Birds at Torrens Creek

Torrens Creek is a tiny town just to the west of White Mountains National Park and it’s a natural stopping point on a trip to Porcupine Gorge or White Mountains (or Rainsby, for that matter, although I haven’t been that way for a few years).

A pre-dinner ramble from the pub to the bore and beyond coincided with the birds’ sunset activity: a Crested Pigeon (Oxyphaps lophotes) on a power line was extremely dubious about something on the ground; a Magpie reckoned that the top of the bore was a great vantage point; and a Blue-faced Honeyeater in a bottlebrush tree was touched by golden evening light.

Crested Pigeon
Crested Pigeon
magpie
Magpie
blue-faced honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater

 

Porcupine Gorge after the floods

My recent visit to White Mountains was an add-on to a longer visit to Porcupine Gorge, north of Hughenden. I’ve been to the Gorge several times before and wrote about the area at some length after my visit in April last year, covering the Gorge, its wildlife and nearby points of interest in three separate posts.

The main focus of this post, therefore, is the effect of the monsoonal floods early this year. Townsville was hit hard, but so was Western Queensland. The Flinders River had 50-year floods and was 200 kilometres wide at its peak; and the Flinders, of course runs from the Burra Range and the northern corner of White Mountains National Park through Hughenden to the Gulf, picking up the waters of Porcupine Creek on the way.

Continue reading “Porcupine Gorge after the floods”

Yellow paper wasp nest

Some years ago I noted that I had seen yellow paper wasps, Ropalidia romandi, in my garden but hadn’t seen the nest, presumably also in my garden, which they were coming from. It could have been vital information, saving me from a nasty confrontation, so I kept on looking – with no success at all.

I finally spotted it very recently, above the roof-line of our high-set house in a paperbark tree (please visit this page if you want to call it a bottlebrush – it’s both) and overhanging the neighbours’ fence. A clear view of it was only possible from one or two locations even when I knew it was there, so I don’t feel too chagrined at missing it for so long.

Yellow Paper Wasp nest on Melaleuca
Yellow Paper Wasp nest on Melaleuca

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Sawpit Gorge revisited


White Mountains National Park was named for the pale grey sandstone of its rugged hills and it earns its name even from space, as this satellite image  of its North-west corner shows. (The river at top left is the Flinders; this map puts it into context.) The whole of the park is difficult country; easy public access is restricted to the SE corner of it, where the highway between Pentland and Torrens Creek cuts across the park.

But for all its forbidding landscape it is a botanist’s paradise, Continue reading “Sawpit Gorge revisited”