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Film Diary / 20.04.2018

Peter Hendry and his wife left on a 3 ½ month overseas trip 6 weeks ago. This means that I have to upload new moth images to my album with a record of their file number, so that in due course I can attach them to emails to send to Peter. This is by way of a back story for today’s moths at the garage. Moths enjoy vegetation, so the removal of a large tree and various shrubs from one side of the drive a year or more ago has affected their numbers at the garage. Moths enjoy rain even more, which they did last night, resulting in a greater number than I have seen for months. I photographed three of them; one was a species new to me, but I won’t find out what it is until July, alas.

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Film Diary / 28.03.2018

This evening, Mark, Lumart and I were at The Knoll. Lumart has a torch which emits ultra violet light. The most striking effect is achieved on the mottled scorpion, which lights up in spectacular fashion. After recent rain, there were large numbers of scorpions around and I filmed a lone specimen which was static for a long period and then moved off. I also filmed a mating couple, pincers clasping pincers. The pair were on a root. The male pulled the female off the root, relocating just below it. I also filmed a plant shoot with just two leaves, whose venation responded to the ultra violet.

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Film Diary / 08.02.2018

This morning, I filmed sulphur-crested cockatoos in the park opposite my flat, eating the nuts of the bunya pine, several of which grace the park. The cones, which can weigh as much as 10 kg, drop to earth in January and February. For the past two years no cones had fallen. This season there was a bumper crop. The birds are well equipped to get at the nuts, tearing at the thick outer covering with their powerful beaks, while keeping the cone steady with their equally powerful feet.

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Film Diary / 03.01.2018

There were some familiar subjects presenting themselves at excellent angles for filming, two being a weevil and the hooded semi-slug (the fifth time I have filmed it and always in Palm Grove National Park). One new subject was a spider with a bright green patch on the back of its abdomen. I also filmed some tiny fungi whose stems seemed no thicker than a human hair.

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Film Diary / 20.12.2017

Mark, Lumart, Jaap and I had our hands full with a wide variety of critters in MacDonald National Park.  I filmed a skink, a house centipede on a leaf, which stood out from its background far more than the previous specimens in my footage. I also filmed a moth, a juvenile carpet python in a tree, a pie dish beetle, a moulting cockroach and a male wasp belonging to a sub-family whose males are winged and carry around the females during mating. We found the most spectacular subject, new to all of us, on our way out – a batwing gum moth caterpillar. It is one of Australia’s biggest. I estimate it was more than 12 cm long and was nearly as thick as my thumb. At first it was still, but then began to move and gyrate.

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Film Diary / 15.11.2017

We succeeded in getting a full night’s filming in MacDonald National Park at the third attempt. On the first occasion two weeks ago Jaap and Lumart were driven crazy by mosquitos and we had to abandon the walk. Last week was bitterly cold and windy. To-night was comparatively balmy, though we continue to experience below average daytime temperatures. I filmed a small, roosting bird on a low branch next to the path, some fascinating white fungi which poked above the earth like ghostly fingers and an owl chick resting on the ground. It would have been between two and three weeks old. Jaap, who is overseas, would not have been pleased to have missed it

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Film Diary / 25.10.2017

The 2017-18 night filming season began with a walk in The Knoll. Jaap, Mark and Lumart were the crew. I filmed a very hairy caterpillar which I had previously filmed in Palm Grove; a large hunting beetle crawling on a tree near a huntsman spider; and for the second time, a flatworm with a yellow and brown stripe down its back.

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Film Diary / 28.08.2017

It is a month ago to the day since I last filmed, having been engaged on a pet project, of which more in due course. This morning I filmed a broken strangler fig in MacDonald National Park whose trunk  mysteriously snapped off some thirty feet above the forest floor. The fig was old and vast, one of a pair standing side by side. The fallen trunk generated an immense clearing, bringing down lesser trees, including palms.

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Film Diary / 04.06.2017

Looking back through the blog, I notice that I first filmed the Cotton Harlequin Bugs on the 8th of April. On the 17th I filmed a female with her newly laid eggs, discovering that she would stay and guard them until they hatch. On various subsequent visits there she was, a marvel of maternal constancy. This morning I filmed the nymphs scrabbling in a clump on the egg casings a day or so after emerging, with the by now rather wan-looking female, on an adjacent stem.

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Film Diary, Other / 28.05.2017

Having just completed our 150th walk I thought it might be interesting to delve into the history of the walks and tally how many we did per season (broadly, October to May). In doing so I discovered I was one walk short in the total to this season’s end. We have actually completed 153. The 150th occurred a week earlier than the ‘official’ date. I didn’t start numbering the walks until a few seasons had passed. And then, I didn’t number every walk. The tally per season is:  ’07 –’08 = 5   ’08 – ’09 = 10   ’09 – ’10 = 13   ’10 –’11 = 26   ’11 – ’12 = 19   ’12 –’13 = 16   ’13 – ’14 = 13  ’14 –’15 = 16   ’15 – ’16 = 16   ’16 – ’17 = 19. You will notice that in the second season we doubled the number of walks of season one and in the fourth, we doubled the number of walks in season three.

I next tallied how many walks we had done in each of the national parks.  Joalah topped the list with 47, followed by The Knoll with 43, MacDonald with 31, Palm Grove 25, Witches… Read Complete Text