There has been a successful conclusion to the Hooded Plover story at Guvvos Beach. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, NS had mated with MR, and they reared two chicks.
Unfortunately one chick was taken after a couple of weeks. The parents then devoted their time to caring for the one remaining chick, and on Sunday, 12 April, while hang gliders were soaring overhead, the three birds took to the air and were seen flying out over the sea, circling and returning to the shore.
On the same day a White-bellied Sea Eagle could be seen flying over the water, parallel with the beach in the vicinity of the Hooded Plovers.
It was a good result for the birds at Guvvos, and should mark the end of the breeding season for this year.
Also worth mentioning, at Thompson Creek, Point Impossible near Breamlea, Hooded Plovers successfully reared three chicks. It was a great achievement and the family of five were observed flying over the beach in early April.
It’s not unusual to see Wedge-tailed Eagles flying high overhead, or in the distance. Recently three Wedge-tails were resting in a smallish, dead tree in a paddock, quite close to the road. It was wonderful to see them as we were driving along Forest Road towards Moriac, not far from the turnoff.
Another observation is indeed very unusual. It occurred early in April, when a driver noticed a wombat walking by the side of the Great Ocean Road near Cathedral Rock. He followed it for a short distance, but then decided to drive on, as the animal headed into the bush. I seem to remember some years ago that a wombat had been seen in bushland somewhere near Wensleydale.
A Rufous Bristlebird’s nest is the latest donation to the natural history display at ANGAIR office.
A Shy Albatross was found washed ashore at Whites Beach, Torquay. It had been banded on 5 October, 1996 at Albatross Island, situated off the north west tip of Tasmania. The bird was: Age code – First year or older; Sex code: Unknown. It has been offered to the Melbourne Museum, but as they already have a specimen from this area, they do not require this one for their collections.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.