Scott Creek CP (11th Sept, 2022)

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.


iNaturalist Projects:

Scott Creek Conservation Park, South Australia

Bushfire Recovery – Scott Creek CP (2021-2024)

Ferals in South Australian Reserves – Scott Creek CP


See the full list of 66 observations covering 53 species on iNaturalist


Typical of early Spring, the sun shines during the week and it rains on the weekends just when I’m available to get outdoors. This Sunday wasn’t too bad though, light drizzle at most. Still, overcast and tough conditions for getting good photos. Also cool, keeping the Insects grounded.

I took to Scott Creek Conservation Park to wander a section I’ve not visited before. Starting at the staging area along Frith Road I hopped the fence and followed the rough vehicle track west until opposite Thornley Road, then headed north, down the hill along the edge of the scrub.



Most of the undergrowth has been removed in this area, with the a sparse population of Eucalypts remaining and the more hardy large shrubs like Kangaroo Thorn and Sticky Hop-Bush.

The open grass area, like any other degraded area, was filled with the usual invasive weeds. A patch of Onion-Leafed Asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus) and lots of Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum) being visited by Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).



Much of this area has had multiple uses over the years, so it’s not uncommon to find introduced plant species that may or may not have been planted many decades ago. In an open spot there was a large Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus mollis). This one is considered an environmental weed in some areas. It also happens to be a new species for my Life List.

Along the fence line were a few large Beaked Hakeas (Hakea rostrata) in full flower. One of these I spotted at Hardy’s Scrub recently was awash with Insect life, especially native Bees, once the morning sun had warmed it enough. This morning however was too cold and the only species I found on it was the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). These introduced Bees can forage in temperatures 12-15°C, whereas many of our native Bees need a few degrees warmer before they can forage. Amongst the thicket of old shrubs and Hakeas along the fence, several Superb Fairywrens (Malurus cyaneus) were flitting about showing beginnings of breeding plumage.



The weeds continued along the vehicle track with several Boneseeds (Osteospermum moniliferum) in flower and patches of Bridal Creeper infected with Bridal Creeper Rust (Puccinia myrsiphylli).

A Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) shot out from across the road and spun around for a while on top of a fence post. I also managed to glimpse a Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) amongst the branches of a Drooping Sheoak. I don’t come across this species often.

I’ve been attempting to take note of anomalous plant growth caused by pathogens or triggered by various Insects. On one of the Sticky Hop-Bushes (Dodonaea viscosa) there were a few areas of distorted growth caused by a Phytoplasma. These bacteria are often transmitted by Leafhoppers (Family Cicadellidae) and cause a ‘witch’s broom’ type of growth, which is quite easy to spot.



Perched at the top of a dead Eucalyptus trunk I spotted and Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis). It hung around for a few minutes periodically calling. A couple of White-browed Scrubwrens (Sericornis frontalis) had also spotted the Cuckoo and were rather unhappy about its presence.



I followed the vehicle track north and downhill along the edge of the scrub. The upper story seems to be mostly Pink Gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa), Brown-top Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) and Cup Gum (Eucalyptus cosmophylla). The open grass area was being utilised by a mob of Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus). At the bottom of the hill where the park met farmland, an old vehicle track headed west into the scrub. I didn’t realise this track was here as I couldn’t see it on the satellite maps. It ran along side the farmland and met up with a feeder creek that appears to eventually join up with the Onkaparinga River. I located a few Whittaker’s Sundews (Drosera whittakeri), Rock Ferns (Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia) and some Prickly Guinea-Flowers (Hibbertia exutiacies). The creek was flowing heavily this time of year. The track continued past the creek but I was out of time and will need to return another time to investigate further. There are likely to be a few interesting species worth recording along the creek line.



