Meldale

Meldale is situated off the Bruce highway about 60 km north of Brisbane on the Pumicestone Passage side of the highway. It is small rural community of about 100 houses and sits on a flat delta between Elimbah Creek as it curves its way out to the Passage on Meldale’s south and east and the blind ended Bullock Creek to the North. Blocks along the creeks are residential with rural 5, 10 and 40 hectare blocks set back from the creeks. Originally Melaleucas and open eucalyptus forest most was cut down as the land was used for farming until the mid 1970s. However there are large grey gums ( Eucalyptus teratacornis) and blood wood trees remaining on many blocks and some melaleuca especially down towards the tidal flats. The soil is poor, sandy with fine clay and generally acidic. In our 10 acre property where most of my photos are taken we have improved the drainage by digging dams and adding drainage channels in the open areas. The channels fill in the wet and are a source of water for dragonflies and birds. The dams are patrolled by dragonflies and damsels throughout the summer and go up and down in depth depending on the level of the water table. We have added tonnes of forest mulch over the years to add organic matter and there are lots of hedge type planting of exotics and natives which give cover for birds and other animals. At the end of the block is an area of mangroves with glasswort covering the tidal flat.

Getting There

GPS Coordinates 27°2.082′S, 153°4.188′E

Map

Wildlife

Land Birds 10 species
Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti) 5
Plain Bush-hen (Amaurornis olivacea) 4 new to Meldale garden
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) 2
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) 2
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) 2
Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) 2 New to Meldale garden
Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) 2
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) 1
Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) 1
Black-faced Monarch (Monarcha melanopsis) 1
Damselflies 11 species
Common Bluetail (Ischnura heterosticta) 20 very common seen throught the year those sparsely in winter
Blue Riverdamsel (Pseudagrion microcephalum) 10 common in summer
Splendid Longlegs (Austrocnemis splendida) 10 very common
Aurora Bluetail (Ischnura aurora) 6 very common in wet seeps and seen throughout the year
Ceriagrion aeruginosum 3 not common in area
Eastern Billabongfly (Austroagrion watsoni) 3
Agriocnemis rubricauda 2 rare in Meldale; Rare in Meldale
Diphlebia coerulescens 2 one male and one female at Kondilila Falls
Powdered Wiretail (Rhadinosticta simplex) 1 rare only one or two sightings
Agriocnemis pygmaea 1 rare in Meldale
Argiocnemis rubescens 1 not common in area
Dragonflies 36 species
Brachydiplax denticauda 76 one of the commonest blue dragons on the main dam in summer to autumn; one of the most common blue dragons in Meldale in the summer; By far the most common species today; commonest blue dragonfly still egg laying
Fiery Skimmer (Orthetrum villosovittatum) 26 minly on main dams very common in summer; many fighting males
Ictinogomphus australis 21 Last year we saw none this year they are every couple of metres along the dams; very common 2015-16
Diplacodes trivialis 17 competes with palemouth for being most common blue dragon on the main dam; one of most common blue dragonflys presnt to late autumn
Rhyothemis phyllis 16 very common in Meldale; There were swarms in the trees in addition to those on the dam
Rhodothemis lieftincki 14 in the summer of 09-10 the commonest red dragon on the main dams but in 2010-11 summer not very common at all; Only a few were on the main dam
Wandering Percher (Diplacodes bipunctata) 13 very common until late autumn. In 2010 went over winter; just starting to appear on the mud flats
Zyxomma elgneri 11 frequently seen at dusk but not large numbers; busy on the dams at dusk and early morning
Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum) 10 quite common and often not near water
Australian Emerald (Hemicordulia australiae) 10 very difficult to count as they never rest over the dams
Eastern Swamp Emerald (Procordulia jacksoniensis) 9 quite common in Summer in Meldale; paired
Common Glider (Trapezostigma loewii) 9 very common late into autumn in Meldale; Usually a copmmon sighting in Meldale; on mud flats
Hydrobasileus brevistylus 9 very common in summer; Hard to count as none landed
Rhyothemis graphiptera 6 not very common in Meldale ; Not a common dragonfly in Meldale
Orthetrum sabina 6 very common often i long grass not on main dams
Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) 6 more found on the salt marsh flats edges and in long grass not at the waters edge
Anax gibbosulus 4 Have seen a number since but not often; observed egg laying on large farm dam; female egg laying
Blue-spotted Hawker (Aeshna brevistyla) 4 first time spotted; seen only rarely; blue spots showing
Black-faced Percher (Diplacodes melanopsis) 3 not common
Australian Emperor (Hemianax papuensis) 3 seen into May
Hemicordulia continentalis 3 uncommon in Meldale; seen in long grass
Black-headed Skimmer (Crocothemis nigrifrons) 3 not common
Zyxomma petiolatum 3 not very common seen always in shade during the day; Rare in Meldale
Tau Emerald (Hemicordulia tau) 2 uncommon in Meldale
Agrionoptera insignis 2 easy to find one or twoin summer to autumn
Nannodiplax rubra 2 can usually find 1 or two near the main dam in summer
Austrogynacantha heterogena 1
Jade Hunter (Austrogomphus ochraceus) 1 rare in Meldale
Trapezostigma eurybia 1 rare on mud flat edges
Forest Darner (Austroaeschna pulchra) 1 rare in area
Austrogomphus melaleucae 1 rare in Meldale although Melaleuca area
Unicorn Darner (Austroaeschna unicornis) 1 rare in area
Potamarcha congener 1 in open short grass
Orthetrum boumiera 1 sen only twice
Scarlet Percher (Diplacodes haematodes) 1 not common
Swamp Darner (Austroaeschna parvistigma) 1 may be a wallum darner A. coolooa

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