A few hours South-East of Melbourne is a region known South Gippsland. Due to deep protected valleys and gullies and heavy rainfalls a beautiful temperate rainforest has developed. The Mountain Ash forests surrounding the gullies were once heavily logged for timber and planted Pine logging still occurs on the nearby hills. The best parts of the rainforest have been protected by the Tarra Bulga National Park.
Just south of the National Park is a Camp Ground and Caravan Park – Fernholme. Last weekend I camped there for a few days with family and friends. We explored the local area and various tracks in the nearby National Park. I also had some quiet time to sneak away and look for birds. The forests were very dark but I did find and photograph a few nice birds along the way. (Bird Post to follow)
Fernholme Park, Tarra Valley,
Fallen Tree – my car GPS took me up a few rough and muddy short-cut roads…we had to stop at this point and turn a round and head another way (for 50kms!) – we were so close too. (taken using an iPhone through the windscreen). A recent windstorm had swept through the area and many trees were down.
A very dirty Blue Thunder (named by my Nephews due to its Diesel engine) – my new Subaru Outback. My last car did not quite survive my many off road adventures of the last 18 months.
Fern wall behind the Camping Ground reception building – many of these ferns are very old and at least 20 foot high.
Tarra River – the river has Brown Trout and Platypus right next to the campgrounds.
Rainforest Bridge in the National Park
Rainforest Suspension Bridge
Moss Tree – most of the older trees with a rough bark had moss, lichens, fungi and various ferns growing on them. Several of the Myrtle Beech trees we saw were over a thousand years old.
Moss growing on the tree branches in the forest
Large Tree Fern
Moss and Mushroom – seeing if the iPhone can take decent shots
Small creek in the rainforest
Posted in Victoria
Tagged Australia, Fernholme, Liberty Outback, Lichens, Moss, Nature Photography, Photography, rainforest, Suspension Bridge, Tarra Bulga, Tarra River, Tarra Valley, Tree Fern, Victoria
Another part of the Dandenong Ranges that I have explored briefly is a section near one of the Puffing Billy Steam Train Stations – Welch Track. It is a rather steep section of the Park with a good track leading down to a rainforest gully and then merging onto other tracks. I had seen a report of a few Large Billed Scrubwrens in the area and while I looked for them I found a few other interesting birds along the way.
Male Superb Fairy Wren
Red Browed Treecreeper – usually difficult to see as they stick to the higher canopies of very tall trees
Juvenile Powerful Owl – still with fledgling white chest feathers, and already with extremely large and lethal talons. The Powerful Owl is able to take much larger and heavier prey – a favourite being the brush tailed possum.
Even as a young Owl in daylight it had much better senses than I did – it knew when other people were coming down the track well before I did.
Welch Track Foliage and fallen tree
Posted in Birds, Dandenong Ranges, Rainforest, Victoria, Victorian Reserves
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Crimson Rosella, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Nature Photography, Powerful Owl, rainforest, Red Browed Treecreeper, Superb Fairy Wren, Victoria