Our Riverfront Bushland
Westlake-Riverhills Bushcare Group
- Velleia paradoxa
- Pimelea linifolia
- Entolasia whiteana
- Jacksonia scoparia
- Some Frogs of Westlake
- Bird Calls
Green Corps project underway
Riverside Parks Strategy
Bird of the Month
The Pied Butcherbird, our Bird of the Month...
The rock escarpment at Barcoorah St:
A good turn-up of local residents supported Westlake-Riverhills Bushcare Group (WRBG) with its Weedbuster Week working bee on Sunday, 18 October 1998.
Weedbuster Week in Queensland is co-ordinated by the Department of Natural Resources and supported by Greening Australia, Brisbane City Council and numerous Landcare and community groups throughout Queensland.
Photographed in front of our new banner are some of the crew who attended this year's Weedbuster Day.
WRBG's activity focussed on clearing Guinea Grass, and maintaining a buffer of native plants around a magnificent 80+ year old Fig Tree.
The site of the work was at Tennent Street, Westlake, where the Fig Tree is a remnant of the original native vegetation at the riverfront site. The Fig Tree was featured in June this year on the television program Totally Wild.
WRBG welcomes new members or casual visitors to any of its activities (see calendar of events last page). Come and join your fellow local residents and learn about your local bushland.
Our involvement in bushland regeneration is part of sustaining or re-creating natural systems. Wildlife depends on availability of diverse natural habitats and native plants are an important part of maintaining such habitats.
In this column we focus on wildlife of our area, with frogs and bird calls being featured this time. Spring Wildflower display
Spring in the bush traditionally heralds wildflower displays in certain vegetation communities. At Pullen Reach, there exist various vegetation communities, ranging from open riparian (or riverfront) forest, through woodlands, grasslands to some patches of closed forest.
In this newsletter we focus upon the woodland forest which exists along the Barcoorah and Nisbet Streets frontage to the Pullen Reach bushland in Westlake.
At Barcoorah Street at the top of the sandstone escarpment, this woodland consists of wattle, Alphitonia excelsa and eucalypt regrowth in the middle and upper storeys. But during spring, this woodland comes alive with a range of wildflowers in the understorey level.
Highlighted in this newsletter are four plants which were observed during this spring, and for which identification was confirmed for us by the Queensland Herbarium.
In this issue of the Newsletter, we also introduce and acknowledge WRBG member Frank O'Shannassy, who has applied his considerable artistic talent to prepare the pen and ink drawings published here.
The first three plants are the white-flowered Pimelia linifolia, the yellow-flowered Velleia paradoxa and a native Panic Grass, Entolasia whiteana. These grow together in clusters in an interesting association near the Barcoorah Street frontage of the reserve.
A fourth species, Jacksonia scoparia, is a medium sized bush scattered more sparsely through the open woodlands, with small bright yellow pea-type flowers.Velleia paradoxa
This is a perennial herb with 5-petalled yellow flowers clustered along 15 to 30 cm tall stems.
Enlarged detail of flower
drawing depicts the habit of Velleia paradoxa, a herb which is typically
about 25cm tall, and has yellow flowers similar to a Goodenia. Both Velleia
and Goodenia genuses are in the family Goodeniaceae.
(Queen of the bush; Flaxleaf Riceflower; Slender Riceflower)
A small white-flowered shrub growing to around 30cm tall in these dry sandstone ridge-top conditions, this Pimelea is a typical Riceflower, with the flowers located in a terminal cluster at the end of the thin, woody stems.
The drawing at left shows the terminal flower cluster and the opposite-leaved
It provides the predominant ground cover under the regrowth shrubs and
trees at Barcoorah Street, and is interspersed with the other plants pictured
on this page.
Jacksonia scoparia (Dogwood) is a shrub or small tree 1.5 to 2.5 metres tall, and favours sandy or, as in our case, rocky conditions. It flowers with small yellow pea-type flowers in late winter to spring. They are sparsely located along the branchlets which have an angled cross section. Its leaves are virtually non-existent, being reduced to scales.
Frogs are recognised as an indicator of environmental health. Frogs seem to be sensitive to deterioration in environmental health, so presence of frogs in an environ-ment is therefore a positive sign.
