Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Spring Season at Baluk Willam

Lucas on point
Spotted Sun-orchid - Thelymitra ixiodes

Its been a while since I have posted anything but hopefully showing off a few orchids from this season at Baluk Willam NCR will get things started again. As I have said previously. Baluk Willam is a great little reserve in Belgrave South near Lysterfield which is renowned for its range of native orchids. It is worth a visit any time of the year with the spring season being a particular specialty. It is worth checking out the excellent Friend's website before visiting to see what is flowering - - it also gives hints of where to look.Be aware that many orchids by their very nature only have a very brief flowering season so it is easy to miss them.

Thelymitra media - Tall Sun-orchid
I usually start at the carpark near the intersection of the aptly named Orchid Road and Courtney's Road and do the loop north - the area around the large Cherry Ballart on both sides of the track is particularly productive and is a great area for various Greenhoods, Helmet orchids and Sun-orchids depending on the season. My 4 year old particularly likes this area as there are lots of rocks to climb, logs to look under and orchids to spot. It is also one of the more productive birding areas.
Tall Greenhood - Bunochilus melagrammus

Maroonhood - Pterosylis pedunculata
Mountain Greenhood - Pterostylis alpina

Head back down the fire road beside the fenceline checking any open areas although this area doesn't seem as productive as it has in previous years. However the tongue orchids are numerous in season and long lasting.There is often a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles over the paddocks here.

Small Tongue Orchid - Cryptostylis leptochila
The eastern edge of Courtney's Road is then the next place worth trying with a steady procession of nice species throughout the spring season including Brown Beaks, a couple of Spider-orchids, Sun-orchids and Diuris.

Wine-lipped Spider Orchid - Arachnorchis oenochila

Wallflower Orchid - Diuris orientis
Brown Beaks - Lyperanthus suaveolens

Then, if time permits it is worth driving (or waddling) up to the second 50 sign and parking in the turn out - the area opposite is good for a variety of orchids throughout the season from Cobra's to Beards and Sun-orchids. Then do a nice loop around the tracks through the horse barrier opposite.

Broad-lip Leek Orchid - Prasophyllum odoratum

Eastern Bronze Caladenia - Stegostyla transitoria
Red Beard orchid

Obviously there are plenty of other orchid place around Melbourne and Victoria but this is the place that re-kindled an interest for me and being so close to home is a convenient place to go for a wander on the weekend with a curious 4 year old in tow.I am up to about 40 species photographed here and I still pick up new stuff from time to time.

Red-tipped Greenhood

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