We have had a possible Orange-bellied Parrot sighting!
On Saturday, March 18 an experienced observer reported that he is 95 per cent certain two parrots of the Neophema genus that flew from a bank of Coastal Wattles in nearby sand dunes, a little to the west of Bancoora Surf Life-Saving Club, were Orange-bellied Parrots, Neophema chrysogaster Before the birds flew into the sun the observer had the impression that they were brighter than he would expect for Blue-winged Parrots, Neophema chrysostoma, and the calls uttered by the birds was a distinct buzz! The winds overnight had been strong south-easterlies, which might assist the birds crossing Bass Strait, and they could feasibly have just arrived on the mainland.
Last month a report to ANGAIR was received from an Aireys Inlet resident about a Barking Owl. It was dawn and she could only see it in silhouette, but she was familiar with sounds they make and could hear it just outside her window. The Barking Owl has a characteristic voice with calls ranging from a barking dog sound, as its name suggests, to a shrill, high-pitched scream. Barking Owls have been seen occasionally in the Aireys Inlet area over the years, and they are listed as rare and irregular visitors to the area in the ANGAIR Bird list.
The following article was provided by Graeme Coulson, Associate Professor, School of Biosciences, Melbourne University.
Urs has dispersed!
As researchers at the University of Melbourne, we have been studying the ecology of Anglesea’s kangaroos for the last 10 years. In that time we have caught and tagged just over 500 kangaroos to gauge their movements and survival. In June last year we captured a 3½-year-old male on the golf course. We weighed and measured him, took a blood sample to test for disease, and gave him a collar and ear-tags to identify him. Our Swiss vet called called him Urs, which is a common boy’s name meaning ‘bear’ in Switzerland. His name was clearly marked on the collar. We saw Urs on the golf course again in July, September and early December.
Early this year we heard that a collared kangaroo had appeared at the Lorne Country Club. Sheryll Crowe, the clubhouse manager, sent us some photos confirming that it was our young male Urs. The last day we saw Urs in Anglesea was December 1, and he had made his way to Lorne by the end of that month. In that time he covered a straight-line distance of 22 km, which is a dispersal record for the species. However, some of that is over water so he must have hopped even further. If he went along the Great Ocean Road it’s a miracle he even survived!
Urs is often seen with the local kangaroos on the golf course in Lorne and seems to have settled into life at his new home. As he grows, his collar will break away, but he can still be identified by his colour-coded ear-tags. We look forward to updates on his progress.