Red Wattlebirds have been seen flocking in very large numbers locally as they leave their breeding areas and migrate towards the coast in search of winter flowering plants.
This is a common event during the autumn season.
A Powerful Owl has been observed in Ironbark Basin. Recently, a fur pellet was found beneath a perching tree used by these birds. The pellet was confirmed by Barbara Triggs as belonging to a Powerful Owl and was comprised mostly of fur from a Sugar Glider. Sugar Gliders are a favourite food for Powerful Owls.
Other recent sightings include an Olive Whistler which could be heard calling at Moggs Creek. Also, White-throated Needletails were observed on a cloudy and humid day in early April, soaring overhead, then diving and swooping as they fed on insects.
An immature Northern Giant Petrel was washed up on to a beach at Ocean Grove. The colour distinction identifies it; the tip of the bill is a reddish colour compared with the more commonly found Southern Giant Petrel which has a pale green colour at the tip of the bill.
Lily Zuang-Griffin of Deakin University has been conducting mammal trapping in selected sites around Anglesea at Batson Track, Coogoorah Park and Fairyland. Apart from Bush Rats and Swamp Rats, she also caught a Blotched Bluetongue Lizard in one of the Elliot traps at Fairyland. An unusual feature of the Bluetongue was the interesting body markings.
Cattle Egrets tend to be seasonal visitors to southern Victoria. At the present time you can see small numbers of them around groups of cattle in farm paddocks. They accompany the cattle and feed on insects disturbed by the cattle as they trample through the grass. They will even perch on the animal’s back and pick off skin parasites. Cattle Egrets were originally introduced in small numbers from Asia to help control pest insects. They are small white birds but during the breeding season they develop orange-buff feathers on the head, neck and back.
Aaron Ledden, from Parks Victoria, reported seeing an adult Sea Eagle at the mouth of the Painkalac Creek. It was being harassed by a pair of lapwings. Only last month Jane Shennan observed one at Point Addis.
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.