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There was a recent report of Swift Parrots in Ironbark Basin. They were apparently seen foraging in the Ironbark Trees.

Because of a number of factors, mainly clearance of nesting habitat, the situation for the Swift Parrot population is a concern. Their numbers are not increasing. They breed in Tasmania, in the Blue Gums, and then migrate to the mainland in March-June. They are attractive green parrots with red shoulders, tail and face markings and are related to rosellas while having the nectar-eating habits of lorikeets. They feed on blossom nectar and lerp-insects which are found in the foliage. They are occasional visitors to the wooded areas along our coastline.

A Powerful Owl has been seen on two occasions in a garden in Bambra Road, Aireys Inlet, near Phillip Street. On one occurrence, about 7.00 p.m. on an evening in April, it was observed perched in a large old Moonah Tree, apparently preying on a juvenile Brushtail Possum. Later evidence on the house window and grounds suggest the owl was successful.

Just walking through the forest and heathlands lately you can’t help but be aware of the many sounds and movements of small birds. Honeyeaters are very active and vocal, particularly the White-eared, the White-naped Honeyeaters, and the Eastern Spinebills. The Red Wattlebirds can be seen flying in large flocks. This is part of the regular Autumn movement of Wattlebirds, as they migrate from their breeding areas to the coastal lowlands in search of winter flowers.

Other interesting observations to report are:

  • Five Emu Wrens in the heathland area behind DSE in Anglesea.
  • 24 Masked Lapwings in a group, located on Painkalac Creek, as well as a pair of Royal Spoonbills nearby.
  • Orange-bellied Parrot sightings on the Bellarine Peninsula (and adjacent areas) for 2012 are as follows:
    • A juvenile (banded at Melaleuca from breeding season 2011/12) was seen and photographed at Aireys Inlet in April. It was near the main bridge over Painkalac Creek.
    • Two adults were observed in saltmarsh near Breamlea in July a week before the official survey.
    • One adult observed at Swan Bay in September.

Just last week a single juvenile OBP was observed and photographed in saltmarsh on the West Gippsland coast.

Craig Morley, Bellarine Peninsula OBP Working Group Leader, also reminds us that the first surveys for 2013 will be held on the weekend of the 18th and 19th May.

Mike and Kaye Traynor