A very enthusiastic group of Angair members enjoyed the varied plant and animal life that is so accessible in this beautiful wetland reserve at Aireys Inlet.
Many of the plants observed as we walked along the walking track have been planted and maintained by the hard working ‘Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary’. It is interesting to note that some of the larger trees are a legacy of a period when the importance of indigenous plantings was not appreciated and a native tree that was suited to the coast was good enough. The Red – flowering Gum, Corymbia ficifolia is testament to this.
The plantings of Austral Storksbill, Pelargonium australe have been very successful as have Karkalla, Carpobrotus rossii, this image showing developing fruits.
Sweet Bursaria, Bursaria spinosa ssp. spinosa is seen here showcasing its wonderful seed pods which are always spectacular over the summer months.
A nature ramble is never complete without a huddle over the identification of at least one plant, the plant in question was Tall Rush, Juncus procera which appears very similar to Pale Rush, Juncus pallidus. An internal examination of a stem or culm revealed large airspaces which are characteristic of this rush. The Pale Rush has more dense stems with smaller airspaces.
The positioning of the board walks provides an opportunity to observe the fauna and flora just that little bit closer. Eels, a Great Egret and an Pacific Black Duck were sighted along with Slender Knotweed, Persicaria decipiens and Austral Brooklime, Gratiola peruvina. These marginal aquatic plants were growing strongly along the waters edge.
Pacific Black Duck
We were able to use several identification characteristics to confirm the identification of Tall Spike–rush, Eleocharis sphacelata which is a dominating species of the sanctuaries deeper water. The stems or culms are ribbed, these ribs corresponding to partitions within the stem which were visible once we cut into the stem. These partitions ensure an adequate air supply for these aquatic plants.
Photography Ros Gibson