The heath has been a kaleidoscope of colour during spring, very appealing to many of our insect pollinators.
This year we have had another ‘plague’ of hover flies, Melangyna viridiceps.
Hover Fly (Melangyna viridiceps)
There have been three species of hover flies visiting our blooms, achieving the pollinating with many other flies, beetles, wasps, numerous species of native bees and, yes, the occasional European bee.
Hover Fly on Sun Orchid
Slender Bee fly
The Wedge-tailed Eagles nesting at David and Barbara Harding’s property near Bells Beach have now raised a healthy young eagle that has been seen away from the nest, still wearing its fluffier fledgling coat.
Young Wedge-tailed Eagle just out of the nest
The Black-fronted Dotterels, Charadrius melanops, have also been busy down at Coogarah Park, and along with the Wood Ducks, have finished selecting their nests and brooding their young with many seen making their way back down to the local water way.
Family with four ducklings
Recently, some interesting looking Pacific Gulls, two adults and a juvenile, had been observed out at Pt Roadknight. After closer scrutiny it was realised they were in fact Kelp Gulls, Lanus dominicanus, not often seen in Anglesea but a regular in the Antarctic.
Adult male Kelp Gull with paler beak and legs
Typical Pacific Gull
It’s always great to hear the call of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos, Calyptorhynchus lathami, as they fly overhead. Recently they have been coming into the heath for their protein hit where they peel off the bark looking for the longicorn and other beetles or grubs residing in the dying or dead wattles.
Ellinor Campbell, on one of her regular walks, came across an echidna walking across the rock pools at Aireys Inlet lighthouse. It returned safely to the shore line habitat after its beach stroll!
Echidna walking across pool at Aireys Inlet
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.