Little Desert Excursion along Nhill/Harrow Road Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th,October 2017 p.m.

Leaders Graeme and Helen Fernandes


After our morning excursion to Nhill Lake, we led a full complement of 25 people on Saturday and 22 on Sunday.  The weather was very good for both days although a little warmer on Sunday.


Turning south from the Lodge our first stop was a mere 3.4 kms down the road. We found this spot to be very dry, very little was found amongst the sand swales and Banksia heathland. During the afternoon we stopped at a further four locations.


The best of these areas were the Windmill area which is 10.8 kms from the Lodge entrance. This area was good for Plants and it is here that the Blue Tinsel Lily was found. Further down the road at 12.6 kms.  Most people found this area very interesting as it was on an old gravel pit and the area provided many good flowering plants including a variety of orchids.


The best location though was 21.3 kms for the start where a sandy track to the right has an excellent variety of plants and orchids. Some fine examples of flowering Xanthorrhoea australis (Austral Grass-trees) were shown to advantage here.


At this location you could easily spend a few hours looking through the Mallee scrub and sand dunes. A wedge-tail eagle was spotted being chased by smaller birds.


On both days there were very few birds to be seen, although a large flock of White browed woodswallows were seen over the previously burnt Banksia heathland.


Some of the more interesting plants recorded over the two excursions were:

Banksia ornata (Desert Banksia)

Calectasia intermedia (Blue Tinsel Lily)

Callitris rhomloidea (Oyster Bay Pine)

Calytrix tetragona (Fringe -myrtle)

Daviesia pectinata (Barb-wire Bush.)

Eucalyptus calycogona (Red –Mallee)

Euphrasia collina (Eyebright)

Gyrostemon australasicus (Wheel fruit)

Melaleuca wilsinii (Violet Honey-myrtle)

Comesperma calymega (blue-spike Milkwort)


Caladenia carnea (Pink Fingers)

Caladenia cucullata (Hooded Caladenia)

Caladenia dilatala (Green-comb Spider orchid)

Pterostylis aciculiformis (Slender ruddyhood)

Pyrorchis nigricans (Red Becks)

Thelymitra juncifolia (Rush-leaf Sun-orchid)

Pterostylis rufa (Rusty hood)

Thelymitra ixiodes (Spotted Sun-Orchid)

Laxmannia orientalis (Dwarf Wire Lily)

Myriocephalus rhizocephalus (Woolly heads)

Stackhousia aspericocca (Rough-nut stackhousia)

Caladenia cucullatta (Hooded Orchid)

Caladenia stricta (Upright Spider-orchid)

Caladenia tensa (Rigid Spider –orchid)