After the breeding season, it is common to see small flocks of Hooded Plovers congregating during autumn and winter.
Last month, four of us visited Freshwater Lake, which is part of the Lonsdale Lakes system, where we saw nine Hooded Plovers including three or four juveniles. Also foraging with them were Red-capped Plovers. Since then, others have observed larger flocks of 25 and about 50 at Freshwater Lake.
On the same day, we went to Lake Victoria, where there were large numbers of water birds including Black Swans, Banded Stilts and Red-necked Avocets.
Several whale sightings along the coastline have been reported from Jan Juc, Aireys Inlet Split Point Lighthouse, Fairhaven, Thirteenth Beach and Point Addis. Many of the sightings are of unidentified whales, but two Humpbacks were seen near Cape Otway Lightstation, and two Southern Right mothers and calves have taken up winter residence in Logan’s Beach at Warrnambool whale nursery.
I have noticed Masked Lapwings pairing off and establishing nesting sites, and although it is very early in the season, I did notice a Raven flying with a twig in its bill.
An interesting account of raven behaviour was reported to one of our ANGAIR members:
“While on a walk in East Geelong, I observed a raven flying overhead with a yellow object in its beak. It landed on a power pole in the direction of my walk, and shortly after flew to the ground, near where a dead tree had been removed. It then scratched away leaves and twigs as if it was going to bury something. This it did, placing the yellow object in the hole and proceeding to cover it up. Returning to the pole it stayed for about five minutes, and then flew away. I went to the burial area, and after removing leaves etc., found two, fried potato chips which I re-covered with intention of returning to my home to get a camera.
About ten minutes later, while approaching the area again, I saw a raven fly away from the pole (it had not seen me). On uncovering the site to take a photo, I found now there were three chips in the hole. I did check on the site about three days later; all the chips had now gone.”
Higher numbers of kangaroos than usual have been observed about the town area in Anglesea. This is probably because many males move from the golf course and disperse throughout the town during autumn and winter. The females live in and around the golf course all year.
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.