30 July, 2023

Record: night survey observations, Sanjay Van Park, New Delhi, India, July 2023

Notable observations from the night surveys I participated in at Sanjay Van Park, New Delhi, India, July 2023. The survey included a number of moth screens, which yielded 26 different species of moth (so far), including several pearl moths (the coolest one was Notarcha aurolinealis).

The park is full of fireflies (Abscondita anceyi, I think).

Other highlights include:
Reptiles: Common leopard gecko, a spotted house gecko, and a species of thin-toed gecko (maybe Delhi rock gecko AKA Aravalli Hills thin-toed gecko)
Amphibians: breeding Indus Valley bullfrogs, burrowing frogs, and Indus Valley toad
Insects: six-spotted beetles, blister beetle, Indian grass mantis, a juvie Hierodula mantis, and a lanternfly!
Spiders: white-banded bird-dropping spider, two-tailed spider and lots of orbweavers.

We also saw spotted owlet, Indian scops-owl, a civet, and a blind snake (but no photos, so no posted observations of these).

Posted on 30 July, 2023 12:38 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 20 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

15 July, 2023

Alpha adventure: Sanjay Van, New Delhi, India

(I've been a bit slack keeping a journal of all the different places I've explored here in India)
Today I joined a nature walk organised by Nature Connect/WWF-India around Sanjay Van, a great parkland in the middle of New Delhi. It's the monsoon season, so there was plenty to see!
-Sirkeer malkoha (lifer bird for me)
-swarming butterflies
-so many mushrooms and fungi due to the recent wet weather

Posted on 15 July, 2023 12:17 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 36 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

19 March, 2023

Alpha adventure: Sunder Nursery butterfly walk (India)

Today I joined an organised butterfly walk around Sunder Nursery in New Delhi, led by Mr Ishtiyak Ahamed.
The group spotted several butterfly species, plus lots of dragonflies, and a few other insects and birds.
-feeding grey hornbills
-chequered swallowtail butterfly
-commn castor butterfly caterpillar

Posted on 19 March, 2023 08:25 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 42 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Alpha Adventure: Gujarat (state of India)

Work trip to Gujarat state, with some wildlife encounters on the side; most notably:

  • 6 new birds: ashy-crowned sparrow-lark, common babbler, dusky crag-martin, rosy starling, bank myna, andlittle ringed plover.
  • northern plains grey langur
Posted on 19 March, 2023 08:19 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

20 October, 2022

Alpha adventure: Black Mountain orchid walk, Oct 22

A wander around the foothills of Black Mountain in mid-October once again yielded a great number of flowering orchids. Lots of waxlips and Caladenias, plus the target species: greenhoods (two species of greenhood actually!).
Awaiting community ID to determine the final tally of orchid species...

Posted on 20 October, 2022 09:22 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 12 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Record: iconic Aussie wildlife, Tidbinbilla, Sep 22

An early morning hike around the Tidbinbilla sanctuary (in the ACT region) yielded close(ish) encounters with two iconic Aussie critters:

  1. Platypus
  2. Southern brown bandicoots
Posted on 20 October, 2022 09:18 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Alpha adventure: Bangladesh, Sep 22

A quick work trip to Bangladesh, with a couple of side nature walks in the nearby surrounds.
Highlights of my first foray into South Asia include the rufous treepie, a purple-rumped sunbird, a couple of kingfishers, irrawaddy squirrels, and a lovely swallowtail butterfly.

Posted on 20 October, 2022 09:14 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

07 December, 2021

Alpha adventure: Mulligan's Flat twilight tour, ACT, Dec 21

6 Dec 21: Twilight tour of the Mulligan's Flat Nature Reserve
(a little local adventure)

As our tour guide Luke explained, the Mulligan's Flat nature reserve is a sanctuary to protect the critically endangered box gum grassy woodland. A predator-proof fence has been constructed and locally extinct animals have been reintroduced in an attempt to restore the woodlands to the biodiversity levels that preceded habitat clearing and predator introduction.

During our walk we spotted eastern grey kangaroos and two wallaby species, brushtail possums, the eastern bettong (reintroduced), a family of tawny frogmouth, and a nice water spider. We also heard the eerie calls of bush-stone curlews (reintroduced).

A great little conservation ecosystem.

Posted on 07 December, 2021 10:47 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 6 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

17 November, 2021

Alpha adventure: Sydney northern beaches, Nov 21

A weekend trip to the northern beaches to escape the unseasonal cold weather in Canberra!

The trip included visits to Warriewood Wetlands, Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and Mona Vale Basin for some bird and bug spotting!
Highlights included lots of interesting insects and spiders! My particular favourites are:
-Mesostenina wasp
-Handmaiden moths
-Flower-feeding march fly
-Austral ellipsidion cockroaches
-Common triangular spider
-Saint Andrew's cross spider
(plus a few more I've linked below)

I also spotted a red-bellied black snake lurking in the wetlands, and a few nice beach coming finds on the beach, including a violet globe snail.

Posted on 17 November, 2021 08:54 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Record: mystery case moths

During a recent trip to Molonglo Gorge (ACT), I spotted three caterpillars with cases made from sticky everlasting petals. The usually helpful iNat auto-identifier wasn't able to shed much light, so after a little bit of internet research it seems they are an undescribed species of case moth.

The internet revealed several case moth species:
In particular undetermined species BB, which has similar petal cases and was found nearby, but the source flowers were different: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/psyc/psychbb.html

I've exchanged a few emails with the Don Herbison-Evans from that website, and he advised that they could be Psychidae or Tineoidea, so he's suggested rearing a specimen in captivity to see what pops out, which sounds like a fun science experiment, so I'll be heading back to Molonglo Gorge to see if we can find any...and then see what happens...!

Stay tuned.

Posted on 17 November, 2021 08:41 by alphaj16 alphaj16 | 1 observation | 2 comments | Leave a comment