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Hiking The Hills – Area Trip To Magnetic Island April 2017

View over Horseshoe Bay from close to our lunch-spot. DS photograph.
The day was warmer and more humid than anticipated and the observe was steeper than I remembered but that did not cease us from enjoying a ravishing day walking the Nelly Bay to Arcadia track via Magnetic Island’s hills. The sign firstly recommend a 2.5 hour completion time however in our effectively-established tradition we managed to stretch it to six!! In our defence there was much to look at – plants, birds, skinks and butterflies – not to say the stunning views. And, as the temperature and gradient increased, so did our need for drink stops.

That is such an interesting walk passing by way of rainforest vegetation alongside the solar-dappled swimming pools of Gustav Creek, to more open eucalypt and acacia woodland as we gained the ridge, then getting into savannah grassland stone island navy beanie dotted with grass trees (Xanthorrhea johnsonii) on the descent. Because the stone island navy beanie monitor curled around to return us to Arcadia, we found ourselves again among the mixed woodland making an attempt to identify koalas while not tripping over the rocks and roots at our toes. The delectable gelati ice-creams at Arcadia reinvigorated us enough to make the walk along Geoffrey Bay – the seaside nicely shaded by its fringing casuarinas – to attach with the new Gabul walkway and so back to our start line.

A young purple-tailed black declines to erect his crest for the camera! DS photo.
It was lovely to see the bush so inexperienced and vibrant. Birders have been comfortable to get good sightings of the Orange-footed scrub fowl at a number of points alongside the track, a short glimpse of an emerald dove, and a detailed view of a juvenile Red-tailed black cockatoo plaintively calling for Mum. Currawongs gave their joyful calls from the hilltops, fantails and flycatchers darted among the timber and, reaching the saddle, a Brahminy kite and White-bellied sea-eagle soared above Horseshoe Bay.

The plant individuals were engrossed by the variety of species especially on the lengthy ascent from the tip of Mandalay Avenue, the place the track started. Beth was excited by a Cupaniopsis wadsworthii or Duckfoot tuckeroo, named for its odd-shaped leaves. Close by she also famous the shrub Cryptocarya triplinervis, or Three-veined laurel, and the Poison peach (Trema sp.). While the golden orchids (Dendrobium discolor) on the timber were not in flower, a species of Clerodendrum was displaying its pretty pink and white flowers. A really-massive leafed fig, with cauliflorous fruit was virtually certainly Ficus hispida or Furry fig – identified from a wonderful on-line resource compiled by an area resident Donald Simpson. Check it out here – you’ll find it straightforward to use, comprehensive (be aware that it additionally consists of non-natives) and seems to be regularly up to date with great photos.

Grass timber were a characteristic of the savannah as the observe descended. Picture DS photo.
Burdekin plums (Pleiogynium timorense) have been seen the place the rainforest gave approach to the open woodland and along the upper, and drier, ridges we famous Moreton Bay Ash (Corymbia tesselaris), Poplar Gum (Eucalyptus platyphylla) and the Narrow-leafed Ironbark, either E. drepanophylla or E. crebra. Nanette also noticed how the Lemon-scented grass was very dominant on the higher a part of the hills. The Townsville wattle, Acacia leptostachia, thrives on the island but we have been uncertain relating to one specimen that appeared too tall. Probably it was the similar A. leptocarpa which does form a taller tree but, being undecided, we dubbed it “Acacia dilemma” and left it at that. Later in the yr these hillsides will probably be spangled with the brilliant yellow flowers of the Native kapok (Cochlospermum gillivraei) however their distinctive fluffy seed capsules have been right here and there on the ground.

It was a special pleasure to welcome 2 island residents, Annie and Catherine, on our walk and hope we’ll see you once more sometime on island or mainland. Our feeling was that we must always include at least one Magnetic Island walk in our programme each year. Enormous because of Denise and Joan for the fowl record, Nanette for the grasses, Jane and Beth for other plant information and Denise (once more) for the photographs. Click on pictures to enlarge.

On the house stretch and making an attempt to not look as exhausted as we felt! DS photograph (Taken by Annie)
Additional plants recorded, with location the place famous:

Proiphys amboinensis – Cardwell lily – track-facet, halfway up from begin. In the event you loved this article as well as you wish to receive more info with regards to Island generously stop by the web-site.
Schefflera actinophylla – Umbrella tree – track-aspect, near lunch cease
Livistona drudei – Halifax palm
Planchonia careyi – Cocky apple – in drier area, behind Horseshoe
Trichodesma zeylanicum – Camel bush – observe-aspect, near lunch stop
Maytenus disperma – Orange bark
Ipomaea pes-caprae – Goat’s foot convolvulus – robust vine on the beach
Scleria sphacelata – no widespread identify.
Mallotus philippensis – Red kamala – close to the monitor junction to HB road and Arcadia
Gahnia aspera – Noticed sedge – track to Sphinx lookout
Dianella caerulea – Blue flax lily – track-facet, Nelly Bay to highest water tank
Gossia bidwillii – Refrigerator tree, Python tree – on first part of climb
Jasminum didymum ssp. racemosum – Native jasmine – Nelly Bay end of monitor
Passiflora aurantia var. aurantia – Purple ardour flower
Tacca leontopetaloides – Arrowroot – in drier part, again of Horseshoe Bay
Drynaria sparsisora – Rock fern – near the top of the vary.

Native grasses recorded:
Rainforest (2 species)
Oplisemus aemulus – Australian Basket grass
Setaria australiensis – Scrub pigeon grass
Woodland (15 species)
Aristida calycina – Dark wiregrass, branched wire grass
Aristida gracilipes
Aristida utilis
Bothriochloa bladhii – Forest bluegrass
Cymbopogon ambiguus -Lemon-scented grass
Eragrostis leptostachya – Paddock lovegrass

Eriachne rara
Heteropogon contortus – Black speargrass
Mnesithea rottboellioides – Northern canegrass
Panicum decompositum – Native millett
Panicum effusum – Hairy panic
Paspalidium criniforme
Sarga plumosum – Plume sorghum
Themeda triandra – Kangaroo grass
Triodia stenostachya – Porcupine grass

Birds recorded:
– Crested tern (from ferry)
– Silver gull (from ferry)
– Straw-necked ibis
– Brahminy kite
– White-breasted sea-eagle
– Orange-footed scrubfowl
– Bush stone-curlew
– Masked lapwing
– Emerald dove
– Peaceful dove
– Galah
– Sulphur-crested cockatoo
– Purple-tailed black cockatoo
– Rainbow lorikeet
– Crimson rosella
– Pheasant coucal
– Laughing kookaburra
– Sacred kingfisher
– Forest kingfisher

– Rainbow bee-eater
– Dollarbird
– Welcome swallow
– White-bellied cuckoo-shrike
– Diverse triller
– Little shrike thrush
– Spectacled monarch
– Leaden flycatcher
– Rufous fantail
– Helmeted friarbird
– Scarlet honeyeater
– Figbird
– Spangled drongo
– White-breasted woodswallow
– Pied currawong
– Great bowerbird
– Torresian crow
– House sparrow

View to Whitfield Cowl from the Sphinx Lookout. DS photo.