We started the morning by a quick walk in the Ironbarks near the Aireys Inlet Hall. We then moved on to the Distillery Creek Nature Trail which was alive with birds, as the Ironbarks in flower were attracting scores of honeyeaters.
Nearer the picnic ground the more aggressive Red-Wattle birds and New Holland honeyeaters were in control. Further in other honeyeaters were plentiful, such as Crescent, Eastern Spinebill and White-naped.
We were excited at one stage to see about six Varied Sitella, a type of Treecreeper which is quite rare in our area, and mostly scuttle down branches and trunks of trees. The quite common White-fronted Treecreepers, in contrast, tend to go up trees.
We felt quite sated with birds by the time we eventually returned to the picnic ground for morning tea, and were amazed that we had only seen 19 species.
Morning tea and still bird watching
Fortunately a couple of White-cheeked Honeyeaters made it 20. We were entertained by a Yellow Robin standing, in its typical sideways stance, on trunks of trees near our table.
On our return journey a few of us stopped and checked out the Painkalac valley, and were able to increase the total of bird species to 28. Transient water areas on the river flats were attracting a few species of water birds.
Grey Teal in the Painkalac Creek valley
The open paddocks were alive with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Magpies and a mob of Kangaroos. Of particular interest was the sighting of three Little Wattlebirds, which are rare in our area. I tried hard to get an in-flight photo of the distinctive brown under-wings, but was never quick enough to do so.
All in all it was a delightful mornings birding.
Below are all the birds identified, where they were seen or heard and the number of birds:
H - Aireys inlet Hall
D - Distillery Creek
P - Painkalac Creek
1. Grey Teal P 5
2. Pacific Black Duck P5
3. Purple Swamphen P 2
4. Masked Lapwing p 2
5. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo H 2
6. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo H (H), D 1, P lots
7. Crimson Rosella H 1, D 2,
8. White-throated Treecreeper D10
9. Superb Fairy-wren D 8
10. Brown Thornbill D 4
11. Eastern Spinebill H 1, D 10
12. Yellow-faced Honeyeater H 1, D 2
13. White-eared Honeyeater D2
14 Little Wattlebird P 3
15. Red Wattlebird H 12, D lots
16. Crescent Honeyeater H 1, D 20
17. New Holland Honeyeater H 1, D_ lots
18. White-naped Honeyeater D 40
19. Varied Sitella D 6
20. Golden Whistler D 1(H)
21. Grey Shrike-thrush D 1
22 Australian Magpie H 3, P 30
23. Pied Currawong H 1
24. Willie Wagtail P 1
25. Grey Fantail D 1
26. Little Raven P 6
27. Eastern Yellow Robin D 2
28. Welcome Swallow P 2
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.