The swans at Allen Noble Sanctuary have three cygnets. We first saw them when they were about a week old, but since then they have moved to another location.
On the same day, while observing the swans, we watched a pair of Masked Lapwings which had made their nest on a small island in the Sanctuary. The three chicks were surrounded by water but were able to swim successfully from one small land area to another. They were watched over all the time by their very noisy and protective parents. We thought it was an interesting choice of nesting site.
Neil Tucker found a baby Tiger Snake dead on the sand, at Point Addis. It is now an addition to the ANGAIR Natural History collection.
DELWP is currently undertaking a trial translocation of a small number of koalas into an area of the Great Otway National Park. The trial involves moving 37 healthy koalas from Manna Gum Woodland at Cape Otway. An area near the Bambra Road-Ironbark Spur intersection was selected as it contains a habitat of mixed Eucalyptus species such as a Manna, Swamp and Southern Blue Gum. Each koala has been fitted with a collar carrying a radio transmitter and GPS tracker and their movements and health will be carefully monitored to see how they survive and adapt to a mixed Eucalypt forest. Monitoring will continue for 12 months.
DELWP captured and assessed a total of 395 koalas. Of these 341 were released back into the wild, 166 healthy females were treated with fertility control hormone implants, and 54 koalas were too sick to survive release and were euthanized to prevent further suffering. For more details visit: http://delwp.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/wildlife/koalas.
A large Loggerhead Turtle has been found washed up dead near the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary at Aireys Inlet. Local Emma Williams spotted the more than one metre long creature and reported it through Parks Vic and onto Eco-Logic.
Loggerheads are normally found in tropical Australian waters. They breed almost exclusively in the southern Great Barrier Reef region, and are listed as endangered. Their nesting population has declined by 70 to 90% since the 1970s, from about 1000 to about 300. Key threats include entanglement in fishing gear, plastics in the ocean and coastal development.
Eco-Logic Manager Sharon Blum-Caon was surprised to see such a magnificent specimen on our southern shores, “It is very unusual for turtles to travel this far south, particularly when their breeding zone is in the Great Barrier Reef. Distribution maps indicate they don’t usually travel further south than about Brisbane.”
The Loggerhead is the largest of all hard-shelled turtles (Leatherbacks are bigger but have soft shells) and they have massive heads, strong jaws, and a reddish-brown shell, or carapace. They are primarily carnivores, eating crabs, sea urchins and jellyfish. Sharon and her son Max buried the turtle and hope to retrieve the skull and shell at a later date for Eco-Logic’s outdoor environmental activity tours. In 2011 a two metre Leatherback Turtle was found alive at Aireys Inlet, but unfortunately died overnight. (This article was supplied by Regina at Eco-Logic).
Cathy Longmore (Ranger, Parks Vic) sent this report: “I was lucky enough to watch four Red-necked Avocets Recurvirostra novaehollandiae foraging in the sand and shallows along the coastline between Guvvos beach and Hutt Gully. I have never seen them on the beach before, only at inland lakes and wetlands. I have been told that while they do frequent coastal areas, they are not commonly seen along our stretch of the coast. Has anyone spotted them down here before? Additionally, while I was at the beach searching for Hoodies, I saw a flock of five including NS and a juvenile.”
Red-necked Avocet (Birdlife Australia)
Rebecca Hosking has sent in a picture of the head of a Southern Bluefin Tuna, found recently during a Rockpool Ramble. The teenager’s foot photographed next to it gives an indication of its size.
Southern Bluefin Tuna
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.