Billie the sulphur-crested cockatoo taking a walk through suburbia at Albany Creek

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Regular visitors in and around the Dawn Road Reserve are the rather noisy sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). You’ll hear one squawk to its mate or offspring, or evens dozens of them calling to one another as their flock scans the horizon for likely sources of food. According to Birds in Backyards, the large, white sulphur-crested…

The distinctive cumbungi (Typha domingensis) lines the waterway at the end of McConachie Court

Cumbungi (bullrush)

Whenever there are small streams or overland flows criss-crossing the Dawn Road Reserve, you are likely to see a north Queensland native water weed called cumbungi (Typha domingensis) – also known as bullrushes or ca’ts tails. Sadly, cumbungi has spread to south-east Queensland and you can find quite a bit of it along the stream that runs…

Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) in flower with its prolific, bright yellow blooms

Easter cassia

The showy, bright-yellow flowering Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) can grow to around 5m in height and is dotted throughout the Dawn Road Reserve, particularly where there are sunny clearings or openings in the overhead canopy. You have probably seen this eye-catching plant, alongside roads and waterways, or even in domestic gardens. After it…

Alexandra palms invaded the riparian zone at the end of McConachie Court

Alexandra palm

You see them in many places around Brisbane, including private gardens, but the tall Alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) can grow up to 30m in height, with a crown containing around 10-12 long leaves that themselves can measure up to 4.5m. Unfortunately, while they are native to northern parts of Queensland, the Alexander palm has become…

This weed species, wild tobacco, has sprung up all over the Dawn Road Reserve.

Wild tobacco

Wild tobacco (Solanum mauritianum) shrubs, which can grow up to 4m in height, can be seen in many places throughout the Dawn Road Reserve. Originally from Argentina, this weed forms dense stands and suppresses the growth of other species. According to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, wild tobacco likes disturbed sites and its…

The lavender flowers and red berries of the Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum) that is taking hold in the Dawn Road Reserve.

Brazilian nightshade

One of the newer, yet very invasive, weeds encountered in the Dawn Road Reserve has been Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum), a deceptively pretty creeper with lavender florets and berries that are green when immature and bright red when ripe. A native of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and tropical South America, the Brazilian nightshade has become a weed…

The foliage on a mature broad-leafed pepper tree can reach all the way to the ground

Broad-leafed pepper

According to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, broad-leafed (or broad-leaved) pepper trees (Schinus terebinthifolius) are a Class 3 declared pest plant under Queensland law. A native to South America, they have been introduced into domestic gardens and escaped into the wild, invading coastal dunes, wetlands and stream banks. These trees are not only a…