Onkaparinga River NP (10th Sept, 2022)

Context: 15.4km2 of steep river valley, remnant Eucalyptus woodland, degraded ex-farmland infested with introduced European Olive, and revegetation sites. Numerous recreational walking tracks and lookouts over the valley and down to the river. Includes Hardy’s Scrub on the the south side of Chapel Hill Road.


iNaturalist Projects

Onkaparinga River National Park, South Australia

Ferals in South Australian Reserves – Onkaparinga River NP


See the full list of 83 observations covering 55 species on iNaturalist


After somewhat of a Winter hiatus, I’ve returned to regular biodiversity hiking now the weather is improving. A good place to start was a short loop around a section of Hardy’s Scrub in the Onkaparinga River National Park. Following Old Quarry Track for approx. 150m, I took a left turn and followed a narrow track that ran through the scrub, down to Blewitt Springs Road, then back up to Old Quarry Track.



The introduced Freesias that are a significant invasive species in parts of Hardy’s Scrub were appearing near the Chapel Hill Rd gate. Although not in the great numbers as other sections of the park. A patch of Geraniums and the all too common Bridal Creeper had their place near the gate too.



The track slopes gently to the right side. This time of year the high side of the track is populated by three, perhaps four, native carnivorous Sundew species. The most prominent is Drosera gunniana. One of the tall growing species, its mucin droplets produced by the stalked glands on the leaves glisten in the sunlight. The species has the inflorescence close to the final leaves, with hairy sepals. The similar Drosera auriculata has the inflorescence held well above the leaves, with glabrous sepals. The other two are the common in the region Drosera whittakeri with its rosette of leaves a few inches in diameter, and the much smaller Drosera glanduligera.



On that first section of track, we spotted one of my favourite local Ant species on a Grass Tree, a Dolichoderus scabridus, with its golden gaster and red legs. Their nests can sometimes be found in rotting logs.

Along the narrow side track we startled a couple of Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). They are always about this park, but are often hidden during the day, relaxing amongst the dense undergrowth. One paused to strike a pose resulting an a few quality photos.

There are numerous large patches of Red Beaks / Fire Orchids (Pyrorchis nigricans) throughout Hardy’s Scrub. Typically they do not flower unless a fire has come through recently. Some have leaves reaching 10cm across. Occasionally some will flower without fire, perhaps fewer than 1 in 200. However flowering can also occur due to disturbance, so those near the edge of a walking track may present flowers more frequently. We didn’t spot any flowering or in bud this time around.



This time of year, if you know where to look, certain Insect species are quite easy to locate. The Leaf Beetle Callidemum hypochalceum, a species we might call the Metallic Dodonaea Leaf Beetle, can be frequently found on the Sticky Hop-Bush (Dodonaea viscosa). These Plants are quite easy to identify themselves as the female plants this time of year are covered in winged fruit ranging from lime green through to dark maroon. So if you’re out in nature and spot such a Hop-Bush, pause to take a closer look and you might find a few of these iridescent Beetles.



That invasive pest, Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), is present in this park as well as so many others. To combat the spread a Rust Fungi known as Bridal Creeper Rust (Puccinia myrsiphylli) was introduced in 2000. It infects the plants, absorbing the nutrients from the leaves resulting in visible yellow spots and leaf shedding. It is most prominent during Spring. I’ve typically ignored this in the past, but creating an iNaturalist record to show its presence in an area has value, and I’ll look to do that more frequently.



On the return section of the track back up the hill from Blewitt Springs Road there is a large patch of Heath Teatrees (Leptospermum myrsinoides) that while flowering from late September through November play host to a wide range of Insects, in particular some spectacular Jewel Beetles. We were too early this visit with none of the Teatrees yet flowering. Over a few visits I’ve recorded 13 Insects on or around these Teatrees, including 4 Jewel beetles in the Genus Castiarina. This is a spot I try to visit each year.

Lastly, while recording one of the flowering Gorse Bitter Peas (Daviesia ulicifolia) I unintentionally recorded my second ever sighting of a native Trichocolletes Bee. I’d really like to take some quality photos of this Genus, but I expect I’ll need a good macro lens before I can get them.

