23 March 2014

a birding trek that yielded wild bush lemons and processionary caterpillars

8.45 a.m. several cars are ahead, driving down to Dubbo Gully, on the Central Coast 

9 a.m. (daylight saving time), and a lovely mist drifts over the mountain on arrival

seen from a heavy timber-sleepers bridge, over a shallow creek 

 doing what birders do; I'm not in the line-up 'cause I'm taking pics instead.  This' the nearest I get to street-photography!

 when walking through the long grasses path towards this waterhole, the leader of our group casually mentioned that this' an area we always see a black snake.  

I'm not disappointed to  report, we missed it this time.  

Just a lone Purple Swamp Hen was out there.  Thank heavens, because I didn't manage any good bird shots on the day.  The few I did try for were hopeless, just couldn't get settings right, my camera seemed to be fogging up, or ..... whatever :).

It probably was a bit too hot on the day for great birding.  There had been a number of pickups, mostly fleeting, or distant, and included Golden Whistler, and a Drongo too.  I was really hoping on both those shots!

There were a number of wild bush lemons growing, and a wonderfully strong citrus aroma when touching/scraping them.  This one hosts a finch' nest, a little right of centre.

 At the base of Acacia (wattle) trees, this intruiging webbing at their base

My enquiry to Australian Museum was responded to:
"Your image has been examined and identified. What you are seeing is a group of communal living caterpillars that have made this nest and from your image we can see the round caterpillar dropping suspended in the silk. Most likely guess from this image is Ochrogaster lunifer.
More details and images are available here"


Bob Bushell said...

Wow, that's a perfect countryside, well photos.

Carol Mattingly said...

Such gorgeous landscapes surround you there. Just beautiful. No matter what you didn't manage to take, your photos are beautiful nonetheless.

TexWisGirl said...

somehow the web seems less creepy knowing it is caterpillar activity and not spider. :) the lemons look neat!

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

so green. i love the green. wow, what a wild spider web. i bet that is a lot of work for the little spider. or is a huge spider??! ( :

Carole M. said...

Beth: it's not a spider-web; a caterpillar has made it - info' under photo.

Phil Slade said...

Hi Carole, You not have got many bird pics but it looks like a great place to explore. And you did get a caterpillar tick after all.

In answer to your question - bird in LH, camera in RH.

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures carole,
The web of the caterpillars is very nice.
The area I find wonderful, beautiful scenery there.
Greetings Irma

eileeninmd said...

Carole, gorgeous scenery seen on your trek. Nice sighting of the swamp hen. And the caterpillar nest is neat.. Great find.. Have a happy week!

Kleine Waldameise said...

Herrliche Gegend. Da wär ich gern dabei gewesen, Carole. Etwas gruselig dieses Spinnengespinst.

Grüße zum Sonntag
von der Waldameise

alp said...

Estupendas imágenes... Muy bonitas... Un abrazo desde Murcia.

Wally Jones said...

Carole, what a lovely and birdy looking place!

Happy you didn't find a Black Snake. The caterpillars appear similar to our "tent caterpillar" species. Hope they're not as destructive.

(I think I recognize some those birders. Or do we all look alike from that angle?) :)

Brian King said...

Beautiful country! The caterpillar web is very impressive! Kinda glad it wasn't a spider. :-)

Jan Castle said...

Had no idea caterpillar's spun webs like this - very interesting!

Susan said...

Fascinating, and always good to have an explanation too.
You had an interesting day overall :D)

DeniseinVA said...

Marvelous photos! The webbing was very interesting and thank you for finding out what caused it. I love lemons! :). A great day out and about!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Carole. Oh how I had been with you on the central coast bird trip. Did I see John seale's legs in the shot? Lovely area but glad you escaped the black snack. Get to learn about the caterpillar web. Love the lemon tree.

Montanagirl said...

Nice bunch of photos. I like that Butcher Bird, and the webbing around that tree is quite something!

Liz said...

What a lovely area, though!!
We are planning another holiday down to your area in the next 12 months. I do hope we can catch up this time. :)

Helma said...

What fun to see the lemon tree. A nest of a finch
The big web in your last picture gives me the creeps brrrr ..... Just like an enormous big spider lives in arghhhhhhhh ......
Your other photos are delicious with the walk in the beautiful nature.