Another reason I love Cape Jervis. The birds. What a treat to have a kestrel land on our balcony railing and watch us through the glass doors for over 10 minutes. Didn’t even fly off when we slowly opened the doors to get a better photo. Probably a young one – it was so fluffy.
Have you ever seen where a kestrel roosts? If you have, you may have noticed the regurgitated “pellets” that contain indigestible stuff, such as insect bits (see photos). Kestrels are highly adaptable and eat a variety of insects, reptiles, small birds and small mammals. We have lots of pellets on our back porch (home to kestrels when we are in the city).
Photos Carolyn Schultz: Kestrel, insect bits from pellet, intact pellets
Next get together, 7 & 8 Feb 2015. Training & cake provided.
We welcome new volunteers. Contact Carolyn Schultz 0423 213 481.
(Photos: E. Cousins; growth habit, side view, close-up of flower, Cape Jervis)
As with January’s Plant of the Month (the Small Yellow Rush-lily), the Sea-lavender looks very dainty. It’s a real shorty, growing to shin high only. At the base of the plant, there is a flat rosette of tough dark green leaves which have bristly hairs on them. Then the branched flower spikes erupt above them, with sprays of funnel-shaped flowers. The individual flowers have 5 petals and are blue-purple, with maroon shades before opening. From November to February, you can see these flowering along the waterfront at Cape Jervis: not unexpected, since they tend to like shallow soil pockets, limestone, saline soil, and full sun. In addition, they are a common weed in overgrazed paddocks, and along roadsides. By the way, these are not really lavenders: they actually belong to the same family as plumbago!
SMALL YELLOW RUSH-LILY
(Photos: E. Cousins; habit, seed capsules, flowers; Cape Jervis)
A little tufted plant, this beauty deserves its name: tenella is from the Latin for ‘dainty’. The actual plant pictured was about 40cm high, with the stems standing almost erect. Mostly they grow to about 45cm. There are almost no leaves, and the ones there are, are just little scales. However, the stems branch into slender clusters, making for a dense little plant. The flowers appear in spring to midsummer. These are yellow and 6-petalled, with a cute little group of very upright stamens. The flowers roll into a tight twist when finished (you can see one twist clearly in the centre photo). These are followed by the seed capsules, with a conical tip and three small ribs, hence the ‘tri’ in ‘tricoryne’. The plants will grow on sand along the coast, or in the heath and mallee…quite good for us in S.A. then!