Wild Windellama

by Paul Alessi

October 2006

Catching The Tree Scribblers

As mentioned in a previous Wild Windellama article very little is known about 
 Scribbly Gum moths so CSIRO are setting up some traps this season to 
catch a few larvae. I was asked if I would like to participate and given
instructions and materials to set up a trap in Windellama.

I chose a Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus rossii) on a hilltop that had a lot of scribbles already,
a section of the tree for about 2m high was wrapped in a finely open weaved nylon material,
this was secured tightly around the base and the larvae should either fall into the bottom or become
stuck in the webbing of the material which will be removed carefully after the bark has been shed
early next year.
The insects will unfortunately be donating their bodies to scientific research but
hopefully much will be learned from their sacrifice about the relationship between Scribbly Gum Moths
and the particular few species of trees that are their only home.

What's that bird nesting in your shed ?

At this time of year many species of birds will be making new nests, some of these will unfortunately
be in your sheds, more commonly they will be Welcome Swallows
(for all you John Cleese fans I'm not sure if they can carry a coconut ) but if you have a grey bird
that is about 20cm high that is nesting under some sort of cover at home
it is probably a Grey Shrike Thrush (Colluricincla harmonica). .

Grey Shrike Thrush are a robust bird with a number of attractive calls, the most distinctive
being a single "Shrike ! " but their other calls are very melodic. Nests are usually strips of
stringybark layed in a circle and they prefer some sort of small box or circular feature to build in.

I've seen one nest in the top on a 40kg LPG cylinder that was under a verandah before and
another in the upturned base shield of a whipper snipper inside a garden shed, this season one of
these Grey Shrike Thrush has attempted to build it's nest on the rear tray of a Toyota Landcruiser in
our shed, obviously not a good idea. I've since managed to move her on and she is now nesting
behind a cardboard box on top of an old wardrobe in this same carport.

They are to a small degree tolerant of humans about but often leave the nest at the last moment
of an approach in a panic and scare the hell out of you if you don't know they are there.
They don't leave as much mess as a pair of Swallows and probably scare them away as
well so we are happy having a Grey Shrike Thrush nesting in the shed instead.


Spotted quite a few times recently in Windellama is a white kangaroo, there have been a number
of light coloured roos about over the years and these usually end up being picked off by hunters.
There is also another one around with a two tone pale coat but Whitey stands out like a freshly shorn sheep
rendering his mates almost invisible by comparison, I managed to get just the one photo from a
distance before he hopped away into the bush.


Copyright Paul Alessi 2006