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Film Diary / 08.01.2020

The 75 mm of rain we had for a few days during Christmas, made all the difference to our night walk in Palm Grove. I didn’t film a thing on the preceding walk because the flora and fauna were so distressed by the prolonged dry weather. And the walk before that yielded very little. Thanks to the school holidays, Dan was a welcome crew member. Penny Aagaard, her cousin Jenny Peat and Jenny’s brother and his granddaughter completed the party. The creek near the entrance had probably been refreshed by the rain, but was still almost non-existent. It was all the more remarkable that Dan spotted a large crayfish a short distance from the track. I filmed it without the tripod. I also filmed a net-casting spider whose abdomen displayed large patches of green – a feature I had not seen before – a large click beetle and an antechinus, which was a first for the archive, now in its 22nd year. Both Dan and Penny attracted leeches. I was mercifully spared.

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Film Diary / 07.01.2020

The new year got off to a splendid start for my project as well as for time spent with my family. This morning I photographed an Australian white ibis on the roof of a neighbouring building from my rear stairwell window. I had seen the bird a couple of days before on a nearby street corner and yesterday, in the park in front of my home. It was a specimen whose white body plumage had become brown-stained. I nonetheless suspected the bird was a white ibis, a species I had never encountered on the mountain, rather than a freak variant of the straw-necked ibis, flocks of which regularly visit here. The white ibis is a denizen of the coastal strip. Not only did Marg Eller, the bird expert I turn to for species identification, confirm that this was indeed an Australian white ibis, her husband Jeff sent me a spread sheet he had assembled of bird lists compiled by naturalists going way back. The only previous authenticated sighting was on a list compiled by the formidable Hilda Curtis in 1942.

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Film Diary / 21.10.2019

Passing the garage on my walk this morning, I noticed a geometrid moth on one of the window panes. On closer inspection it was a species already represented in my album. However, there were numerous, unfamiliar smaller moths. Fortunately I had my camera with me to photograph a splendid foliose lichen on the trunk of a cycad I happened to see yesterday. One of the moths was tiny. I photographed it at 6 or 7 times optical zoom. I have emailed the lot to Peter Hendry and am eager to see what he comes up with. I can’t explain what brought the moths out last night because there was no rain.

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Film Diary / 01.08.2019

Robyn Law, a night filming crew stalwart, showed me twin bowerbird bowers in a garden which she looks after, a short drive from my place. Twin bowers, which are separate structures that stand close together, are an even greater rarity than double bowers, whose two passages share a dividing wall. I filmed the remains of a double bower in April 2010. The builder appears to have blocked off the right-hand passage by moving its side wall next to the dividing wall. I have been unable to find an explanation for the twin bowers, which are the only ones I have ever seen. They contain more twigs than other bowers I have filmed, presumably because there was such a plentiful supply at the construction site.

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Film Diary / 17.07.2019

After a six months gap, I filmed with my video camera this afternoon. I went to The Knoll to film the giant vine I had intended to film a month ago, except that the camera batteries were both flat. For good measure I also filmed the buttress or plate roots of a yellow carabeen tree I had passed many times without seeing that its buttresses were an impressive height, perhaps because the tree itself was not that big.

 

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Film Diary, Other / 21.06.2019

On my morning walk on the 17th, I photographed an unfamiliar spider enjoying the sun on a timber fence in Driscoll Lane. It turned out to be the smallest species of huntsman spider I have seen. Today, I photographed an obliging fly on a metal rail next to the fence. It was confirmed by an expert as a genus new to my album. Flies seem to like the rail, judging by the number I have photographed there.

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Film Diary, Other / 19.06.2019

I wanted to film a giant vine in The Knoll National Park, which was hitching a ride to the canopy on an immense strangler fig tree, located near the bridge over Sandy Creek. I had measured the vine’s girth just above its base at 113 cm. Alas, both my batteries were flat, so I took my stills camera which made the going far easier, though I picked up a tiny grass tick, which lodged in my waste. I charged the batteries today and still plan to film the vine.

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Film Diary, Other / 02.06.2019

I photographed two new moth species on the second day of Winter, at the garage. I had to go back and fetch my camera because I don’t expect to see moths at this time of year, let alone ones I have never previously encountered.

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Film Diary / 15.05.2019

The entry refers to a moth, Maxates centrophylla, I photographed this morning. I thought that It is the first full-on new green moth I have encountered in years, but I had forgotten about one I photographed at the same location at the end of October 2018, Clytophylla artia. It was a richer green, shaped more like a plant hopper than a moth and was very small. Today’s moth is pale green, with spread wings. Its shape and markings looked subtly different, which prompted me to photograph it. Going through my Moths album, I counted 28 green or predominantly green moths. I haven’t filmed anything since the end of February, being otherwise engaged.

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Film Diary / 05.02.2019

This morning I filmed one of 11 moths which I have seen at the garage awaiting identification by Peter Hendry, since he left for a 2 ½ month cruise just after Christmas. The moth closely resembles a species in my album except that it is a transparent pastel green and not white. Hopefully there will be more on the list by the time Peter is back.