While I generally chase things with a backbone I also have a secret like for a good native orchid. This year they have certainly taken a back seat but today I had a spare couple of hours so headed out to Baluk Willam NCR near Lysterfield for a bit of wander and poke around. Baluk Willam NCR is a fantastic little reserve for our native ground orchids and the friends website is excellent for letting you now what is in flower at the moment – http://fobw.rnr.id.au/ The reserve also occasionally picks up the odd good bird so I also kept an eye and an ear out for any returning spring migrants.
I parked at the southern carpark as usual and did the loop where there were plenty of greenhood types out with many of them now past their best – Talls, Cobras, Noddings, Maroonhoods and Mountains all in evidence. Plenty of finger/fairy orchids were out and made quite a nice carpet in places. Plenty of small birds calling including a Brown Thornbill which was doing a nice little bit of mimicry which had me going for a moment.
Across the road from the carpark is always worth a good going over and here there were good numbers of orchids showing well. There were plenty of Wallflower Orchids – Diuris orientis including some that were nearly completely yellow as well as more greenhoods and two species of Spider Orchid. Plenty of Brownbeaks were starting to show well which are a smart looking orchid that has a bit of a perfume. From here I wandered a big loop around much of the rest of the reserve and didn’t see much else although a couple of competing male Scarlet Robins all puffed up and calling loudly was nice. Nice afternoon out and I have successfully resisted the orchid bug for a bit longer.
A quick add-on. Today I had a quick visit to Pauline Toner Butterfly Reserve in Eltham to photograph Common Golden Moth orchids – Diuris chryseopsis. There were plenty of them here but most had been smashed by solid rain over the past week but I still managed a few pics.