The second location visited on day two of the City Nature Challenge was just around the corner from Hart Road Wetlands. Starting at the Aldinga Conservation Park carpark on Dover Street, I hiked along the Kangaroo Track until I reached a section of the park that appeared to have had some historic clearing. I spent some time exploring this patch before heading back along the same track.
This park is excellent for Insects in the Spring, but a little quiet this time of year. Lots of Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), patches of Sea Box (Alyxia buxifolia) and Fringe Myrtle (Calytrix tetragona), easily identifiable with its long lasting sepals.
Dotted throughout this park is the Ruddy Beard-heath (Leucopogon rufus). Thanks to molecular phylogenetic studies this particular species, and a few others, have recently been moved to the Genus Styphelia, taking on the new name Styphelia rufa. (The same change has been made to Astroloma humifusum which has become Styphelia humifusa, effectively eliminating Astroloma in SA).
Not many species here are flowering at this time, although the bright red flowers of the Flame Heath (Stenanthera conostephioides) do stand out, and some of the Common Correas (Correa reflexa) had a few flowers.
The patch of land that looked like it had experience some historic clearing was quite similar to other sections of the park, although the disturbed land seemed to host more introduced weed species, including Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum) and Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides). It also played host to many Native Apricots (Pittosporum angustifolium).
While photographing a Paper Flower (Thomasia petalocalyx) I spotted a Fairy Moth, Nemophora topazias. Only the second Fairy Moth I’ve encountered, the other from the same Genus spotted in Goolwa is likely an undescribed species associated with Myoporum sp. In the clearing an Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi) was enjoying the warm sun, and on the Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) a Saltbush Blue (Theclinesthes serpentata) stayed put for long enough to get both, wings open and wings closed photos.
An unexpected find for the hike was a Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum). Unfortunately I only got the one identifiable photo, but it was good to add this to the CNC species list.
Aldinga Conservation Park
Proclaimed in 2022, combining the historic Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park comprising sand dunes, sand blows and remnant coastal vegetation, and the Aldinga Washpool, a rare ephemeral freshwater wetland.