A few additional highlights from the day below.



SA iNaturalists – August 2022

The South Australian iNaturalists Collection Project

This August saw 10,909 observations covering 1,878 species from a total of 476 observers. There were 98 species receiving their first iNat record in SA. This month saw 91 new observers contributing their first observations in SA. Upon this months observations, 504 identifiers contributed a total of 18,223 identifications.

During August there were an average of 51 observers each day, peaking at 84 observers on Saturday August 20th, coinciding with the Ferox australis Biodiversity Treasure Hunt. The highest daily observations were also on Saturday 20th with 872 records.



Uploads for SA at the end of August stand at 361,198 observations of 9,371 species from 5,086 observers with, as of today, 5,541 identifiers providing 662,796 identifications.

Featured Observations from August
A row of resting Great Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii) at Goolwa by @mariannebroug.
A Pheladenia deformis × Caladenia capillata by @rwl.
A content looking Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) at Mount Gambier by @sandy_horne.
A field of Large Striped Greenhoods (Pterostylis robusta) on the Yorke Peninsula by @grassroots-ky.
A Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) entangled in weed at Port Macdonnell submitted by @rfoster on behalf of Rob Baker.
A native Millipede Genus Somethus in the Adelaide Hills by @moth_nut.
(These are taken from observation during the month with at least one ‘favourite’. If you see an interesting observation from SA, remember to favourite it, and it might appear here at the end of the month).

Do you have a particular expertise and are keen to help out with identifications in SA? Select your favourite taxa below to head to the Identify page:
Aves / Amphibia / Reptilia / Mammalia / Ray-Finned Fishes / Mollusca / Arachnida / Insecta / Plantae / Fungi / Protozoa / Unknowns

Top observers & species observed in August:








(Data used for this post taken on the 9th of September. It excludes any observations and identifications from August that were uploaded after this date)


SA iNaturalists – July 2022

The South Australian iNaturalists Collection Project

This July saw 8,386 observations covering 1,759 species from a total of 454 observers. There were 89 species receiving their first iNat record in SA. This month saw 92 new observers contributing their first observations in SA. Upon this months observations, 457 identifiers contributed a total of 14,274 identifications.

During July there were an average of 45 observers each day, peaking at 78 observers on Saturday July 23rd. The highest daily observations were also on Saturday 23rd with 551 records.



Uploads for SA at the end of June stand at 348,212 observations of 9,253 species from 4,964 observers with, as of today, 5,413 identifiers providing 637,303 identifications.


Featured Observations from July
A Baker’s Teyloides on KI by @rhytiphora.
A Lightning Volute at Second Valley by @fionaoutdoors.
A Grey-fronted Honeyeater in the Gammon Ranges by @angelinbotanico.
An Ornate Cowfish at Port Victoria by @davemmdave.
A Velvet Worm (Mantonipatus persiculus) in Carey Gully by @dabugboi.
A Bolam’s Mouse by @jbilby.
(These are taken from observation during the month with at least one ‘favourite’. If you see an interesting observation from SA, remember to favourite it, and it might appear here at the end of the month).


Do you have a particular expertise and are keen to help out with identifications in SA? Select your favourite taxa below to head to the Identify page:
Aves / Amphibia / Reptilia / Mammalia / Ray-Finned Fishes / Mollusca / Arachnida / Insecta / Plantae / Fungi / Protozoa / Unknowns


Top observers & species observed in July:








(Data used for this post taken on the 9th of August. It excludes any observations and identifications from July that were uploaded after this date)


SA iNaturalists – June 2022

The South Australian iNaturalists Collection Project

This June saw 7,514 observations covering 1,709 species from a total of 438 observers. There were 73 species receiving their first iNat record in SA. This month saw 77 new observers contributing their first observations in SA. Upon this months observations, 444 identifiers contributed a total of 12,826 identifications.

During June there were an average of 47 observers each day, peaking at 74 observers on the June 13th Monday public holiday. The highest daily observations were on Saturday 25th with 469 records.



