aquaprofunda: The tendril of a squash vine (squash tendril)
[personal profile] aquaprofunda
This was totally fun. From the moment I started it I was loving it. It totally tapped into my love of collecting, researching and recording data, as well as my love for nature and exploring it.

My rule for collecting was that I’d check off a species the first time I spotted it. That meant that the start of the month had lots and lots of additions to the list, tapering off at the end. Losing my job and also being bedridden meant that my month was a bit disrupted, so I didn’t get out and about as much as I wanted to explore different habitats.

That said, the ones I did explore yielded more than I thought. For example, one afternoon I spent a couple of hours sitting on the edge of the Yarra in the CBD and saw five different aquatic species in the small patch of murky river just in front of me. It was glorious.

The best part of it was having the feeling of being engaged with my environment on another level. Having an understanding of the creatures around me, rather than just looking at stuff and thinking “ooh, pretty” was like experiencing the world at a higher resolution. I really love it.

Also, since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to be one of those grown-ups who just knows things about… stuff. I loved being around adults who could just share fascinating science facts on call, commentating on the world around us and answering all the questions my hungry mind had with patience and a huge depth of knowledge.

So yeah, I really enjoyed this challenge on a number of levels and will definitely be continuing on with it.


Totals


Fish/aquatic: 7 species
Mammals: 3 species
Reptiles: 1 species
Birds: 29 species


Full list, field notes & photos


Fish


  • Gambusia (introduced)
    Masses of them swimming in schools in the shallows of the local creek. Apparently they were introduced to eat mozzie wrigglers. Guess what they’re not that interested in?

  • Brown trout (introduced)
    Also in the local creek, a few of them idling languidly near some submerged logs. Bigger than I expected to see in the creek, and some almost gold in colour.

  • Common galaxias (native)

  • Macquarie perch (native)

  • Australian grayling (native)
    All three of the above fish were hanging out together in what seemed to be an uneasy peace - in schools of about 5-20, the were feeding around the weed-covered cobbles in the city river.

  • Mottled shore crab (native)
    Two of these, living in the cobbled bank of the river in the city. Very shy.

  • Moon jellyfish (native)
    I think it was dead, drifted into the river on the tide.


Mammals


  • Grey-headed flying foxes (native)
    The ubiquitous - and adorable - flying fox. These guys are enormous, and fly in huge swarms over my part of town at dusk. I can see them from my window as I sit on my chair in the evening.

  • Brown rat (introduced)
    Very big and very healthy, trotting around the garden beds in the community garden where I leave my compost.

  • Microbats (native) (heard only, unable to identify)
    I can hear these guys echolocate their hearts out in the evening, usually when it’s warm. Occasionally if I’m out and about I can see their silhouettes, but unfortunately there’s no way I can identify species from either of those!



Reptiles







  • Marbled gecko (native)
    I found this tiny little guy on my balcony. We had a stack of old plant pots with bits of dirt and pebbles in. I reorganised them so I could use one, and once I’d finished potting the plant I looked over and saw this little guy lying on his back, stunned. I was worried that he’d been accidentally squashed, but once I picked him up he clung on to my finger quite capably (you can see in the photo - I’m wearing latex gloves because I was potting). I brought him inside to show my housemate and she suggested we take him down to the scrub by the creek to release him, so I put him in a box and off we went. By the time we got there he was well perked up - he didn’t want to get out of the box! But we eventually got him out and left him under a big volcanic rock in the shrubbery. Totes adorable.


Birds



  • Australian magpie (native)
    Seen: in parks and residential streets

  • Australian wood duck (native)
    Seen: in the big city gardens, on/by the pond.

  • Bell miner (native)
    Seen/heard: in a particular area of gums by the local creek. These guys have a brilliant bell-like call that is piercing and constant when you walk through their territory. Also a gorgeous brilliant olive colour.


  • Black swan (native)
    Seen: on the city river. They are very entertaining jerks.

  • Chestnut teal (native)
    Seen: On the local creek.

  • Common blackbird (introduced)
    Seen: In parks and residential streets.

  • Common myna (introduced)
    Seen: EVERYWHERE YOU GO.

  • Common starling (introduced)
    Seen: In the city parks, and also in the rowan tree outside my living room window, eating all the berries.

  • Crested pigeon (native)
    Seen: in the native plantations along the local bike path

  • Dusky moorhen (native)
    Seen: In the city park by the pond, and by the local creek.

  • Eurasian tree sparrow (introduced)
    Seen: residential streets

  • Galah (native)
    Seen: local park/bike path


  • Grey butcherbird (native)
    Seen: Local park/bike path, in the pepper trees


  • Little pied cormorant (native)
    Seen: drying off by the creek

  • Little raven (native)
    Seen:

  • Little wattlebird (native)
    Seen: in all the trees around the residential streets

  • Magpie-lark (native)
    Seen: residential streets, parks, city


  • Nankeen night-heron (native)
    Seen: Sullenly hanging around the pond in the city park. There are two of them there.

  • Pacific black duck (native)
    Seen: Hanging around the city park

  • Pied currawong (native)
    Seen: In the scrub around the creek

  • Rainbow lorikeet (native)
    Seen: Flocks of them screeching their hearts out in a huge number of the big trees around inner suburban residential streets.

  • Red wattlebird (native)
    Seen: Like the little wattlebird, in the trees around residential streets.

  • Rock dove (feral pigeon) (introduced)
    Seen: everywhere, in a variety of colours - grey, black, brown, white.

  • Silver gull (native)
    Seen: Mostly in the city park by the pond.

  • Spotted dove (introduced)
    Seen: All around residential streets. There’s one nesting in the tree whose boughs are right at my balcony height, I can see her sitting in the nest there :) My cat lights to trill at them whenever she sees them through the window, too.

  • Sulphur-crested cockatoo (native)
    Seen: In one particular suburb only, residential, on the edge of a big nature reserve park.

  • Superb fairy-wren (native)
    Seen: Urban nature reserve park

  • White-browed scrubwren (native)
    Seen: In the scrub around the creek.

  • White-browed woodswallow (native)
    Seen: swooping around over the train line that goes by the urban nature reserve park. Identified by their call.

Date: 2015-03-06 12:49 pm (UTC)
shehasathree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shehasathree
Oh, very awesome.

Date: 2015-03-07 07:20 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
That Nankeen Night Heron is especially awesome! I've never seen one of those.

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