Last month we had hoped to find Swift Parrots in the Yellow Gums at Ocean Grove Yellow Gums Reserve, but once again were disappointed, so this bird remains on my yet-to-see list!
The reserve itself was also frustrating as it was locked up due to replanting that was not at all obvious. However there were masses of other parrots to be seen, though of only four species. Rainbow Lorikeets were screeching everywhere, and appeared to be clearing out tree hollows in the older Yellow Gums for nesting.
We also saw a flock of Musk Lorikeets plus a few Galahs and Eastern Rosellas, often preening and eating in pairs.
However the highlight was a few hybrid Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, which initially had us fooled…what were these strange looking birds? It is thought that the Scaly-breasted were originally introduced by human intervention.
Hybrid Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets
After this surfeit of parrots we went on to the Ocean Grove Reserve where there were only a few parrots, but new were two pairs of Red-rumped parrots near the paddocks on the boundary. This reserve has been exceedingly dry for years, and it was really good to see it now with plenty of water in the waterholes. Sadly, water birds were largely absent, apart from a couple of Pacific Black Ducks. A walk around part of the perimeter and then through the centre elicited several types of honeyeater, with the Yellow-face Honeyeaters being by far the most abundant. An unusual honeyeater in that habitat was the New Holland, which dominate the woodlands in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.
The highlights here were a Grey Butcherbird which displayed itself clearly as we had morning tea on arrival, and a Golden Whistler near water at the end of the morning.
One of our group, on her first ever bird walk, was particularly delighted at getting good views of these, and they even put on a show for her with their beautiful songs. On the drive back home it was good to see lots of seasonal water in the paddocks at the back of Breamlea, and we glimpsed a few water birds such as Herons to add to our list, making 30 for the morning.
Below is a list of all the birds identified:
Photos taken by Margaret Lacey
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.