March 2015 Field Visit – Wagga Wagga LGA

March has been a hectic month, and I’m reporting in on the final day again. I haven’t had much chance to get out and about this month, but I did spend a couple of evenings poking around Flowerdale Lagoon and Pomingalarna Reserve at Wagga Wagga, just this week, accompanied by my dad.

Pomingalarna Reserve (aka Pomingalarna Park) is a scrubby hill reserve on the western edge of the Wagga Wagga township, and is named after a Wiradjuri woman from a local legend. The reserve is dominated by White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla), assorted Acacia species and some rather weedy-looking Inland Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and White Box (Eucalyptus albens). The reserve is popular with mountain bike riders and is criss-crossed with trails for cyclists, walkers and horse riders to use. The Wagga Urban Landcare Group have undertaken habitat plantings for Glossy Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami) in parts of the reserve over the past decade, but I didn’t walk through any of these sections on this particular visit.

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Hillside scrub at Pomingalarna Park

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Adventures in ‘gardenside’ birding

I opened my front door today to find a small group of galahs (and two yellow rosellas who flew off before I could get my camera out) sitting on the front verge and eating seeds. Knowing the state of my front verge, I suspect they were eating cathead (Tribulus terrestris) seeds, so I hope they come back tomorrow and eat some more, because the fewer cathead seeds that germinate on my front verge next summer the better.

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Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) helping address my weed problem

Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) are one of those species with the unfortunate distinction of being so familiar a sight that few people ever bother to stop to look at them. I must plead guilty to this as well, but I do like to take the time to sit and watch them on occasion, and it must be acknowledged that they’re kinda pretty. We’re a bit spoiled in Australia, because so many of our common birds are large and brightly coloured, and it’s easy to accept this as normal and forget that out of the tens of thousands of bird species worldwide, great big pink things that come and eat weed seeds on your front verge are actually rather unusual.

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Galahs – proof that even being big, pink, and noisy isn’t enough to get you noticed

Sadly, the galahs were disturbed by my leaving my verandah to walk to my car, and flew off. I needed to get going though, because I was helping someone set up a new veggie garden in another part of town. While taking a break from gardening I looked up at the shed and noticed we were being watched.

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Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) watching from the shed

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