Our January bird walk at Distillery Creek Aireys Inlet was blessed with pleasant weather and a delightful number and range of bush birds, including a couple of rare sightings.
We spent nearly an hour in the top car park and nearby amphitheatre, as there was so much to hear and see. Of particular interest was a good view of a Satin Flycatcher nest, with the parents taking turns to sit on the eggs.
Dusky Woodswallows and White-naped Honeyeaters were in abundance, but there were no sightings of the usual most common bird, the Red Wattlebird.
After morning tea we spent some time watching birds take turns in the small dam beside the lower car park. We then walked along the lower part of the nature trail. We enjoyed the sight of a pair of Gang Gang Cockatoos at the top of a tree enjoying the sun, and then just near the junction with the Currawong Falls track we heard two, and then finally saw, one male Restless Flycatcher. It took some careful looking and listening to be quite sure it wasn’t a pair of Satin Flycatchers.
Finally, when nearly back at the car park, we all had good views of a pair of the quite beautiful, and uncommon, Rufous Fantails chasing each other through the lower bushes. What a wonderful finish to the walk to see these delightful birds with their fiery rufous rumps and fanned tails, as they dived and twisted through the foliage.
We thought there was nothing better to see, however in the evening Margaret Lacey saw some Varied Sitellas there, and also a Brown Goshawk’s nest with two adults and a baby, very near to where we had seen the Restless Flycatcher.
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.