Monthly Archives: March 2014

Silvereye

Zosterops lateralis

Another common bird that I’ve only recently identified in the backyard. The Silvereye gets it’s name from the distinct patch of white around it’s eyes. It’s a small bird, only 11cm – 13cm in length, it moves about quickly making it hard to spot and identify. Silvereye live on the coast and adjacent inland areas of almost all of the country, they’re also found throughout New Zealand and southwest Pacific islands including Lord Howe, Fiji and Vanuatu.

Silvereye in the garden

Sources and further reading

Birds in Backyards

Wikipedia

Atlas of Living Australia

New Holland Honeyeater

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae

Another ( former ) unknown bird in the yard. It’s a New Holland honeyeater, a not uncommon bird thats distribution stretches from the southern Queensland coast, all the way down the east coast, throughout Tasmania, then westwards following the mainland coast wrapping up a few hundred km north of Perth. They’re small birds reaching a maximum size of 20cm. This one was hard to photograph, it kept moving about, not staying still for long at all.

New Holland Honeyeater – in a tree in the front yard.

Sources and further info

Birds in Backyards

Wikipedia

Atlas of Living Australia

Saunder’s Case Moth Cocoon

This cocoon was on a post at the start of the Little Blue Gum Creek walk. It’s large, about 15cm long, with sticks woven into the sides. I remember seeing many like this when I was growing up but had never known what animal made them.

Saunder’s Case Moth Cocoon at the start of the Little Blue Gum Creek boardwalk.

A quick search pointed to it being a┬áSaunder’s Case Moth cocoon. During their caterpillar phase case moths make their cocoons out of silk, most species attach sticks, leaves or other debree as camouflage. Each species had a distinct type of cocoon, but they are also constrained by available materials so even within a single species cases can vary in materials and appearance.

Cocoon close up, I wonder how they break up the sticks.

Case moths don’t just use the cocoon to metamorphose, they live there throughout their Caterpillar phase which lasts 1 – 2 years. Even after changing to a moth the females continue to use it as a home.

Sources and more info:

Museum Victoria

Atlas of Living Australia

Wikipedia

Little Blue Gum Creek Boardwalk

I really enjoyed looking at the photos of the construction of Lady Game Drive, something that kept popping up in them was Little Blue Gum Creek. I must have driven down there a million time but I couldn’t place it.

Little Blue Gum Creek : Lane Cove National Park (1939 ?)

After a quick search I found were it is, and also that there is a short boardwalk through the bush at the creek. It’s nearby so in between rain showers last weekend we ducked down there with the kids to take a look.

There’s a small parking lot right out the front on the corner of Lady Game Drive and Grosvenor Rd. It’s a really nice little walk, raised boardwalk the whole way weaving through lush vegetation and what must be a grove of tall straight blue gums. Information plaques say the area is also home to a colony of microbats, there is a sculpture at the end of the walk that doubles as a bat refuge.

It really is a short walk, can’t have been longer than a few hundred meters. You can hop off the boardwalk at the end and continue along a narrow bush trail, I would have liked to have done it but it had started raining again while we were there so decided to leave that to next time.

The boardwalk at Little Blue Gum Creek, Lane Cove National Park
Blue Gum at Little Blue Gum Creek, Lane Cove National Park