However, like much of the wildlife that inhabits our suburban backyards, some frogs that exist there may go unnoticed.
Some frogs are large, such as the widely-recognised Green Tree Frog, and therefore readily observed. Yet others, like the Eastern Sedgefrog are tiny in comparison and will generally be heard rather than seen.
Here are some frogs which have been observed in Westlake backyards with the onset of the summer storm rains.
The Green Tree Frog (Littoria caerulea) is the largest of Brisbane's tree frogs and a mature adult is about 10cm long. Typically it will sit still as a green 'blob' with its limbs tightly folded against its body.
The call of the male is a loud, deep single croak, repeated at intervals.
One of the smallest frogs observed in Westlake is the Eastern Sedgefrog
or Dwarf Green Tree Frog (Litoria fallax) which grows to a maximum
length of just 25mm. It is generally green with distinctive black markings
fore and aft of its eyes, with white marking from upper lip to shoulder.
For those interested in furthering their knowledge of frogs there are several frog enthusiast groups in Brisbane, including:
You may have wondered 'what bird is that?' with some of the prominent bird calls you have heard in recent times, along the riverfront and neighbouring residential areas.
Some of common bird calls and their owners are described below.
The Common Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) lives up to its alternative
common names of Stormbird or Rainbird, as a harbinger of the approaching
summer rain season.
The Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) exhibits a loud,
booming "coop-coop-coop" call, often heard in the early mornings along
the riverfront bushland where it prefers to inhabit wooded areas, undergrowth
The Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) has a beautiful flute-like song. It is featured as 'Bird of the Month' on the back page.
Corps project underway
The project will have commenced in early December, and will cover the length from Balaton Street to Gidgi Close. The intention is bring the existing pathway to a satisfactory standard, while retaining the bushland 'feel'.
It will include small timber bridges and board walks across gullies and in sensitive areas. Some minor realignment will be necessary in places to improve the grade and for erosion protection.
The project is part of the Federally-funded Green Corps program and was initiated and supported by BCC Habitat Brisbane Liaison Officers, Chris Allan and Mike Noble.
Prior to commencement, a pathway design was prepared by BCC's consultant, Peter Savage. WRBG attended the initial route location inspection.
At the last meeting of CRAC (Centenary Riverfront Advisory Committee) on Thursday, 26 November, 1998, BCC's Tony Prineas provided an update on the status of the plan.
A draft of the plan is to be issued shortly for community consultation.
CRAC is co-ordinating responses through six sub-committees established for: aquatic activities, bushcare, bikeways, cultural, family recreation and field sports.
For further enquiries on how you can participate, contact CRAC chair,
Noel Wilson on tel. 3376 1412.
The Pied Butcher Bird goes by the magnificent scientific name Cracticus nigularis.
The species is selected as this newsletter's Bird of the Month because they a common visitor to our monthly working bees.
They may like our company (who wouldn't!), but more likely they are opportunists seeking an easy, fresh feed from grubs unearthed from our weeding .
Slightly smaller than a magpie, it is also known for its beautiful song - a flute-like chorus.
Join our happy group of weedbusters and tree planters. Bring hat, strong shoes, sunscreen, drink, gardening gloves (if available).
Sunday, 6 December, 1998
Sunday, 6 February, 1999
Thereafter, first Sunday of the month: 8:00 - 10:00am.
Enquiries: Maree 3376 5803 (BH) Ed 3376 1389 (AH)
*Note earlier times for summer.
Publication of this newsletter was supported by the Brisbane City Council’s Environmental Grants Program.
Our Riverfront Bushland (SORB) is a Centenary Suburbs
residents' committee established as a result of a public meeting on 1 Sep
1991 held to express concern at the clearing of large tracts of remnant
SORB embraces the joint goals of:
formed the Westlake-Riverhills Bushcare Group (WRBG),
a community group operating under BCC's Bushland Care Program which supports
coummunity bushland rehabilitation activities in Brisbane. Established
since 1993, WRBG's focus at present is the bushland remnant on the eastern
flank of Pullen Reach of the Brisbane River.
Convenor: Maree Norris (3376 6906)