Sep 2023 – Strathnairn

John and Janet organised a lovely excursion for September. Around 18 members turned up to walk, at least part, of the newish track from Strathnairn to Shepherds Lookout.

Even while waiting in the car park we spotted 10 species of birds.

At times the group did spread out a bit depending on what interested them enough to stop and examine a bit further, though we did all gather round the area that had numerous Early Nancy in flower as there were a number of other flora of interest to inspect and record, either mentally or through the lens of a camera.

The double dam was at about the half way point, where there were many Damselflies settling on the reeds close to shore, while the dragonflies elusively made their circuits over the water looking for a mate. With some luck, one pair did land on a water lily pad long enough for some photos of their egg laying.

Just past the dam is a stye over the fence, which is a bit steep but can be managed.

Most of the group made it as far as the beginning of the Callitris forest where there is an example of a rare (for Canberra) example of mistletoe.

Among the many flora we did come across a patch of Caladenia fuscata (Dusky Finger) orchids and just four Leopard orchids. Good to know that orchards do grow in this area.

The views across the valley were spectacular, looking out over the Murrumbidgee and no doubt to across the border into New South Wales to the west.

While some turned back earlier than others, most gathered at the Strathnairn cafe for lunch and a catch-up chat.

The excursion yielded a quite extensive species list (see below).

It was a very enjoyable walk in perfect spring weather. A big thank you to John and Janet.

– Alison Milton

Species list

Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Australian Wood Duck
Brown Thornbill (heard)
Crested Pigeon
Crimson Rosella
Grey Fantail
Little Corella
Magpie Lark
Masked Lapwing
Nankeen Kestrel
Pacific Black Duck
Satin Bowerbird (female – flushed)
Shining Bronze Cuckoo (heard)
Superb Fairy Wren
Striated Pardalote (heard)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Welcome Swallow
Willie Wagtail
Yellow Thornbill
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (probable)

Australian Emperor (dragonfly)
Austrolestes leda Wandering Ringtail (damselfly)
Austrotephritis poenia Australian Fruit Fly
Blow fly
Harpobittacus australis Hanging fly
Melangyna viridiceps Hover fly
Paropsis pictipennis Tea tree button beetle
Praying Mantis egg sac
Sandalodes scopifer (large jumping spider)
Squat hopper (nymph)
Swarming ants
Taractrocera papyria White-banded Grass Dart
Vanessa kershawi Australian Painted Lady
Wandering Percher dragonfly

Acacia baileyana Cootamundra Wattle
Arctotheca calendula Capeweed Bartsia
Caladenia fuscata Dusky Fingers (orchid)
Callitris endlicheri Black Cypress
Calotis lappulacea Yellow Burr Daisy
Cicendia quadrangularis Oregon Timwort
Convolvulus bindweed
Cymbonotus sp bears ears
Diuris pardina Leopard Doubletail
Drosera gunniana Sundew
Erodium brachycarpum Heronsbill
Eucalyptus blakelyi Blakely’s Red Gum
Eucalyptus melliodora Yellow Box
Eucalyptus macrorhyncha Red Stringbark
Geranium Glycine clandestina Twining Glycine
Kunzia parvifolia
Leptospermum sp
Leptorhynchos squamatus subsp. squamatus Scaly Buttons
Leucochrysum albicans Hoary sunrays
Lysimachia arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel
Muellerina bidwillii Cypress-pine Mistletoe
Oxalis sp. Wood Sorrel
Sherardia arvensis Field Madder
St Johns Wort
Stypandra glauca Nodding Blue Lily
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus Annual Daisy
Verbascum thapsus Great Mullein
Wurmbea dioica subsp. dioica Early Nancy

Fungi – lichens
Bracken fungi
Flavoparmelia Lichen
Eloschistes sp. Lichen


Crinia signifera