The last month has seen a good number of whales moving along our coastline.

The whale-watch site lists sightings of Humpback and Southern-right Whales, almost daily.  On Monday, 8 July, at Spout Creek, a pod of eight orcas were seen swimming west, and at times were observed quite close to the shore. If you have a smart phone this is a great link to bookmark.

 

Although it seems a little early, there are definite signs that, for some birds, the breeding season has started.  This is certainly the case with Little Ravens, who have commenced nest-building.  Magpies have also been observed carrying nesting material. Between Anglesea and Bellbrae, we occasionally see Wedge-tailed Eagles, and lately they have been engaged in aerial displays, which are a prelude to mating. I suspect they have a nest in the vicinity. I also came across three White-eared Honeyeaters involved in territorial jostling. They start breeding in August, so that is not too far away.

The Orange-bellied Parrot National Recovery Team held their annual meeting in April to discuss wild and captive breeding progress. They were pleasantly surprised that the small wild population is stable. This is despite their breeding area being threatened by  a bushfire in January, which burnt close to the  Melaleuca  breeding grounds. Although there is no evidence of negative impact, the burn will probably enhance feeding habitat over the next few years.

The 2012/13 captive breeding season was productive with 160 chicks hatched and, of these, 101 chicks fledged.  As at 21 June 2013 there are 281 birds in the captive breeding population.

There have been a couple of interesting sightings:

 

  • A Black Falcon was observed perching on a fence post near Lake Connewarre.
  • In the garden at the front of the ANGAIR office one day, I was intent on watching the Pardalotes in the large eucalypt, when a male Rose Robin appeared. It stopped on one of the garden stakes, and I had a perfect view of this delightful bird. While I was watching, the female Rose Robin appeared,. They spent some time flitting from one bush to another before flying away.  The Rose Robin male has a deep rose coloured breast, white underparts, and a dark grey back, compared with the Pink Robin, which has  a lighter rose-pink breast and belly, and its back is a sooty black. Both are stunningly attractive little birds.

 

Kaye Traynor

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