Month: June 2014

Parrot bush Banksia sessilis flowering Perth Hills Korung NP

Colours of winter # 2 – Pulgart

As a profuse producer of nectar the Parrot Bush (Banksia sessilis) attracts many birds as for example Honeyeaters, Black Cockatoos and Ringneck or Twenty Eight Parrots. If  the latter would eat the nectar the local Nyungar people knew it was safe to use the wood for message sticks and its spiky leafs for trapping fish. Nowadays this tree is highly valued for the beekeeping industry.

Western Grey Kangaroo Yanchep NP

Western Grey Kangaroo

The western grey kangaroo (Macropus filiginosus) is one of four large kangaroos and wallaroos that occur in Western Australia. They are recognisable by the white marks on the forehead as well as their finely haired muzzle. Western grey kangaroos are grazers that feed on grasses and herbs, and like ruminants have micro-organisms breaking down fibrous plant material by fermentation. Most animals move out into the open at dusk to feed from late afternoon till early morning. With plentiful succulent green grass available close encounters such as in Yanchep National Park are pretty easy. Note the little Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) hopping around the roo in order to catch any creatures disturbed by their grazing.

Eucalyptus caesia Silver Princess Gungurru

Colours of Winter # 1 – Gungurru

Unlike the South African bushveld the landscape in Australia grows more colourful in wintertime. After the first heavy rains of Makuru (the cold and wet season of the Nyungar calendar) many trees have started flowering, bringing a kind of new life to the otherwise dry bush. On one of our walks near Victoria Dam we stumbled upon this beautiful Silver Princess or Gungurru (Eucalyptus caesia), a rare Mallee of the Eucalyptus genus endemic to the central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. It is named after the grey-white powder covering branches, leaves and flower buds. While most of its fruits where still closed this tree had just started to show some magnificent red flowers, inaugurating the first colours of winter.