On this trip to Balyang I had one purpose. The water levels had gone down and I wanted to check out the channel to see if a short finned eel was visible. [Read more…] about Fish and Waterbugs at Balyang
Barwon River, Geelong
I know, I know. There are a bajillion posts about how the flooding impacted on surrounding areas. Some friends had posted photos of water over half way up the side of the bird hide so I thought it could be interesting to check out.
The water had gone down a fair bit and I didn’t see much of the wildlife that other friends had seen. There were hundreds of seagulls at the nearby golf course though. We also found dead carp that had been piled up in the car park. I am getting really sick of fish.
I have no idea what the above spiders are. They were babies, incredibly tidy. The macro lens can be hit and miss but these turned out really well.
Guess we can’t use this path?
Critter eggs. Maybe caterpillar? The hole at the top is interesting.
Seth found about 20 of these snails. Unfortunately, the photos weren’t clear enough to ID. Never thought I’d be interested in snails 🙂
Interesting ‘galls’ on leaves. Wondering if there are any experiments or citizen science stuff to participate in with galls?
There isn’t much else to say as we struggled to find much diversity. We couldn’t access the bird hide at this point. It was interesting, but not as much as the other places.
I’ve written posts in the past about flooding about the flooding at Balyang. Pft. We’ve had heavy rains in the past. The boardwalk has filled up with water. It’s never actually flooded though.
On Saturday night, the day we had gone to Buckley Falls, we went to Balyang. The flooding was pretty decent for there! A lot of the grass was covered in water past the trees. One of the wooden sidewalk thingies was completely covered in water. I didn’t know how to get decent photos in the dark. Alas, the water had majorly gone down the next day so I couldn’t capture the impact. I did get a number of awesome bug photos though.
These are pie dish bugs. They hide under the eucalyptus bark during the day and come out at night, which is why I’ve never seen them before.
I think this is a cockroach?
The next day
You can see how much the banks had burst in the above two photos.
The algae shows how high the water got previously.
The water had completely covered this the night before.
Despite the water being high, I couldn’t see any frogs. Even at night!
I did find where the heron is nesting.
There were a lot of these green spiders out the night before but I couldn’t find any the next day. I found this one but have yet to get an ID. I have bought a book about spider identification though.
Look at the algae! I wonder how it impacts on the ecosystem?
I assume the above is a caterpillar of some sort. It’s fascinating how the ‘cocoon’ is so transparent.
I don’t know how much more I’ll be documenting this, however it was fascinating seeing the immediate impact 🙂
Over the past week, the area around Geelong has gotten some pretty impressive rain. By Wednesday, I was getting reports and photos from friends about the different areas of the Barwon that had flooded. There were some brilliant photos and footage of showing just how high the flood waters had gotten.
I wasn’t able to get to Buckley Falls until a couple of days later, when some of the water had subsided. As you can see, it was still much heavier then usual.
There were so many cars here, at least 15. Normally there might be just 2-3 families exploring along this little stretch. It was weird to share the space with so many people when we usually have the space to ourselves.
Many of the rocks we’d previously walked on were covered.
There was a definite impact on the vegetation, which looked flattened. I wonder if it affects them in the long term or whether the plants just bounce back.
Again, it was weird seeing the gum trees covered part way up.
This is the view as the Barwon heads towards Queens Park. No rocks for the herons and egrets to explore.
A lot of foam in the Bunyip Pool area.
This was where it got fascinating. I’ve walked this path on so many occasions. It’s great for finding bugs, skinks and just scrambling. The floods had obviously risen past the path earlier but the waters had subsided. It was still a bit muddy and slippery in some parts. Not many people were willing to try.
In the areas where the path was covered, there were rocks further up to walk over. We did find some drowned animals in this section.
There were five kayakers having fun at the falls. So many people were also photographing them as the water was so powerful. I got a number of great shots but didn’t want to show photos showing identifying features.
An odd creature we found. I’ll be seeking an ID.
The rare rocks that were visible near the falls.
We didn’t find any skinks, however that could have been due to the sheer number of people. There was an opportunistic kookaburra and a magpie feeding its chick. I’ll be researching just how the floods will impact on the local ecology over the coming months. This trip was mostly about photographing something you don’t often see.
It was mums birthday on the weekend. There was just one thing she wanted to do for the day: go looking for Pokemon.
I hate Pokemon. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to look for more examples of flora along the Barwon River.
It turns out I suck at finding and identify flora. And, because I was trying to focus on too many things, I didn’t see that many bugs. Until mum had finished with looking for Pokemon. We were starting to walk back when we got distracted by some pretty leaves.
We found some ones that had obviously been impacted by, well, something. There was discolouration and galls, and possible something tiny that had been eating through this leaf.+
Mum annoyed me this past weekend. She has a better eye for bugs than I do. She noticed this gold spider and was so entranced by it. I saw a lot of spiders on Sunday, and some of the photos turned out decent 🙂
Mum found the above spider. She was fascinated by how gold it is and how it seemed to reflect the suns rays. Turns out it belongs the the Simaethula genus, which is actually quite common in suburban gardens. D’oh! We thought we’d found something nifty.
The above spider is common but we were more fascinated by how it was walking over the gum leaf skeletonizer eggs. I don’t think it was eating them but you can also see what looks like web over the photo. Haven’t seen that again, despite looking.
Had to get a lot of photos of these guys. They were everywhere, and in varying sizes. It was at this point where I realized that I’m actually making a lot of progress with nature, I’m starting to remember animals I saw last spring. Even if I have to google the name when I get home.
According to Bowerbird, above is “an acacia leaf beetle larva. Probably the fireblight beetle, Peltoschema orphana which is very common this season. It feeds on silver wattle. Following good winter rains this will be an excellent season for wildlife.”
That was completed unexpected. I assumed it was a sawfly larvae and just moved on, as Seth wanted to move to t a different area.
Pillbugs, not slaters.
It was a good little trip, highlighting the start of the season. Can’t wait to see what else we find.