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2013-10-26 CliffWay DS CliffWay JourneyStartSince childhood, a love of nature has been the most consistently rewarding thing in my life. The study of natural history has taken me down many interesting highways and byways, made me many good friends, kept me endlessly and rewardingly informed and entertained. And all you need is a pair of binoculars and a pair of sturdy legs.

Though of course to enhance the sheer wonder of nature study you can add (as I do) a 20 x mag hand lens, a digital camera and an iPhone (instead of the traditional notebook – and you can download bird and insect and plant ID apps as well). Darwin and all those early collectors and enthusiasts never had it so good!. Download a PDF of the report....


So nothing in life gives me more pleasure than to do as I did yesterday morning and go on a nature ramble with a handful of similarly-minded friends. We didn’t go to some exotic foreign part; in fact we didn’t go very far afield at all because if you live in a place like this there’s plenty of natural wonders at your back door. We just went a little way down the road to a track that runs along the eastern escarpment of Tamborine Mountain. Here, there is a line of remnant eucalyptus woodland on one side with open country beyond that and, on the other side, a view to the sea over some of the most magnificent unspoiled rainforest you’ll find anywhere.

We spent a very happy three hours or so pottering about this area, looking to see what birds and bugs and butterflies could be found and also how plants that thrive on rain are coping with three months drought. As always, there were plenty of bugs and the birds included Southern Fig Birds, Brown Thornbills, Whipbirds, Grey Shrike Thrush, both Spotted and Striated Pardalotes and – joy o joys – a single Albert’s Lyrebird.

Here are a few pics of what we saw:

2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-Varied-Swordgrass-Brown-butterfly

  < Varied Swordgrass Brown butterfly        

second butterfly is a Wonder Brown >   2013-10-26 CliffWay male Heteronympha mirifica - Wonder Brown





2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-dead-Greengrocer-cicada

 < HUGE (6.5 cm/2 1/2 inches) dead Greengrocer cicada, on the road. Probably killed and then dropped by a predatory bird. No wonder these big chaps are so noisy when they are singing all together in the garden, or forest!


Looking down into some of the magnificent rainforest on the eastern scarp – too steep to walk down there. >   2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-RainforestCanopy



2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-Bower-Satin-Bowerbird


 < The bower (NOT the nest) of the Satin Bowerbird, one of the commonest birds on the mountain. This time of year the males are very active decorating their bowers with blue stuff to attract the girls.


David and John look for birds while Tony (Judith's partner) shows Mike something in the garden. We stopped here for a welcome rest and Judith refreshed us with coffee and a chance to sit and admire the view >   2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-GardenWalkway

2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-Longicorn-beetle  < A Longicorn beetle on Mike's hand




Buds of the leguminous tree Daviesia arborea about to burst into splendid golden flower. Plants like this make a glory out of SE Queensland's usually dry spring >   2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-Daviesia-arborea


2013-10-26 CliffWay JL-Pathfinder 

 <  thought I knew a quick way home but it meant ploughing our way over rought ground through waist-high grass and braving the snakes which are very active at this time of year - here David goes boldly where nobody (with any sense) has gone before!



Location Information (by David): A short 3 km walk.  Allow at least 2 hours as what happens when you constantly stop to check out the nature like us is a cracking pace of only 0.8km/hr. We commenced at the end of Hartley/Cliff Rd along the Cliff Way walking track and returned along the eastern fence of the sports ground. The track parallels about a kilometre along the top of a cliff at the Eastern edge of Tamborine Mountain. It is amongst the trees between the cliff and the sports ground nearby. Views are found to the Coast through the trees with looking down on or into the tops of very large and old rainforest trees. This walk is relatively easy stroll along a dirt track with some small inclines.but walkers should take great care of their surroundings as a few steps in the wrong direction may result in a very long fall. The southern end emerges from the forest through an easement past private homes onto Caryota Ct. Whilst some weeds are found this is much reduced after some work by local Landcare people. Our list of plants of special notice and birds seen is at the end of this report

Nature Fans on this walk: Julie, Mike, Judith, John and David

Previous Location Walk Report - 2012-05-02

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Book - The Mistletoes

Mistletoes 230w
Copies of the excellent & definitive “ The Mistletoes of Subtropical Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria” by local authors John Moss & Ross Kendall now on sale at $27.50 from Mike Russell (5545 3601).

Book - TM Flora & Fauna

tm flora  fauna book cover 1 20140720 1523868399
TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN FLORA & FAUNA by Russell, Leiper, White, Francis, Hauser, McDonald & Sims is now on sale at local outlets for $15.


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Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)