In September we had a combined Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) survey and bird walk. We had lovely warm weather, which is unusual for an OBP survey.
What raptor is that?
The Orange-bellied Parrots were, as usual, not to be seen and, disappointingly, there were also no Blue-winged Parrots either as they flock together.
We did however see the unexpected sight of Red-rumped Parrots and Eastern Rosellas using nesting boxes provided by the Victorian Field and Game society.
Two pairs of Brolgas were a highlight, as were a pair of Whistling Kites nesting in the only gum tree in one area. A Magpie Lark nest was just below...brave birds!
Shared tree for Whistling Kites & Magpie Larks
There were surprisingly few ducks, but masses of Coots.
Spoonbills & other waterbirds
After the survey we went and had a quick look at Lake Murtnagurt and were pleased to see a number of Maned Stilts and a few Avocets. Finally, a quick stop at Blue Rocks, where we saw one Pacific Golden Plover still in breeding plumage...the 50th bird species!
Pacific Golden Plover
Below are all the birds identified, where they were seen or heard and the number of birds:
B- Baensch’s Lane, H - Hospital Swamp, M- Lake Murtnaghurt
1. Black Swan B 10, H15, M 35
2. Australian Shelduck B 2, H 1
3. Grey Teal M 50
4. Chestnut Teal B 5, M 40
5. Hoary-headed Grebe B 30
6. Crested Pigeon B Lane south 3
7. Great Cormorant M 2
8. Little Pied Cormorant H 2
9. Little Black Cormorant H 2
10. Australian Pelican H 20
11. Eastern Great Egret B 1, H 2
12. White-faced Heron H 1
13. Australian White Ibis B 12, H 11
14. Straw-necked Ibis B 70, H 45
15. Royal Spoonbill 7 H
16. Yellow-billed Spoonbill H 2
17. Whistling Kite B 2, H 3
18. Swamp Harrier B 5, H 5
19. Brown Falcon H 1
20. Brolga B 2, H 2
21. Purple Swamphen B 25, H 15
22. Eurasian Coot B 1000
23. Black-winged Stilt B 35
24. Red-necked Avocet M 3
25. Banded Stilt M 40
26. Pacific Golden Plover Blue Rocks 1
27. Black-fronted Dotterel H 2
28. Red-kneed Dotterel H 2
29. Masked Lapwing B 3, M 3
30.Sharp-tailed Sandpiper B 5, M 3
31.Caspian Tern H 1
32.Silver Gull M 10
33.Galah Breamlea 6
34. Eastern Rosella H 2
35.Red-rumped Parrot B 10
36. Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo B 1
37.Superb Fairy-wren B 4, H 6
38.White-plumed Honeyeater H 6
39.White-fronted Chat B 16
40.Australian Magpie B 50, H 6
41. Grey Fantail B 1
42.Willy Wagtail H 4
43.Little Raven B 10, M 2
44. Magpie-lark B 4,
45. Eurasian Skylark H 1 (heard)
45.Australian Reed-Warbler B 10, (heard)
47.Little Grassbird B 8, H 1 ( all heard)
48.Welcome Swallow B 30,
49.Common Starling B 150
50. House Sparrow B (heard)
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.