Last month I planned to visit Gherang Gherang Bushland Reserve in Forest Road.

It has an area of about 113 hectares, with an old aqueduct running through the reserve that used to carry the water supply for Anglesea. There is evidence of some quarrying done in the past but the only quarry now is the large gravel pit located at the far end of the reserve. There are many tracks throughout the reserve, all open to trail bikers as well.

I chose the reserve for October's bird outing because we had an enjoyable visit to it in April and I wanted to see what birds were there in spring. As only one other person showed up, I cancelled it but decided on my way back to Torquay that I would go anyway.

I had a very enjoyable morning at the reserve: the weather was sunny with no wind, which made for a pleasant change to recent weather patterns.

Upon arrival I heard an Oriole calling; later on I had a good sighting of the bird. There were Rufous Whistlers calling and in various areas of the reserve Striated Pardalotes were seen and heard. Spring was in the air and I saw a pair of Brown Thornbills carrying nesting material in the low vegetation and lifting their wings trying to scare me off. A juvenile Little Raven was being fed and I noticed an adult Raven guarding a nest. A pair of Galahs was watching me from a tree; they probably had their hollow nearby. I also saw a flock of Superb Fairy Wrens, blue males and females high up in the foliage, which surprised me as they are usually in the low vegetation. Shining Bronze-Cuckoos and Fan-tailed Cuckoos were calling.

I recorded 29 species overall.

There were also a variety of wildflowers, including a large number of Waxlip Orchids, in some areas they were like a carpet. Horny Cone-bush was in flower, Love Creeper too and some Running Postman in a few areas. There were plenty of Guinea-flowers and, here and there, some Pink Bells.

Cheryl West Lau

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Weed of the month



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.

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