Uploads for SA at the end of June stand at 338,339 observations of 9,104 species from 4,874 observers with, as of today, 5,294 identifiers providing 618,698 identifications

Featured Observations from June
Fruiting Pixie’s Parasols (Mycena interrupta) in Belair National Park, by @melbo.
Scented Sundew (Drosera abberans) with several ensnared Camponotus ants, by @davidsando.
A Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendens) from the Gawler Ranges, by @nealed.
Ervie, a satellite tracked Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Port Lincoln, by @fransolly.
iNat ‘Observation of the Day’ for June 4th, a female Mouse Spider (Missulena sp.) in Morialta Conservation Park, by @kenhurley.
A slime mold Badhamia foliicola from Urrbrae including photos of spores, by @peter-lang.
Mating Giant Australian Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) outside Whyalla, by @possumpete.
Finally, one of my own, a Heterotermes sp. Termite soldier.
(These are taken from observation during the month with at least one ‘favourite’. If you see an interesting observation from SA, remember to favourite it, and it might appear here at the end of the month).

Do you have a particular expertise and are keen to help out with identifications in SA? Select your favourite taxa below to head to the Identify page:
Aves / Amphibia / Reptilia / Mammalia / Ray-Finned Fishes / Mollusca / Arachnida / Insecta / Plantae / Fungi / Protozoa / Unknowns

Top observers & species observed in June:








(Data used for this post taken on the 8th of July. It excludes any observations and identifications from June that were uploaded after this date)


SA iNaturalists – May 2022

This May saw 8,137 observations covering 1,726 species from a total of 494 observers. This extended wet weather has really put a damper on observations. There were 66 species receiving their first iNat record in SA. This month saw a record 90 new observers contributing their first observations in SA. Upon this months observations, 521 identifiers contributed a total of 14,199 identifications.

During May there were an average of 51 observers each day, peaking at 99 observers on the City Nature Challenge Sunday. The highest daily observations again aligned with the CNC, with 1,686 observations being made on Sunday 1st.



Uploads for SA at the end of May stand at 329,567 observations of 9,013 species from 4,744 observers with, as of today, 5,214 identifiers providing 601,804 identifications.

Featured Observations from May
A Hydromys chrysogaster (Rakali) along River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri by @dgobbett.
A deep purple Cortinarius archeri (Emperor Cortinar) at Jupiter Creek by @chrisseager.
A family of Underwoodisaurus milii (Thick-tailed Barking Gecko) South-East of Roxby Downs by @jbilby.
A resting Eurostopodus argus (Spotted Nightjar) at Monarto by @danielmarkos.
A Accipiter fasciatus (Brown Goshawk) keeping the Spotted Dove population under control by @bernadette109.
A Trichosurus vulpecula (Common Brushtail Possum) family by @belindacopland.
An active Antechinus flavipes (Yellow-footed Antechinus) in Para Wirra CP by @anthonypaul.
A Rhytidoponera metallica (Green-head Ant) in Onkaparinga River NP by @connor_margetts.
A Dromaius novaehollandiae (Emu) clutch in Bakara CP by @rhytiphora.


(These are taken from observations during the month with at least one ‘favourite’. If you see an interesting observation from SA, remember to favourite it, and it might appear here at the end of the month).

Do you have a particular expertise and are keen to help out with identifications in SA? Select your favourite taxa below to head to the Identify page:
Aves / Amphibia / Reptilia / Mammalia / Ray-Finned Fishes / Mollusca / Arachnida / Insecta / Plantae / Fungi / Protozoa / Unknowns

Top observers & species observed in May:








(Data used for this post taken on the 9th of June. It excludes any observations and identifications from May that were uploaded after this date)


Aldinga Reef (2nd May, 2022)

Context: Limestone platform extending 400 meters out from the coastal cliffs forming part of the Aldinga Reef Sanctuary Zone. Walk to the edge of the platform during low tide. Snorkel off the edge. Keep an eye out for Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints.


iNaturalist Projects

Aldinga Reef Sanctuary Zone, South Australia

NATUREhoodz Aldinga to Maslin Beach Coast

Aldinga Bay, South Australia


See the full list of 28 observations covering 26 species on iNaturalist


On the last City Nature Challenge day we took the opportunity to stop in at Aldinga Reef around low tide. With the limestone platform exposed, I’d hoped to add a few Birds to the species list.

