Exploring Cape Conran

Hoping to find a Beautiful Firetail on my birthday we followed a track from Yeerung river bridge across some heathland then through lovely coastal Banksias. Another member of the glorious Proteaceae family the trees in this area were old and gnarled with knobbly bark. Their flowers were finished for this season and they were starting to form those much loved characteristic cones.

I think this is Banksia serrata

After a coffee break with celebratory chocolate we walked to the sea via a coastal path in East Conran. Gorgeous views and reflections and a few remnant Spring wildflowers to challenge our identification skills.

Clear reflections in very still water

Pelargonium australe – a very pretty little plant that must be extraordinarily hardy.
Ocean in the distance but this side of the dune was very sheltered.

We dipped on the Beautiful Firetail and as the temperature was rising rapidly by then we headed back to camp via Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, a short walk through warm temperate rainforest. Apparently the southern-most stand of Livistona australis of a scattered remnant population of 100 plants.

Livistona australis or Cabbage Palm

The path followed a little creek with lots of opportunities for observing birds taking advantage of fallen branches to safely access the water for a drink, sometimes a quick splash. We saw glimpses of Eastern Whipbird and Superb Lyrebird on the far bank as well as close sightings of Rufous Fantail, Black-faced Monarch, Golden Whistler, Thornbill species, Superb Fairywren, Brown Gerygone and a few Honeyeaters. We’ve now had several opportunities to observe Superb Lyrebird and it’s interesting to note that they work through the leaf litter and earth much as our Orange-footed Scrubfowl do at home in the far north. This moving of material is like turning compost and would assist in the decomposition of material on the forest floor.

Brown Gerygone ssp. richmondi – Cabbage Tree This race of Brown Gerygone is quite different in appearance.
Scarlet Honeyeater in full song.

The following day, determined to find at least one new species we took a different track in the Yeerong vicinity and finally managed excellent views of a pair of Red-browed Treecreeper. I first saw it low down on a log before it flew out and landed on the path in front of us. It’s movements appeared quite awkward to us as their legs are really designed for easy movement up a tree trunk or along a branch.

Red-browed Treecreeper – Yeerung

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