Some good news from Victor Hurley of the Victorian Peregrine Project, together with a win in the Victorian Coastal Awards, in this month's report.
In October 2010, three Peregrine Falcon nestlings were banded at a site on the cliffs at Aireys Inlet. Four months and six days later, one of the birds, a male, was located by Paul Randall at the Bluff, Barwon Heads. The bird had just eaten a feral pigeon, when it was photographed and identified. The average dispersal distance of males from their hatch site to breeding site is 40 km, so it is possible this male will not move much further to breed.
The Birds Australia ‘Beach-nesting Birds’ Project team were declared winners of the ‘Natural Environment’ category in the Victorian Coastal Awards, and a finalist in the ‘Education’ category of the awards. This is recognition of the hard work by Birds Australia staff, and the hundreds of volunteers who monitor the beaches during the breeding season. The project has been very successful, and the number of Hooded Plovers, on some beaches in Victoria, has increased by up to four hundred per cent, because of the efforts of the Beach-nesting Birds project.
Along the cliff top walk at Aireys Inlet, you may have noticed a number of brightly coloured moths which have white wings with red, brown and black spots and markings. They are mainly seen on the Coast Everlasting Ozothamnus turbinatus. Marilyn Hewish has identified the moths as one of the Heliotrope Moths, family Arctiidae, Utetheisa pulchelloides. They are apparently very common this year, for some unknown reason, which is unlikely to have been the heavy rains, because they were very common in 2008 also.
We have a couple of interesting sightings to report in the past few weeks: