Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Merry Merry King of the Bush

Today I thought I'd blog about some of the magnificent trees in the gardens, as they haven't really featured in my blog as yet and there are so many great trees!  So, I started out in the obvious place to me, the Eucalypt Lawn.  There are about 800 species of the genus Eucalyptus and this almost endemic flowering tree dominates the Australian flora in the non-desert regions.  The Eucalypt Lawn has many different examples of the species laid out beautifully, creating a feeling of grandeur. 

As I wandered across the lawn I noticed some interesting species common names - such as the large-fruited blackbutt Eucalyptus pyrocarpa and the Nunniong Gum Eucalyptus elaeophloia, 'discovered' in 1990, according to this CSIRO publication!  

However, as I walked through the trees I heard the unmistakable laugh of the Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae.  I was very excited, as I knew there are Kookaburras about as they often come to the trees outside my office, but I figured to take a picture of them there is 'cheating' as its not in the gardens, so I've been waiting to find them here.  He was quiet for a bit, but then I spotted him sitting on a small tree, so I got a good shot as he surveyed the ground below:
Then he swooped down for his lunch!  He was so quick and gobbled it up all at once that I only managed to get a picture when it was all gone:
So, I was somewhat distracted from my plan to blog about trees!  I did notice one of the Eucalyptus trees had what looked like little branches growing out of it's trunk, I wonder if it was some Mistletoe recently attaching itself?
Unfortunately, it was already time to head back to the office, so the tree blog will have to wait for another day.  However, on my way back I noticed a number of interesting flowers beginning to bloom and discovered they were of the Hakea genus.  According to ANPSA these are often thought of as a poor relation to Grevillea, but I thought they deserve better than that, particularly the Hakea kincora which is an unusual and very pretty globular Hakea. 
Another couple of Hakeas are pictured below, the delicate Hakea cycloptera according to Wikipedia commonly called the 'Elm-seed Hakea' and Hakea nodosa which apparently has a pungent smell, though I can't say I noticed!

Admittedly, the Grevilleas are stunning and two more species I noticed were in flower today, so I will finish with some pictures of two beauties from Western Australia.  The first is Diels Grevillea Grevillea dielsiana - though according to that website it should flower in August-September, I suppose it behaves differently here in the East?!  The other is the rare Collie Grevillea Grevillea ripicola, which is said to flower at this time of year or in late spring. 


  1. Beautiful shots. Great kookaburra captures.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  2. What a lovely look at your world! Marvelous photos of beautiful trees, flowers and birds!! Love the colors and the variety. Hope you have a great week!


  3. Lovely photos, as always! The growth from the eucalypt trunk looks like some epicormic sprouts from the tree itself, coming from buds underneath the bark. Many of the eucalypts are very good at resprouting, particularly after fire. But they can also resprout in response to other factors, such as insect damage. I wonder what triggered the sprouting in this tree?

  4. I don't mind the distraction that you got a beautiful Kookaburra pictures.
    Thanks for sharing your world.

  5. i really like big trees and it's nice that you featured them. i love your captures of the birds and all those things that surround those trees.

  6. What a lovely blog you have. I love the photos of the kookaburra. I'll be back.

  7. Loved the trees and the neat looking flowers. The Kookaburra is a cool looking bird. Great photos and thanks for sharing your world.

  8. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and to Lynds for the thoughts on the suspected Mistletoe in fact being new shoots, I learnt something there! Im really pleased so many seem to have found my blog through me putting this post on That's My World Tuesday, a really interesting snapshot of blogs from around the world.

  9. What a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour. Your kookaburra was a sweet little bird. I must have seen so many nature shows about them that I can hear their distinct call in my head. Lovely photos of all the trees too. Thanks so much for sharing them.

  10. Hi Hazel, wonderful blog and photos - I really like the idea. I used to work at Entomology about 7 years ago and would often go to the botanic gardens at lunch...

    I was wondering if you see that little kookaburra often? I am looking for a kookaburra to photograph and was hoping to find a 'regular' somewhere who didn't mind me getting a little close!

    Keep up the posts :)

  11. Hi there, I don't see the kookaburra often in the gardens, or even hear them there I'm afraid. Over summer I saw a pair quite often outside my office which is at the Botanic Gardens end of CSIRO, but it was a long time before I managed to get a shot of one actually in the gardens and now I've not seen any outside my office window for a while. This photo was taken on the Eucalypt lawn.

  12. Just to update on my last response - I saw the Kookaburra today, again on the Eucalypt lawn. I don't always go to the Eucalypt lawn, so perhaps he is there quite often, definitely the best place to try and find him anyhow as I've not seen him anywhere else! Saw my first Spotted Pardalote in the gardens today too. Of course, today I forgot the golden rule of photography...no camera! kicking myself as could have got great pics of both these birds as I was able to get very close.