March 19, 2023

Alpha adventure: Sunder Nursery butterfly walk (India)

Today I joined an organised butterfly walk around Sunder Nursery in New Delhi, led by Mr Ishtiyak Ahamed.
The group spotted several butterfly species, plus lots of dragonflies, and a few other insects and birds.
-feeding grey hornbills
-chequered swallowtail butterfly
-commn castor butterfly caterpillar

Posted on March 19, 2023 08:25 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 42 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Alpha Adventure: Gujarat (state of India)

Work trip to Gujarat state, with some wildlife encounters on the side; most notably:

  • 6 new birds: ashy-crowned sparrow-lark, common babbler, dusky crag-martin, rosy starling, bank myna, andlittle ringed plover.
  • northern plains grey langur
Posted on March 19, 2023 08:19 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 20, 2022

Alpha adventure: Black Mountain orchid walk, Oct 22

A wander around the foothills of Black Mountain in mid-October once again yielded a great number of flowering orchids. Lots of waxlips and Caladenias, plus the target species: greenhoods (two species of greenhood actually!).
Awaiting community ID to determine the final tally of orchid species...

Posted on October 20, 2022 09:22 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 12 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Record: iconic Aussie wildlife, Tidbinbilla, Sep 22

An early morning hike around the Tidbinbilla sanctuary (in the ACT region) yielded close(ish) encounters with two iconic Aussie critters:

  1. Platypus
  2. Southern brown bandicoots
Posted on October 20, 2022 09:18 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Alpha adventure: Bangladesh, Sep 22

A quick work trip to Bangladesh, with a couple of side nature walks in the nearby surrounds.
Highlights of my first foray into South Asia include the rufous treepie, a purple-rumped sunbird, a couple of kingfishers, irrawaddy squirrels, and a lovely swallowtail butterfly.

Posted on October 20, 2022 09:14 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 07, 2021

Alpha adventure: Mulligan's Flat twilight tour, ACT, Dec 21

6 Dec 21: Twilight tour of the Mulligan's Flat Nature Reserve
(a little local adventure)

As our tour guide Luke explained, the Mulligan's Flat nature reserve is a sanctuary to protect the critically endangered box gum grassy woodland. A predator-proof fence has been constructed and locally extinct animals have been reintroduced in an attempt to restore the woodlands to the biodiversity levels that preceded habitat clearing and predator introduction.

During our walk we spotted eastern grey kangaroos and two wallaby species, brushtail possums, the eastern bettong (reintroduced), a family of tawny frogmouth, and a nice water spider. We also heard the eerie calls of bush-stone curlews (reintroduced).

A great little conservation ecosystem.

Posted on December 07, 2021 10:47 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 6 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

November 17, 2021

Alpha adventure: Sydney northern beaches, Nov 21

A weekend trip to the northern beaches to escape the unseasonal cold weather in Canberra!

The trip included visits to Warriewood Wetlands, Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and Mona Vale Basin for some bird and bug spotting!
Highlights included lots of interesting insects and spiders! My particular favourites are:
-Mesostenina wasp
-Handmaiden moths
-Flower-feeding march fly
-Austral ellipsidion cockroaches
-Common triangular spider
-Saint Andrew's cross spider
(plus a few more I've linked below)

I also spotted a red-bellied black snake lurking in the wetlands, and a few nice beach coming finds on the beach, including a violet globe snail.

Posted on November 17, 2021 08:54 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Record: mystery case moths

During a recent trip to Molonglo Gorge (ACT), I spotted three caterpillars with cases made from sticky everlasting petals. The usually helpful iNat auto-identifier wasn't able to shed much light, so after a little bit of internet research it seems they are an undescribed species of case moth.

The internet revealed several case moth species:
In particular undetermined species BB, which has similar petal cases and was found nearby, but the source flowers were different:

I've exchanged a few emails with the Don Herbison-Evans from that website, and he advised that they could be Psychidae or Tineoidea, so he's suggested rearing a specimen in captivity to see what pops out, which sounds like a fun science experiment, so I'll be heading back to Molonglo Gorge to see if we can find any...and then see what happens...!

Stay tuned.

Posted on November 17, 2021 08:41 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 1 observation | 2 comments | Leave a comment

October 05, 2021

Record: uncommon visitor to Canberra - red-backed kingfisher

Social media (eg instagram and facebook) and citizen science websites like this one i(Naturalist) and make it easy to be alerted when uncommon visitors come to when a little red-backed kingfisher popped up in some Canberra bushland, I jumped on the bandwagon.
For me, this was only the second time I'd seen a red-backed during my visits to the Campbell Park woodland, I also spotted my first owlet-nightjar, and some nesting little it broke up the monotony of lockdown just a little.

Posted on October 05, 2021 10:56 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 09, 2021

Alpha adventure: NSW outback, Apr 21

A 6-day road trip to Broken Hill and back, camping in national parks, birdwatching in various hotspots, and checking out lots of cool spots in between:
Murrumbateman -> Harden -> Fivebough wetlands -> Yanga NP
Yanga NP -> Australian Inland Botanic Gardens (Buronga) -> Perry Sandhills -> Silverton -> Menindee Lake/Kinchega NP/LAke Pamamaroo
Menindee -> Broken Hill -> Living Desert Park -> White Cliffs opal fields
White Cliffs -> Mount Grenfell -> Round Hill nature reserve -> Lake Cargelligo
Lake Cargelligo -> Weethalle -> West Wyalong -> Grenfell -> Weddin -> home!

I've loaded 60 observations from the trip, including road-running emus, mating dragonflies, a hiding southern boobook and various desert plants and insects. I added 15 bird species to my life list!

Posted on April 09, 2021 10:45 AM by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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