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Hiking The Hills – Discipline Trip To Magnetic Island April 2017

View over Horseshoe Bay from near our lunch-spot. DS picture.
The day was hotter and extra humid than anticipated and the observe was steeper than I remembered but that did not cease us from enjoying a ravishing day walking the Nelly Bay to Arcadia track by means of Magnetic Island’s hills. The signal firstly recommend a 2.5 hour completion time but in our well-established tradition we managed to stretch it to six!! In our defence there was a lot to look at – plants, birds, skinks and butterflies – not to say the stunning views. And, as the temperature and gradient elevated, so did our want for drink stops.

That is such an fascinating walk passing through rainforest vegetation alongside the solar-dappled swimming pools of Gustav Creek, to extra open eucalypt and acacia woodland as we gained the ridge, then getting into savannah grassland dotted with grass bushes (Xanthorrhea johnsonii) on the descent. Because the monitor curled around to return us to Arcadia, we found ourselves again among the mixed woodland attempting to identify koalas whereas not tripping over the rocks and roots at our toes. The delectable gelati ice-creams at Arcadia reinvigorated us sufficient to make the walk alongside Geoffrey Bay – the seashore nicely shaded by its fringing casuarinas – to attach with the brand new Gabul walkway and so back to our starting point.

A young pink-tailed black declines to erect his crest for the camera! DS photo.
It was lovely to see the bush so inexperienced and vibrant. Birders had been blissful to get good sightings of the Orange-footed scrub fowl at a number of points alongside the track, a quick glimpse of an emerald dove, and a detailed view of a juvenile Crimson-tailed black cockatoo plaintively calling for Mum. Currawongs gave their joyful calls from the hilltops, fantails and flycatchers darted among the bushes and, reaching the saddle, a Brahminy kite and White-bellied sea-eagle soared above Horseshoe Bay.

The plant individuals have been engrossed by the variety of species especially on the lengthy ascent from the tip of Mandalay Avenue, the place the track started. Beth was excited by a Cupaniopsis wadsworthii or Duckfoot tuckeroo, named for its odd-shaped leaves. Close by she additionally famous the shrub Cryptocarya triplinervis, or Three-veined laurel, and the Poison peach (Trema sp.). While the golden orchids (Dendrobium discolor) on the bushes were not in flower, a species of Clerodendrum was displaying its fairly pink and white flowers. A very-massive leafed fig, with cauliflorous fruit was almost certainly Ficus hispida or Bushy fig – recognized from an exquisite on-line resource compiled by a local resident Donald Simpson. Check it out here – you will discover it straightforward to make use of, comprehensive (notice that it additionally contains non-natives) and seems to be continually up to date with great photos.

Grass bushes had been a characteristic of the savannah because the track descended. Photo DS photograph.
Burdekin plums (Pleiogynium timorense) had been noticed where the rainforest gave option to the open woodland and alongside the higher, and drier, ridges we noted Moreton Bay Ash (Corymbia tesselaris), Poplar Gum (Eucalyptus platyphylla) and the Slender-leafed Ironbark, both E. drepanophylla or E. crebra. Nanette additionally observed how the Lemon-scented grass was very dominant on the higher part of the hills. The Townsville wattle, Acacia leptostachia, thrives on the island however we were unsure regarding one specimen that seemed too tall. Possibly it was the similar A. leptocarpa which does type a taller tree however, being undecided, we dubbed it “Acacia dilemma” and left it at that. Later within the year these hillsides will be spangled with the brilliant yellow flowers of the Native kapok (Cochlospermum gillivraei) but their distinctive fluffy seed capsules had been here and there on the ground.

It was a special pleasure to welcome 2 island residents, Annie and Catherine, on our stroll and hope we will see you again someday on island or mainland. Our feeling was that we should include no less than one Magnetic Island walk in our programme each year. Big thanks to Denise and Joan for the fowl list, Nanette for the grasses, Jane and Beth for different plant data and Denise (again) for the photographs. Click on on images to enlarge.

On the house stretch and attempting not to look as exhausted as we felt! DS photo (Taken by Annie)
Extra plants recorded, with location where noted:

Proiphys amboinensis – Cardwell lily – monitor-side, halfway up from start. If you liked this information along with you would like to get details concerning Island kindly visit our web-site.
Schefflera actinophylla – Umbrella tree – monitor-side, close to lunch stop
Livistona drudei – Halifax palm
Planchonia careyi – Cocky apple – in drier space, behind Horseshoe
Trichodesma zeylanicum – Camel bush – track-aspect, near lunch stop
Maytenus disperma – Orange bark
Ipomaea pes-caprae – Goat’s foot stone island blue puffer coat convolvulus – strong vine on the seashore
Scleria sphacelata – no common identify.
Mallotus philippensis – Purple kamala – close to the track junction to HB road and Arcadia
Gahnia aspera – Saw sedge – monitor to Sphinx lookout
Dianella caerulea – Blue flax lily – monitor-side, Nelly Bay to highest water tank
Gossia bidwillii – Refrigerator tree, Python tree – on first a part of climb
Jasminum didymum ssp. racemosum – Native jasmine – Nelly Bay end of monitor
Passiflora aurantia var. aurantia – Purple passion flower
Tacca leontopetaloides – Arrowroot – in drier part, back of Horseshoe Bay
Drynaria sparsisora – Rock fern – near the top of the vary.

Native grasses recorded:
Rainforest (2 species)
Oplisemus aemulus – Australian Basket grass
Setaria australiensis – Scrub pigeon grass
Woodland (15 species)
Aristida calycina – Dark wiregrass, branched wire grass
Aristida gracilipes
Aristida utilis
Bothriochloa bladhii – Forest bluegrass
Cymbopogon ambiguus -Lemon-scented grass
Eragrostis leptostachya – Paddock lovegrass

Eriachne rara
Heteropogon contortus – Black speargrass
Mnesithea rottboellioides – Northern canegrass
Panicum decompositum – Native millett
Panicum effusum – Hairy panic
Paspalidium criniforme
Sarga plumosum – Plume sorghum
Themeda triandra – Kangaroo grass
Triodia stenostachya – Porcupine grass

Birds recorded:
– Crested tern (from ferry)
– Silver gull (from ferry)
– Straw-necked ibis
– Brahminy kite
– White-breasted sea-eagle
– Orange-footed scrubfowl
– Bush stone-curlew
– Masked lapwing
– Emerald dove
– Peaceful dove
– Galah
– Sulphur-crested cockatoo
– Red-tailed black cockatoo
– Rainbow lorikeet
– Crimson rosella
– Pheasant coucal
– Laughing kookaburra
– Sacred kingfisher
– Forest kingfisher

– Rainbow bee-eater
– Dollarbird
– Welcome swallow
– White-bellied cuckoo-shrike
– Assorted triller
– Little shrike thrush
– Spectacled monarch
– Leaden flycatcher
– Rufous fantail
– Helmeted friarbird
– Scarlet honeyeater
– Figbird
– Spangled drongo
– White-breasted woodswallow
– Pied currawong
– Nice bowerbird
– Torresian crow
– Home sparrow

View to Whitfield Cover from the Sphinx Lookout. DS photo.

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