The Hooded Plover breeding season has begun.
Sue Guinness is the Regional Co-ordinator for nesting Hooded Plovers in the area of the Surf Coast to Anglesea and has provided this update:
We have a pair EJ & JM, at The Gap near Sands estate 56W with a nest and two eggs. It has been fenced and the birds are incubating. The location is right by the access to the beach and is very busy for walkers and dogs. Message to ask people to follow signage and walk away from the nest.
There are no other nests on our patch that we know of …however we have a new pair seen at Aireys Inlet near the pole house, potentially looking to set up a territory. We also have a pair again at Hutt Gully towards Urquhart, which was around last year. OMRW is at Moggs with his girlfriend.
Conditions are difficult for nesting given beach dynamics. GORCC swept dunes at Point Roadknight – haven’t found any dens but have seen fox prints. Will keep sweeping and have asked them to sweep dunes at Aireys to Moggs with a view to fumigating dens if found.
Reminder to volunteers – If you would like to volunteer and have been asked to complete the registration form or do the induction online can you please complete ASAP. (FYI Birdlife wrote to individuals and our numbers will be down this year if they don’t do the formalities).
Volunteer workshop – 1 November – please put in the diary.
A large White Goshawk was spotted by Peter and Christine Forster. They were alerted to it by magpies and currawongs who were attacking it. It ended up perching high in a pine tree north of Betleigh Street opposite the Araluen Camp near the bike park.
Recently a family of Wood Ducks with 19 young ones were feeding on the grass beside the walking path along the Anglesea River. Although there were quite a few day trippers enjoying a short stopover from the tourist buses, the ducks were undisturbed by the activity and continued grazing in a close group.
Also present in the same area there is a flock of about 30 Little Corellas. They are regularly on the grass feeding and socialising raucously. They will suddenly fly together, circle above the river and then return to settle on the grass.
Over the last couple of months, the Scarlet Honeyeater, Scarlet myzomela, has been seen in many different locations in Victoria. Normally their range is coastal eastern Australia including East Gippsland but this year they have been found much further north and west. They have also been seen in Anglesea. A resident, Fiona, said she was very excited to see for the first time a male Scarlet Honeyeater. It was a brilliant red colour and busily feeding on blossoms in a Moonah for about 20 minutes until a New Holland Honeyeater scared him away. The male is bright scarlet on the head, breast and back, with black wings and tail and white underparts. The female is a tawny brown colour all over. Fiona was able to take a photograph while the bird was in view.
At Fairhaven, an Eastern Pygmy Possum was found in a hole in the ground on a building site. Ross Beeby recovered the small creature and gave it to a wildlife carer to bring it back to good health prior to release.
Eastern Pygmy Possum
Another possum story, this time from a lady who lives in Anglesea. She gave the following account of a recent occurrence:
‘In the bright morning light of early October, in my garden, a rustle in the dry leaves well above my head made me glance up. Not a bird, but a tiny Ringtail Possum, agile and remarkably fast, heading skywards–then another, hot on its tail. Oblivious of the nearby kookaburras and currawongs the escapee babies enjoyed 15 seconds of freedom before frantic squeaking and louder rustling announced mum had woken from her nap. Up and after them, she collared her joeys and they scrambled aboard for a gravity-defying return to the safety of the drey.’
I must apologise for an error in last month’s Fauna Report. In the item about the Swamp Harrier I incorrectly stated that it is the only species of raptor which occurs in the Anglesea/Aireys Inlet area. I meant to say it is the only species of harrier which occurs in the area.
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.