Two ANGAIR members were walking along the nature trail in Ironbark Basin.

 

They could hear the Dusky Woodswallows making a fuss in a nearby tree, and as they watched them, they discovered a Powerful Owl perched in the same tree, which was obviously causing the panic. They were able to observe the owl very clearly, even though the light was fading. It appeared to be eating something red, maybe a rosella. They searched on the ground underneath the tree, and found some pellets with hair and bones. Amongst the bones were a skull and jawbone, which were identified later, by Barbara Triggs, as the skull of a Sugar Glider, and the jawbone of a juvenile Southern Brown Bandicoot.

 

They went back the following morning hoping for better light, but the owl and the Woodswallows had gone. Amongst the pellets on the ground was a new one, with pink feathers, presumably from a Galah. A few metres further along, they found something else of interest, which they had missed the night before – a Flying Fox carcass hanging in a bush. Add to these sightings various fungi, and a variety of birds, and it made two very enjoyable walks.

One White Magpie was seen feeding with other magpies in a paddock in Forest Road, near Larcombes Road, Moriac. I don’t know whether it is the same bird, but one was seen in that vicinity a couple of years ago.

Two Black Kites were seen flying, one near Bellbrae and the other at Freshwater Creek.

The swans at the Allan Noble Sanctuary in Aireys Inlet have five cygnets.

I was able to observe a Grey Butcherbird feeding young in a nest in Anglesea Heath. The sounds made by the young birds were very loud, and vaguely similar to the noise made by Magpie chicks when they are being fed. The stick nest was fairly conspicuous, situated as it was in a burnt tree with sparse foliage.

Wood Ducks have emerged with their small young. A family group of about a dozen ducklings was foraging near the Anglesea River. On another occasion, a family was crossing the Anglesea Road near Bellbrae. The group stayed together in a close formation as they successfully made their way across the busy road.

The warmer weather has attracted large numbers of Hover Flies. They are also called Flower Flies, because they are commonly seen during warmer months, hovering, feeding and mating among flowers. They pollinate many plants, and help keep aphids under control. So they are helpful visitors to our gardens. They resemble wasps and bees, as they occur in large numbers and have a black and yellow-striped abdomen.

Kaye Traynor

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