Some of the early breeding species are pairing off. I have noticed Masked Lapwings, in pairs, occupying their established breeding sites.
I have also seen a couple of Australian Shelducks beside a farm dam near Mount Duneed. Shelducks nest in a tree hollow and banding has shown that they return to the same nest each year.
Barry Lingham from the Geelong Field Naturalists provided the following account and photographs of his observations during a recent visit to the Anglesea area.
“Some members of the GFNC were visiting the Anglesea area on Wednesday 5th July. Around 1.50pm, we visited Point Addis and checked out to sea for pelagic birds. A few Shy Albatross were noted (pictured below).
A blow of vapour caught my attention, and after waiting for five minutes, we saw a whale surface in a SE direction.
Continued watching (and waiting) allowed us to confirm two Humpback Whales slowly moving east around Point Addis, about 450 metres offshore.
I have not seen Humpbacks in our area before.”
While there has been numerous sightings during the past month of Southern Right Whales passing through, Humpbacks have been located on two other occasions.
On 20 June, two were spotted 200 metres off the Lorne Pier and a couple of days later, three whales could be seen heading west about one kilometre from Cape Otway Lighthouse.
In early July Peter Crowcroft was driving along Noble Street in Anglesea about 8.30pm. He recalls - “as I turned into Golf Links Road, I noticed something fluffy moving very erratically in the middle of the road. I have seen this before with animals that have critical injuries, such as a broken back, so I got out of the car expecting a sad encounter. The object had careened into the gutter by now and was making a repetitive grunting noise. I stared at it in confusion for quite a while, I couldn’t make out head or tail – literally. It seemed to have two tails sticking out from either end, and no obvious head. When I reached out for a closer inspection, it suddenly split in two, and one sugar glider went up one tree, and the other into another! Sorry for interrupting! Maybe they were fighting, quite possibly though they were mating. Not in the middle of the road next time, please!”
Groups of Swift Parrots have been seen in Bannockburn and the Brisbane Ranges. In both places they were feeding on nectar in the Yellow Gums. Also at Bannockburn, there was a sighting of a Black-chinned Honeyeater at the Recreation Reserve.
A large stingray, about one metre across, was stranded on the beach at Point Roadknight recently. It was rescued by a group of walkers.
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.