Grey Goshawks are a frequent visitor to the area, up until now I’ve not been able to identify or get a good photo of one. Last week I heard the sound of a screeching flock of cockatoos off in the distance, as they got closer the sound got louder. They were swooping and swerving making a huge racket, in front of them was a hawk! It looked like they were chasing it away! A few days later I spotted it sitting in a tree out the back and managed to get these photos.
Grey Goshawks are a medium size bird of prey, local ones have a grey back and upper wings, with a white belly. They have large yellow talons and a yellow, black tipped hooked beak. They prey on mammals like rabbits, possums and bats, also reptiles and insects. Their most common prey is other birds, no wonder the cockies were chasing it away.
“The hardiest and also the earliest flowering of the local species” – NPOS p.116
Tom was the only one that had been home all Sunday, by late afternoon he had a bad case of cabin fever and demanded to go on a bushwalk, and one he’d never been on before. We took a path that joins the usual route, but past where we normally finish, then ended up doing the river loop in reverse. A few different wild flowers were in bloom, it really felt like the start of spring. I took pictures of these small purple flowers, I had a hunch they were a species of Boronia and I was right. Boronia is another one of those plants that everyone seems to be familiar with except me.
This particular one is a Boronia ledifolia, commonly known as Sydney Boronia. It’s a common plant, abundant in heath and woodland and also the earliest flowering of the local Boronias. The plant itself is small only growing to 1m in height. it’s flowers are four petalled and a sticking pink in colour, approximately 4cm across. Leaves are thin with a waxy shine, deep green in colour with pots and recurved margins.
“A small, spreading shrub to 1m high”. – NPOS p.78
While revisiting the Prickly Moses I was reminded of a plant that I’d been unable to identify at the time. After some searching I think it’s a Heathy Parrot Pea, Dillwynia retorta.
I wish I’d kept notes on exactly where it was found but It’s clear it’s a pea of some sort from the non symmetrical yellow flowers. The short prickly leaves narrow it down, but it’s the twist in the leaves that is observable is some parts of the photo that make me think it’s the Heathy Parrot Pea.
The Heathy Parrot Pea is one of the commonest pea shrubs in the Sydney area. It’s found in heath or woodland growing on sandstone. It’s leaves are about 10mm long, prickly and with a twist in them. Flowers are non symmetrical, yellow with some red parts ( hard to see in my photo )
This one was growing next to and intertwined with a Prickly Moses, it was only that they had different flowers that made me realise they were 2 different plants.