|Norman Creek, as it passes to the south of Arnwood Place.|
Just under three square kilometres in size, Annerley might be a small inner-suburb of Brisbane, but it is rich in wildlife nevertheless. This is largely due to the life-sustaining qualities of Norman Creek flowing through the eastern extremity of the suburb—elsewhere, with Ipswich Road splitting the area right down the middle, urbanisation has taken its toll.
|Featured areas: (1) Arnwood Place, (2) Lagonda Park,|
(3) Suburban Annerley, (4) Fanny Street Park, and
(5) Ekibin Park South; Image courtesy of Google Maps.
In the present day, the green spaces in the suburb are quite limited, but this hasn’t stopped a dedicated bushcare community from restoring these areas into impressive revegetation sites teeming with wildlife, some of which are looked at below.
|A female pale ciliate-blue (Anthene lycaenoides), resting at Arnwood Place. This tropical butterfly has, until this record-breakingly hot summer, only been recorded as far south as Mackay. Thank you to Peter Ewin for the ID.|
1. Arnwood Place
This small but beautiful revegetation site is the result of seventeen years of hard work from the Norman Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee and the Arnwood Place Bushcare Group, and is definitely worth a visit. From the bridge over Norman Creek looking south, a variety of water animals can be spotted, including dusky moorhens (Gallinula tenebrosa), Macquarie turtles (Emydura macquarii) and—if you’re lucky—water rats (Hydromys chrysogaster). Even just the view of the creek itself is something to enjoy, however; bordered by a magnificent Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla), the scenery made me feel much more remote than my actual position, just four kilometres out from the city centre.
|Little black cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris).|
If you are keen to pitch in and help restore such a beautiful area, please follow the Arnwood Place Bushcare Group Facebook page for updates on meetings and working bees.
|There are several kookaburra families in Annerley.|
|Boardwalk at Lagonda Park.|
Another revegetation site in Annerley is at Lagonda Park. At first glance, the park consists of a small playground and picnic shelter, surrounded by jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia), but continue along the pathway and you will come to a gully that has been replanted with dry rainforest trees. Here, the pathway suddenly becomes a boardwalk through the tree canopy, allowing a closer look at beauties like the tulipwood (Harpullia pendula) and red kamala (Mallotus philippensis). In the gully below, small creatures like the eastern dwarf tree frog (Litoria fallax) and wandering ringtail (Austrolestes leda) are swooped upon by laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae).
|Growing to only eight metres tall, tuckeroos are a small rainforest tree.|
3. Suburban Annerley
The residential areas of Annerley seem to be undergoing a lot of change at the moment, with new townhouse blocks and apartments appearing everywhere, and iconic Queenslander-style houses being remodelled to the nth degree. Sadly, the landscaping styles are being updated too, with gardens shrinking in size and featuring mostly cheap, foreign, ubiquitous Bunnings plants like mock orange (Murraya paniculata) and golden cane palms (Dypsis lutescens). On a walk down McIvor Street, I found no birds, but plenty of coastal golden orb-weavers (Nephila plumipes). Street plantings heavily feature the Brazilian leopard tree (Libidibia ferrea), but the occasional native tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) can be found as well.
|Apart from a few weeks of the year, magpies are one of the most friendly suburban birds.|
4. Fanny Street Park
|Fanny Street Park entrance.|
|Fig trees offer some much-appreciated shade on sunny days at Ekibin Park South.|
5. Ekibin Park South
Situated immediately north of Arnwood Place, this park is a popular sporting ground for locals, but is also of value to wildlife. Some years ago, the banks of Norman Creek in this section were covered in a dense tangle of Japanese sunflowers (Tithonia diversifolia), but the Brisbane-wide "What's Your Nature?" project, funded by the federal government and supported by Healthy Land and Water, brought contractors onto the site to remove this serious weed. The largest tree in this park is also unfortunately a weed, in the form of a giant camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphorum), but at least it provides an abundant food supply for the local blue triangle (Graphium sarpedon) population.
|Macquarie turtles are friendly residents of Arnwood Place.|