During January some very welcome rain fell, reinvigorating the forest and countryside.
On a short walk along the nature trail at Distillery Creek, we were aware of the many bird sounds ringing throughout the forest. At this time there are also young parrots and cockatoos, which have left the nesting hollows and are on the wing but still dependent. We saw a young Gang Gang sitting quietly in a low bush very close to the track. It wasn’t perturbed at all by our presence. There were also scores of Common Brown Butterflies fluttering about us.
The gliders are active at Moggs Creek. During evening spotlighting excursions, the calls of Yellow-bellied Gliders could be heard from various nearby locations. Sugar Gliders were observed feeding and moving quickly up and down trees and through the foliage.
On one occasion, they were joined by a Yellow-bellied Glider. Also spotted, were other nocturnal fauna such as micro-bats, possums, and a female koala sitting at the base of a small bush. In the distance a Boobook was calling.
Other recent observations: Nesting raptors: a Grey/White Goshawk nest, with young, just off Coalmine Road, a Brown Goshawk family near Wilkins Street, Anglesea, and Black-shouldered Kites nesting in Norfolk pines in Aireys Inlet near the Allen Noble Sanctuary.
Peter and Christine Forster came across a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren at Demons Bluff. They were alerted by the sound of White-fronted Chats but could only see a heathwren. According to the bird book, heathwrens are mimics so it could have been making the chat call.
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.