Queens Park, Ipswich

To clarify, that is Ipswich, Queensland, Australia as opposed to Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. Right, that’s cleared that up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur hosts’ house is flown over every evening by Fruit Bats leaving their roost to go foraging. These are spectacular creatures, so he decided to take us to Queens Park where there is an enormous roost. In and around Nerima Gardens the trees are completely filled with roosting Fruit Bats. An information board implied that there might be three different species co-existing here.  There are many thousands of them. The picture struggles to convey the scale but each of the dark drops beneath the branches in this shot [go on, squint] is a Fruit Bat.

Pteropus scapulatus-247887With a bright blue sky [my favourite colour] behind a dark bat with its face in shadow, trying to get a detailed image requires picking the right subject in the right situation. Here’s an attempt. This is one of the Little Red Flying Foxes (Pteropus scapulatus). Cuddle, anyone?

Royal Spoonbill-247904There is a small wildlife area with caged subjects, some of which were quite interesting. I was particularly taken by these very haughty looking spoonbills, appropriately, perhaps, called Royal Spoonbills (Platalea regia). Sadly, it’s captive but I simply couldn’t resist it.

JX247897-Enhanced-NRThere was some water, too, where there were dragonflies which were decidedly not captive. The temperature was up in the 30s so they were very active. There weren’t any unusual species that I could see but I did manage to snag an Australian Emerald (Hemicordulia australiae) when it hovered in front of me.

In the afternoon, I was anxious to introduce Francine to the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, which I’d visited and loved on my first Australian dragonfly trip back in 2019. We got there in time for lunch in their very good café before seeing what we could find.

Rhyothemis graphiptera, Botanic gardens-Rhyothemis phyllis-247911There was plenty of activity but of the same clutch of about 10 suspects. All my previous visits to Australia have been in late November/early December. This is my first experience of late January so the species mix may well be different and more restricted. A couple of Flutterers posed reasonably, though: Yellow-striped Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis) and the Graphic Flutterer (Rhyothemis graphiptera).

Posted in 2024-01 Australia