Rowes Bay wetlands

I took my camera down to the wetland boardwalk behind Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre and the (new) Landcare Nursery a week ago. It was a very hot day but I found a good shady spot with views to nearby swamp and perches, and waited for the birds to forget I was there.

They did, and I got nice photos of half a dozen species. The best of them have already been shared online so I will just post links to them as they appear on iNaturalist: Sacred Kingfisher, Masked Lapwing, Koel (female), Hornbill Friarbird, and Pheasant Coucal.

But I’m a bug-hunter too, so here are some of the smaller creatures I saw from the boardwalk.

Leaf beetle
Leaf beetle

Assassin Bug
Assassin bug with cast-off exoskeleton

Many insects need to moult their rigid skins to be able to grow bigger or (sometimes) grow wings. The cast-off is called an exuvia. Some species, like dragonflies, simply abandon it. Others eat it (why waste good protein?) and that’s what seems to be happening here.

jumping spider
Ant-eating Jumping Spider with prey
Tiger moth
Tiger Moth
A worn-looking Chalky Percher – even dragonflies grow old

The Rowes Bay boardwalk area is virtually the southern (i.e. city) end of the Town Common, as this map shows pretty clearly, so there is plenty more to see if you’re feeling energetic.

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