Bird survey

The Dawn Road Reserve is filled with birdlife and, led by Dawn Road Reserve Bushcare mentor Janet Mangan, a handful of volunteers combed the reserve for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, May 23, noting and sightings of birds in and around the bushland. From the outset at a point under the powerlines, we…

The striking blue triangle butterfly in the Dawn Road Reserve

Blue triangle butterfly

The stunning blue triangle butterfly (Graphium sarpedon) is very active and frequently seen around the Dawn Road Reserve. Also known as the common bluebottle swallowtail, its host plant is usually camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) trees, a serious weed that can be found across the Reserve. It will also feed on other, nectar-rich native plants. Sources:…

Monarch butterfly rests on Brazilian nightshade weeds in the Dawn Road Reserve

Monarch butterfly

UPDATE (25/1/2016): Watch the fascinating lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly online. Known as the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus or wanderer butterfly), this insect is referred to by enthusiasts as the king of butterflies. While this insect is a regular visitor to the Dawn Road Reserve from late summer onwards for up to eight months (their usual…

An eastern grey kangaroo on the edge of the Dawn Road Reserve. (Picture: Peter Bull)

Eastern grey kangaroo

While you are far more likely to see – or hear – wallabies in and around the Dawn Road Reserve, particularly at night, you may be lucky during the day or evening to see the occasional eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Our local wallabies – thought to be either red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) or black-striped wallabies (Macropus dorsalis) – are…

Close-up of the Mickey Mouse Plant (Ochna serrulata) showing darkening drupes ready to shed seed

Ochna serrulata

Those residents who live near – or enjoy exploring – the bushland in the Dawn Road Reserve may have noticed the distinctive Mickey Mouse Plant (Ochna serrulata). Its tell-tale green, glossy leaves with serrated margins plus its bright red stalks that carry berry-like ‘drupes’ – which turn from green to black – are not only…

An eastern long-necked turtle heads for higher ground after torrential rains in the Dawn Road Reserve

Eastern long-necked turtle

Usually, the shy eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodnina longicollis, or sometimes known as the snake-necked turtle for obvious reasons) keeps fairly close to the creek, but when we’ve had a decent downpour and the normally quiet Albany Creek starts roaring, these delightful creatures head for higher ground. In this case, this turtle ended up wandering around a local backyard…

A pair of Australian wood ducks (Chenonetta jubata) forage on the recently cleared embankment in the Dawn Road Reserve, near the end of McConachie Court. The male is at the front, the female behind.

Australian wood duck

Australian Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata)– medium-sized ‘goose-like’ ducks with a dark brown head and a paler grey or brownish body, with two black stripes along the back – are frequent visitors to the Dawn Road Reserve. This pair (female at the rear, male in foreground) are scavenging along the recently cleared embankment just before revegetation began.…