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Over the past two months Emma Danby, of Parks Victoria, has been placing cameras in various locations around Hutt Gully and Urquhart Bluff, and has obtained some good results.

The following species have been recorded: Southern Brown Bandicoot, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Bush Rat, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Swamp Wallaby, Antechinus sp., Black Rat and a Fox.

Some interesting sightings during the past month:

  • At Bellbrae, Alison and Phil Watson have been able to observe a pair of Rose Robins coming into their garden and birdbath. The usual habitat for Rose Robins is moist gullies, wet eucalypt forests and rainforest; however, in autumn, there is some dispersal, and they can be found in the more open woodland areas. Alison has also seen a number of Flame Robins on their property.
  • An article by John Peter, in the autumn edition of Wingspan, refers to bird migration across Bass Strait. We always think of well-known migrants from Tasmania, such as Orange-bellied Parrots, Swift Parrots and Silvereyes, wintering in Victoria. However, birds that are not considered strong fliers, such as Grey Fantails, also make the long and hazardous journey, as do Flame Robins, Striated Pardalotes and Australasian Pipits. A fisherman in a boat, about 10 km off Torquay, reported seeing Grey Fantails fly past his boat, the forerunner of many more, with one exhausted bird even landing on his crayfish pot for a rest, before continuing its journey.
  • A dead, male Swamp Antechinus was found on Hurst Road. Swamp Antechinus have not shown up in any of the field surveys since 2007, so it is a positive indication that they may be making a recovery following the end of the long drought conditions experienced prior to this year, when their numbers were certainly affected. The same could be said for bandicoots, as they are turning up more frequently this year. One was seen at Aireys Inlet near Painkalac Creek, another at Eastern View, and a sub-adult roadkill, was found  at Fairhaven. All were Long-nosed Bandicoots.

Mike and Kaye Traynor