We found a few seashells we hadn’t found during the CNC, including a Banded Ark (Barbatia pistachia), Southern Ribbed Top Snail (Austrocochlea constricta) and a Conical Moon Snail (Conuber conicum). I also added my first record of a Half-grained Bonnet (Semicassis semigranosa) and Tenagodus australis.



Port Jackson Sharks (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) are quite common along Adelaide’s coastline. They tuck their eggs into rock crevices, some of which get loose and wash up on the shore. You’re almost guaranteed to find a few any time you walk along this section of Aldinga Beach.



This was the only stop during the CNC where we’d possibly spot Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints. We dipped on both. We did however spot a Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) which wasn’t expected.

While the tide is out and the limestone platform exposed, many of the shorebirds rest far from the sandy shore. I’ll often extend the camera to full zoom and take some panning shots to review when I return home. Occasionally I’ll spot a Bird in the mix I would have otherwise missed. In this instance, the technique worked. Off to the side of one of the photos was an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) feeding. This was my first record of this species and it was completely unexpected. Endangered in SA, these are considered absent on the Fleurieu Peninsula, although this is likely referring to breeding pairs. It’s a shame I didn’t spot it while we were on site. I might have been able to get some more reasonable photos, without disturbing it of course.



Brodie Road Wetland (2nd May, 2022)

Context: Manmade wetlands along Christie Creek as part of the City of Onkaparinga’s Water Proofing the South project. Home to many water Birds, visiting Black-fronted Dotterels and Pied Stilts.


iNaturalist Projects

NATUREhoodz Brodie Road Wetland


See the full list of 27 observations covering 18 species on iNaturalist


On the final day of the City Nature Challenge we stopped in at Brodie Road Wetlands along Christie Creek. An easy suburban walk around a manmade wetland guaranteed to add a few Birds to my CNC species list.

The usual water Bird species were present, Australasian Swamphens (Porphyrio melanotus), Dusky Moorhens (Gallinula tenebrosa), and Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra). The larger Northern pond is a favourite with the Grey Teals (Anas gracilis), Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata Australian) and Pacific Black Ducks. Although at this location, and many other suburban waterways across SA, the Pacific Black Ducks are in fact hybrids with Mallards. One particular individual Pacific Black Duck × Mallard Hybrid (Anas superciliosa × platyrhynchos) showing much brighter feather colours.



Many of the Bird species here will follow you around, suggesting they are regularly fed. Not just the waterfowl, but the Crested Pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) which are in abundance. Where the actual creek runs through the wetlands, there are exposed muddy sections where Black-fronted Dotterels (Elseyornis melanops) can be found, and the occasional Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus).



Chance encounters that were both additional species for the CNC were a pair of feeding Eastern Rosellas (Platycercus eximius), and a couple of Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus).



Onkaparinga River NP (1st May, 2022)

Context: 15.4km2 of steep river valley, remnant Eucalyptus woodland, degraded ex-farmland infested with introduced European Olive, and revegetation sites. Numerous recreational walking tracks and lookouts over the valley and down to the river. Includes Hardy’s Scrub on the the south side of Chapel Hill Road.


iNaturalist Projects

Onkaparinga River National Park, South Australia

Ferals in South Australian Reserves – Onkaparinga River NP


See the full list of 58 observations covering 37 species on iNaturalist


With a few hours left on day three of the City Nature Challenge I stopped in at Onkaparinga River National Park to search along the start of the Echidna Hike. The section of the hike that runs parallel to Piggott Range Road seems relatively undisturbed, with quite a high number of species in a small area.

