A whale was spotted in South Lorne, in early May, about 500 metres off Point Grey in Lorne, heading south.
A sighting of two Swift Parrots flying overhead along Coalmine Road, near the Anglesea Riding Club, was reported in Birdline Victoria. The Swift Parrot is a threatened species, mainly through loss of native, forest vegetation. They breed in Tasmania, nesting in a hollow in the trunk, or branch, of a Tasmanian Blue Gum. In April, they migrate to dry forests, woodlands parks and gardens in Victoria and NSW, where they spend the winter. There they feast on flowering eucalypts, eating mainly nectar, as well as lerps, seeds and flowers.
A Bandicoot was observed in Coogoorah Park, sitting by the water’s edge. This part of the river system has been a favoured area for Southern Brown Bandicoots, and signs of their diggings can be found in the adjacent bushland.
Also in the area, a Night Heron was seen perching in a dead tree branch overhanging the water, just near the footbridge, close to Coalmine Road. They are very elegant birds, and is always nice to see them.
During a walk in the Anglesea Foreshore Reserve, we were treated to a sighting of a Striated Field Wren, It ran along the track ahead of us, and then on to a clump of coastal vegetation. We had an excellent view of the bird, with its prominent frontal striations.
The Hooded Plover chick at Guvvos was banded in May. It now bears the letters JU. It will be interesting to track this bird in the future, and learn where and how far it travels.
Ecologic staff snorkelling at Lorne pier, were mystified to spot what looked like a cross between a flat sea-jelly and a plastic bag the size of an A3 sheet of paper. It had the most delicate tinge of purple and was beautiful.
After some research, they decided it must be a Salp. Salps belong to a group of undersea animals called Tunicates. These are sac-like filter-feeders that live on plankton and organic matter, which is strained from the water that they pump through their bodies. Their more well-known relative is the sea-squirt.
Individual salps range in size from 1 cm to 10 cm. They move their barrel-shaped bodies by contracting themselves. This pumps water through one end of the salp’s gelatinous body and expels it out the other.
One species is known to reach more than a few metres. Individual salps form a colony during the sexual phase of their lifecycle. The colony is long and chain-like in some species, and wheel-like in others. (Thanks to Ecologic for this report).
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.