Hooray, the rains have come and we had an excellent wet month for July.
As well as the wonderful assortment of fungi and slime moulds, there has been a lot of avian activity over the oceans and the wet lands.
The water birds down at Coogoorah Park showed up with the resurgence of small fish and frogs now naturally restocking the wetlands. The various cormorants including the Little Pied, Little Black and Great cormorants can be seen swimming through the channels and then sunning themselves on the dead trees, while the White-faced Herons and Great Egret are back out stalking the shallow banks and reedy fringes.
Little Black Cormorant
Also, the three species of ducks were seen quarrelling and displaying with some pairing off ready for their up -coming breeding season. The Australian Wood Ducks are already casing out their favourite trees while the Eurasian Coots and purple Swamp Hens are looking very healthy with increased supplies of aquatic plants in the new flush of water from the creek.
Peter Forster, on a recent walk at Coogoorah, noticed a native Swamp Rat in the reed banks. The Masked Plovers are back nesting on the roundabouts, which they quickly move off even if you park your car 100 m away. The female (picture below) moved back onto her nest of pebbles and four eggs within five minutes of my taking the picture.
Female Masked Plover
Her nest with four eggs
There have been numerous whale sightings along the West Coast with Southern Right Whales and Humpbacks regularly seen from Portland all the way through to the Port Phillip Heads. (Read Jordan Ayton’s report.)
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.