First record was an abnormal growth on a Sticky Hop-Bush (Dodonaea viscosa). These growths are quite common with many plants showing at least one patch, and some with dozens. The growth is potentially caused by a Phytoplasma (Genus Phytoplasma). These small genome Bacteria are obligate intracellular parasites of plant phloem tissue, transmitted by sap-sucking Insects. I’ve never noticed any particular Hemiptera associated with these Dodonaeas, but it might be worth taking a closer look. The literature suggests that multiple Hemiptera species are involved, but it seems likely there is a primary transmitter in each area or region. If that’s the case I should be able to find a particular species of Bug on multiple Hop-Bushes.



This time of year identifying some species requires knowledge of either what dried seed pods look like, or be able to recognise the first shoots emerging now the rainy season is beginning. The finished flower stalk and empty fruit capsules of Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata) are easy to ID, due to the way the stalk branches. The tall flower stalk of the Nodding Chocolate Lily (Arthropodium fimbriatum) is also quite distinct. It can be separated from the stalk of the Common Chocolate-lily (Arthropodium strictum) in that the flowers occur in groups of 2 to 4 emerging from the same axil.



The emerging Fringe-Lilies are easy to recognise from their twining branches, with the Twining Fringe-Lily (Thysanotus patersonii) most common at this location. Also emerging are the leaves of the Blue Stars (Chamaescilla corymbosa), which I used to mistake for Orchids, and can be separated in that they have multiple emerging leaves, whereas the local similar looking Orchids have a single leaf at this stage.



I didn’t really walk slow enough to find many Insect species but did record my second Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi) for the CNC, and a Mud-nesting Spider Wasps (Genus Fabriogenia) on the hunt.



Jupiter Creek Diggings (1st May, 2022)

Context: Native woodland covering historic gold minefield with numerous mine shafts throughout. Landscape sloping down toward a feeder creek for the Echunga Creek system. Includes a section of the Heysen Trail. Messmate Stringybark, Cup Gum and Pink Gum woodland over Beaked Hakea, Heath Tea-tree, Large-leaf Bush Pea, Honeypots and Fire Daisy. Keep an eye out for uncommon Birds down by the creek including Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Crested Shrike-Tits, White-naped Honeyeaters, and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.


iNaturalist Projects

Jupiter Creek Diggings, South Australia

Birding Hot Spot – Long Gully section of Heysen Trail


See the full list of 100 observations covering 57 species on iNaturalist


Third stop on day three of the City Nature Challenge was the Jupiter Creek Diggings. Starting at the main carpark I followed the track to the South, then down toward the creek, along a section of the Heysen Trail, and back up the hill.



This area has been heavily turned over by historic mining operations, but there’s still quite a dense woodland here. Cup Gum (Eucalyptus cosmophylla) and Brown-top Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) are common, with an understory that includes Large-leaf Bush Pea (Pultenaea daphnoides), Common Flat-Pea (Platylobium obtusangulum) and Fire Daisies (Ixodia achillaeoides).



The Pale-flecked Garden Sunskinks (Lampropholis guichenoti) are common here but always dart off into the leaf litter as soon as I spot them. I managed to record only a couple. I was hoping to find a few of the less common Bird species here which sometimes can be found along the creek line. This time out, I only found the common Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) and a White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus).



Both Beaked Hakea (Hakea rostrata) and Erect Hakea (Hakea carinata) occur through this area, easily differentiated from one another by looking at the seed pods. I also recorded Wrinkled Hakeas (Hakea rugosa) elsewhere during the CNC. Always record the seed pods if you want a species level ID when uploading to iNaturalist.



This area offers a lot more on a warm Spring day, with Waxlip Orchids, flowering Bitter Peas and Pimeleas, and a greater array of local Bird species. The tall Eucalypts down by the creek offer a lot of nesting sites for Purple-crowned and Rainbow Lorikeets.