Peter Bailey stands in the buttress roots of a large fig tree.
Peter Bailey stands in the buttress roots of a large fig tree. Peter And Bevly Hughes

Nature lovers find ancient giants

THE ancient rainforests and streams of the Kenilworth area are deservedly popular with campers and day trippers.

Gympie and District Field Naturalists' Club recently visited the area with its wide range of natural history experiences.

Interesting and unusual birds, plant, reptile and fungi species were observed.

At the first stop between Imbil and Brooloo the noise from the resident bell miner colony fast became irritating, with their continual slightly off key high-pitched contact call Bell Miners use to stay in touch with their flock.

A melomys bush rat was observed high up in the forest canopy, very much at home, moving from twig to twig at the top of the trees.

A cat bird was heard giving the familiar 'miaow' call.

A gigantic strangler fig growing on the bank of a small stream was also a highlight, while the rare and poisonous tiger snake was photographed.

Two others were in the area. While poisonous, tiger snakes are not normally aggressive and all specimens moved off the track.

Land mullet are not renowned for their speed or agility and one large specimen - about 450mm nose to tail - chose to just remain on the track rather than be bothered moving.

Charlie Moorland Park is about 5km upstream along the Yabba and was the next stop.

Because of the recent wet weather many parts of the forest were still very damp and this provided ideal conditions for many species of fungi.

One of the most spectacular was the Stinkhorn, Phallus rubicundis.

The plant uses carrion and blow flies to spread its spores.

Flies are attracted by the smell of rotting meat.

A lunch time general meeting discussed participation in the Gympie Regional Gallery's 14th birthday celebrations on March 3.

The field trip on March 18 will be to Ian and Janet McConachie's property at Wolvi.

Speaker at the March 20 meeting at the Gallery will be Brian Lazell on snakes.

Contact Peter and Bevly Hughes 5484 0198 or Bruce and Joy Drummond 5482 1171.

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