Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seed Collection - Russell Island Redlands

Cicada shells at Whistling Kite Wetlands.

Casuarina Forest at Turtle Swamp Wetlands.

Wildflowers of the Coastal Heath, Turtle Swamp Wetlands.

Banksia forest, Turtle Swamp Wetlands.

Coral Fern, Turtle Swamp Wetlands.
The last couple of Redlands Bushcare outings I planned to join were rained off, but last week was fine if a little windy, and the Bushcare Seed Collection outing to Russell Island was on. I was excited about visiting another bay island I hadn't been to before. Russell Island is about one hours barge trip from Redland Bay, taking in views of Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra and Pannikin Islands on the way.
Once on Russell Island we started with a visit to Whistling Kite Wetlands, seeing various wildflowers, grass trees, banksia seedlings and a lot of bandicoot activity (holes in the ground). The stand out sighting here, for me, were the 'armies' of cicada shells clinging to the base of most trees in the area we visited. Many of the trees were charred black from fire, highlighting the golden-ochre casings.
We then headed on to Turtle Swamp Wetlands for a longer walk through various habitats that make up the Coastal Heath. I found this site quite amazing, with a stunning diversity of vegetation and the timing just right for a wonderful display of Spring wildflowers. We moved through casuarina forest with grass ground cover to more open heath with Boronia and many other wildflowers in full bloom. I have to mention the 'trail blazing' efforts of Travis and Marti up front who made the going a bit easier for the rest of us through the heath. The wildflowers were up to my armpits, but the effort was well and truly worth while. Through the wildflowers we moved into an area of Banksia 'forest', still low in height but thick with distinctive leaves and seed cones dominating the heath, then back into more sheltered casuaria groves. It's really quite special to be able to visit areas like this, even if just for a morning. These wetlands are not areas I could explore on my own, being guided during the Redlands bushcare outings is fortunate I think.
Back to the van where we made a short trip down the road to collect seed filled Banksia cones and then back to the jetty for some lunch before enjoying a scenic barge trip back to the mainland.
I found a lot of inspiration on this trip, so much diversity and unusual species. Special thanks to the Redlands Indigiscapes Bushcare Education team for guiding us on the day, it was a great outing.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like another wonderful adventure! The first picture of the cicada shells is very striking, love the soft colors of the second and third photo.