Saturday, November 10, 2012

Orchids and stuff....

Its become a lot harder for me to get a new bird close to home of late and while birding will always remain the number one passion (aside from Simone of course) I have recently started to develop a more than passing interest in native orchids. I have always had a bit of an interest in them - I can generally seperate an orchid from a lily or the like - but it now seems to be evolving into something a little more. Certainly there has been a few times lately where I have left the binoculars at home and spent much of my time staring at the ground... I still bird while doing this, but almost purely by ear, and that is a rather cathartic experience. Its also opened up a whole new field of identification and one that is just a bit challenging, particularly as for a lot of the year an Australian native orchid might be at best a single or double leaf poking out of the forest floor. At the moment my pics are just with a standard 50mm nikon lens hand held but I can see a macro lens in my near future....

Baluk Willam Reserve

This is the reserve that really got me back interested in orchids.... I have spent much of the past 15 years birding around South-east Melbourne and I cant understand why I had never heard of this place before... it was only a random google search that put me onto it. It is a relatively small reserve in Belgrave South that has an amazing 80-90 species of orchid recorded, although a number of these are historical records. Its also not a bad birding place and I have recorded such nice outer suburban birds as Painted Button-quail, Brush Cuckoo and Satin Flycatcher as well as a Powerful Owl feather.... must get back and flash the spotlight around sometime. On my first visit in mid October I found around a dozen species of flowering orchid and on subsequent visits I have now found over twenty. Im looking forward to revisting over the next 12 months as I have also found a variety of "orchid leaves" that are not yet flowering... there is also a good half of the reserve still as yet unexplored.

Just a few "record shots" - ID is my best guess and am happy to be corrected. :-)


Waxlip Orchid
Purplish Beard Orchid (a bit past its best)
Notched Onion Orchid (best guess)
Large Bird Orchid
Black-tongue Caladenia
Rabbit Ears (ok I cheated with this one.... its from the Brisbane Ranges)
Plenty more of these to come....


1 comment:

  1. Hello, he's hooked on the terrestrials! Same thing happened to me Tim. Birding was the big thing, then because I'm out there I start seeing these little things of beauty on the ground. I've discovered some nice birds while rolling around on the ground trying to get some dam tiny orchid into focus.
    Nice selection by the way. Haven't seen a Bird Orchid myself for some time.