Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, September 02, 2013

Dry August, but the Macquarie Pass Orchids are going gang-busters

Well, it is official, August saw Robertson (well, my house at least) got 1.5mm of rain, in two separate "rainfall events". Yep, folks, its hard to get much drier than that.
But we got a lot of rain (428mm) back in June, and so the tiny Greenhoods down on Macquarie Pass are blooming as I have never seen them bloom before.
But before we delve into the intricacies of thousands of Greenhoods, and Maroonhoods, here is a bird which brazenly walked across the roadway, in the gaps between heavy traffic rolling down the Pass. It is a native thrush, about the size of a European Blackbird, (slightly heavier, in fact).
It is a Bassian Thrush (which I once knew as a "Ground Thrush" - before the taxonomists brought Australian bird names into lock-step with the international naming conventions).

"If a Bassian Thrush is disturbed it often runs a short distance and then freezes, relying for defence on the camouflage of its mottled plumage against the leaf-litter of the forest floor."
That quote from Birds in Backyards site perfectly explains what is going on in the next shot. It scurried to the edge of the leaf litter,t hen "froze". It took me ages to even realise I had photographed the bird in the leaf litter. The yellow oval marks where it is. Look for the bird's eye.
Bassian Thrush camouflaged perfectly.
Check out the yellow oval ring, then look for the bird's eye.
The first Orchid colony
seen from across the Macquarie Pass roadway.
Pterostylis erecta colony

Pterostylis hildae and some Pterostylis erecta

A classic Pterostylis hildae
Mixed clump of Pterostylis hildae and erecta

Mixed clump of Pterostylis hildae and erecta

Nodding Greenhood - Pterostylis nutans

Mixed clump of Pterostylis hildae and erecta

A hybrid between Pt. hildae and Pt. erecta

A likely cross between Pt hildae and nutans

A likely cross between Pt hildae and Pt. erecta

Pterostylis hildae

Cross between Pt. nutans and Pt hildae

the final colony of Pt erecta and Pt hildae.

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