you are an Aussie, you never get tired of seeing the Rainbow lorikeet; they are stunning! 🙂

    • Thanks David, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, noisy miners and magpies help give those of us living in suburbia a dose of nature. I have a great relationship with the maggies most of the year but they are not impressed by me cycling during breeding season. 😉 Their warbling on a relaxed lazy weekend is a pleasure to listen to. My daughter calls the rainbow lorikeets that visit our garden “evil clowns” sometimes because of their tendency to chase the other birds away from the water dishes and they do squabble a bit, but we are still fond of them. It’s lovely to see that flash of colour fly past. Thanks for reading and commenting, David. Great to hear from you. 🙂

    • Hi there and thanks for the lovely appreciation. I noticed you’ve only just begun your blog. Lovely thoughts in your first post. I wish you well with your writing and look forward to seeing what is to come. Have fun! Best wishes. 🙂

  17. It seems you have a way with insects. I try my best to avoid them as they usually bite. The dragon flies were especially impressive. Can’t wait to read the write up of your Mountain Climb attempt. btw, plans rarely go to plan on a long hike – it’s one of the reasons why I no longer publish maps showing both my planned and my actual route 😀

    • Heheh…yes, I’ve learnt to avoid telling too many people my plans as invariably I have to cancel them. The spontaneous ones seem to actually work better for me. I’ll look outside and it’s a lovely day; I have unexpected free time, so I head out! The weather usually interferes with the carefully planned ones. My planned long hike at Mt Maroon may have turned out a little shorter than expected! I will do my best to find something to stretch out the post though in my usual waffling manner. Thanks for reading the post and commenting. There are a lot of biting insects I avoid touching here too! I am quite happy for the midges and the venomous spiders to stay away from me. 😉

  18. What a lovely collection from you local area Jane. Did you see all these the same day? If so I am even more impressed. Lovely photos, the closeup of the yellow butterfly especially caught my eye. Must be the colour:) Yellow makes me happy! And the grebe is just adorable, despite the disturbing feather fact! 😉

    • Thanks! All of those pics were taken on the same day, apart from the eggs in the nest one and another couple of the Burdekin plum and two trees. I took shots of the trees on one day and they were blurry so I returned and took repeat shots so that they would be clearer for my blog. I saw all the creatures on the same day. It was a week day and hardly anyone was there. Weekends are not a good time to be creature spotting! Yellow butterflies make me happy too, especially when they rest on me. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting. Lovely to hear from you. 🙂

  19. Well done as always Jane! Love the photos. And the feather-feeding grebes – I might have to look further into that one… The banksia might be Banksia robur I think. Have a great week, cheers Paula

    • Thanks Paula! I’m not good with plant identification so thanks for the alternative species name. 🙂 I love it when people can help me out. Yes, I think the grebe thing is unusual! I’m sure there are other possible reasons. It would be great if you could find out more about it. It could be a whole post perhaps? I love your humorous illustrations and informative nature posts. Thanks again for the encouragement. Very much appreciated. 🙂

  20. Great words and amazing photos make a spectacular post. How did you get that beautiful butterfly on your finger? I think you are right in your musings of insect whisperer. Thanks for all of the detail on the Australian countryside. I enjoyed my visit to the other side of the world.

    • Thanks for the encouraging feedback, Julie. Much appreciated. The butterfly came back to me again and again. I’m not sure why…colour, smell? It was a great treat though. I’ve never had that happen before. I tried to move my hand so I could take pictures of the back of it, but it kept turning to face me. It’s a pleasure to share my part of the world with you. Your own blog is a delight! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  21. What a wonderful walk – you have such a great eye for seeing what many people just walk, run, ride or drive past. Lovely photos Jane – the mating dragon flies landing on your hand is pretty special!
    I love Magpie Geese. We have a flock that fly over at Currumbin, only occasionally, and they always say hello with that distinctive “honk!”

    • Thanks very much, Gail. I appreciate the lovely encouragement. It’s easier to see things on walks when you are a snail like me. 🙂 I don’t know what was happening that day with the critters, but all the attention certainly put a smile on my face. I’m glad you’re able to experience magpie geese too. Their honk is pretty distinctive. Can you imagine the sound and sight of 100s of them flying over as happens in the Northern Territory? It must be amazing. I’ve noticed a new post from you in my reader. I will have to check it out today. Have a great week, Gail. 🙂

  22. Pingback: Hunter Wetlands Centre – Surprise, Surprise! | aussiebirder

    • Thanks! I think dikkopje may mean a skipper butterfly in English? Lovely to have your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. Have a lovely week. 🙂

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