Alcoa has donated two mounted Peregrine Falcons to ANGAIR. The birds, both juvenile, had been raised in a nest site at the power station in 2004.
Originally there were four chicks in the nest. Two died, but the remaining two survived to fledge. The male was smaller and died shortly after from malnutrition. The female was a strong, healthy bird, but unfortunately died when she flew into a power line. The acquisition of the two falcons is a welcome addition to ANGAIR’s natural history collection.
The Cape Otway Conservation Centre is using trained dogs to search for scats in places historically inhabited by Tiger Quolls. In August, the Cape Otway Conservation Dogs Team conducted Tiger Quoll scat surveys in the Great Otway National Park at the Big Hill/Reedy Creek area near Lorne. They split up into two teams, with two sniffer dogs in each team taking it in turns to search an area for scats. Nothing was detected on the day, however two dogs were very interested in a particular area along Reedy Creek so there is reason to believe there may have been a scent around. The team are interested in visiting the eastern side of the park again soon and will be hoping to conduct scat surveys in some rockier areas.
Some years ago the Friends of Eastern Otways conducted mammal surveys in the Reedy Creek/Big Hill area and had a Tiger Quoll hair identified in one of the hair tubes. There have been a number of scat surveys undertaken with the dogs in the western Otways over the last 12 months.
There have been two reported sightings of a Southern Brown Bandicoot in the Anglesea Bushland Reserve at Elizabeth Street. This is the first time they have been seen in the reserve. In both cases the animal was seen just on the verge between the road and the vegetation. A sign has been erected at the reserve advising residents of the threat posed to the bandicoots by roaming cats and suggesting that pet cats be kept inside, particularly between dusk and dawn.
Robyn Caddy contacted us about an unusual bird on her birdbath at Aireys Inlet. She said that she looked out of the window, and her first thought was that the bird resembled a cross between a Pacific Gull and a Pigeon. After checking in her field guide, she was delighted to find it was a White-headed Pigeon, which is a very rare visitor to this part of the world. They are commonly seen in large flocks in coastal Northern NSW and Queensland. Some years ago, several people had mentioned that they had seen a White-headed Pigeon in the Aireys Inlet area. Robyn has kindly sent in a photograph of the bird as it was flying away from her birdbath.
The 2015 Hooded Plover breeding season has already commenced. Two nests reported so far, have both been in South Australia.
The familiar sounds of the Fantail Cuckoo, and also the Olive-backed Oriole are a sign that spring is already here. Both can be clearly heard in the forest.
An echidna, who was regularly seen crossing the road near the bridge at Anglesea, was unfortunately found dead on the side of the road one Sunday morning. It was probably only a matter of time before the inevitable happened, however, there had been times when traffic from both directions had stopped to allow the echidna to across the road safely. It is a sad end for one of our resident creatures.
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.