Context: 750 hectares located north of Mount Bold Reservoir consisting of hilly terrain and creeks through stringybark scrub with dense understory, walking tracks and historic mining operations. The Eastern half of the park was burnt out by intense wildfire in January 2021.
As of March 2022 the burnt sections of this park, east of Dorset Vale Road, have now reopened to the public. After creating an iNaturalist Project to collect observations post bushfire, I’ve been eager to revisit.
We’d thought the warm day would be good for a short walk along Neville Rd, Currawong Ridge Track, Bandicoot Track and Matthews Rd. But at 30°C, humid, no wind and all the tree canopy removed by the fire, it was unexpectedly hot.
Many of the Eucalypts were killed by the fire, but some are reshooting. The ground, now exposed without the tree canopy, is exploding with new growth. In particular dense areas of two foot tall Golden Wattles (Acacia pycnantha).
The Common Brown Butterflies (Heteronympha merope) were as common as ever, with one launching from the ground and resettling every few meters we walked. Even more common were the Australian Plague Locusts (Chortoicetes terminifera), no doubt feeding on the abundant new growth. Amongst the Wattles were a few large patches of Hop Goodenia (Goodenia ovata). I hadn’t realised this was a pioneer species.
At a high point along Currawong Ridge Track a few of the Eucalypts had significant regrowth and were being utilised by a Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), a White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea) and several Striated Thornbills (Acanthiza lineata).
Back along Matthews Rd the introduced Sweet Scabious (Sixalix atropurpurea) were abundant, seemingly unaffected in number by the fire. As usual, these were attracting quite a few Meadow Argus (Junonia villida) and Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi).
|Species Page||Icon||Binomial||Common Name||Observations|
|75253||Acacia pycnantha||Golden Wattle||4|
|201621||Chortoicetes terminifera||Australian Plague Locust||4|
|197079||Junonia villida||Meadow Argus||3|
|83571||Bursaria spinosa||Australian Blackthorn||2|
|143356||Kennedia prostrata||Running Postman||2|
|149448||Heteronympha merope||Common Brown||2|
|533318||Ixodia achillaeoides||sand ixodia||2|
|7794||Cormobates leucophaea||White-throated Treecreeper||1|
|13467||Acanthiza lineata||Striated Thornbill||1|
|47219||Apis mellifera||Western Honey Bee||1|
|50879||Erigeron||fleabanes and horseweeds||1|
|56077||Hypericum perforatum||common St. John’s-wort||1|
|76764||Echium plantagineum||purple viper’s-bugloss||1|
|125231||Utetheisa pulchelloides||Heliotrope Moth||1|
|144737||Rhipidura albiscapa||Grey Fantail||1|
|194768||Pteridium esculentum||Austral Bracken||1|
|197077||Vanessa kershawi||Australian Painted Lady||1|
|202000||Iridomyrmex purpureus||Southern Meat Ant||1|
|321064||Acacia myrtifolia||Myrtle Wattle||1|
|323821||Goodenia ovata||hop goodenia||1|
|323854||Platylobium obtusangulum||Common Flat-pea||1|
|372376||Sixalix atropurpurea||Sweet scabious||1|
|481616||Xanthorrhoea semiplana||tufted grass-tree||1|
|487096||Senecio pterophorus||Shoddy Ragwort||1|