The May birdwalk started out with a short visit to the Barwon Heads Bluff. It was a wild and windy day with the ocean roaring, and a couple of us were very fortunate to see a Shy Albatross soaring over the waves.
Everyone had a good sighting of an Australasian Gannet, a Pacific Gull and a few other birds. We then retreated to the more sheltered cliffs overlooking the river mouth, where we saw a large number of Crested Terns on the rocks.
The next location was the Yellow Gums Estate in Ocean Grove to look for Swift Parrots. Sadly we did not see any, but there were many flocks of other screeching parrots, especially Rainbow Lorikeets and, one Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.
Rainbow Lorikeet and two Red-rumped parrots
Amongst these harsh calls we were pleased to identify the ringing calls of a Grey Butcher bird and Grey Currawong.
After that we thoroughly enjoyed a walk around the scenic Blue Waters Lake which was alive with water birds including Royal Spoonbills, that were almost tame.
Raft of birds
It was good chance to observe the differences between the two types of Black cormorants, and the amazing scalloped/flattened lobes on the toes of the Eurasian Coots, very different from the long straight toes of the Moorhens and Swamphens.
Three types of Cormorants
We were really in need of our morning tea/coffee by this time so we called in at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve which was, however, quite devoid of birds.
On our return journey some of us stopped at Hospital Swamp where we saw a large number of Purple Swamphens, plus a few Red-kneed Dotterels and elegant Black-winged Stilts, and, happily, no duck shooters.
Below are all the birds identified, the location they were identified and the number seen:
BH: Barwon Heads
Y: Yellow Gums estate
W: Blue Waters Lake
H: Hospital Swamp
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.