Last week I featured the appearance of Wedge-tailed Eagles, this week a Black-shouldered Kite has been busy in The Cape. A beautiful, reasonably common bird along this coast, this particular bird was using the tree stags, hovering over the creekline and wetlands to search for prey. And it was successful … with what appeared to be a Bush or Brown Rat.
I had some wonderful feedback on the last issue of Cape Chatter about the wetlands and the role they play in ‘our’ ecosystem here at The Cape along with an introduction into how all the different habitats work together. So, having been curtailed with the latest Covid lockdown, I have been ‘bumbling’ around the garden with the macro lens to see what is out and about. This issue, the focus is on the home garden habitat at The Cape, the role they play in ‘our’ local ecosystem and an example of what invertebrates have been observed in the short time since the first homes were built.
Tuesday 2nd February was World Wetlands Day, recognising the importance of these magnificent water bodies around the world and their importance, particularly the big ‘Ramsar’ wetlands, for migratory shorebirds, as vital breeding and feeding sites. Ramsar sites in Australia include the Coorong in South Australia, Eighty Mile beach in Broome and Moreton Bay in Queensland. With wetlands globally under increasing pressure from development, climate change and other threats, it is more important than ever to recognise the value of these unique ecosystems, big and small. So, this issue, the focus is on the wonderful small, constructed wetlands at The Cape, the important role they play in ‘our’ local ecosystem and what fauna and flora has been observed in the short time since they were built.
Well, well, well! I am at a bit of a loss at the moment. I am sad, but probably should be elated! It appears our Eastern Rosellas have left the nesting box placed in the most southern tree stag in the creek line. I am pretty sure if there were any fledglings, it occurred sometime on 24th January, the day after the last sighting of the adults feeding at the box. I am still seeing the adults and one other bird (possibly an offspring from last year) coming and going from the nearby coastal reserve but I am yet to see any juvenile birds in the nearby bush. The appearance of a pair of Black-shouldered Kite the other day brought two adult Rosellas to the top of some nearby Swamp Paperbark, alarmed, looking out, so I am taking that observation as there are juvenile bird(s) nearby. Read more about this event in the next few pages.
Before anyone tells me this is a just a load of “crap” – just let me explain!
Retirees (or anyone for that matter I guess) can get up to some weird and interesting stuff when its comes to hobbies and interests. I am currently reading a lovely book by well known Australian birder Sean Dooley called the The Big Twitch in which he reveals some of the more crazy and interesting antics some serious bird twitchers get up to – a great read if you are interested. (By the way, I do not consider myself a twitcher!). But I must admit, I was a little amused and bemused when I saw fellow resident Graeme McAlpine out with his portable vacuum and brush n’ pan collecting the excretement of our common corvid, the Little Raven. Read on to find out why.
Well, we are nearing the end of a tumultuous year. I have taken many positives away from the year, not the least was having the time to explore the natural world of The Cape and put together Cape Chatter. I have seen many new things and learnt so much from my explorations and expeditions into most corners of The Cape and am amazed how much life abounds around us and how well the ecological restoration effort is supporting the return of native fauna and flora. I hope Chatter has helped this burgeoning community be more aware and appreciative of the natural life which surrounds us!
A bit of warmth this past week was the cue for the Lowland Copperhead snakes to come out near the wetlands and grassy areas along with Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard amongst the housing precincts – all good signs that the habitat we are seeing created around The Cape and home landscapes is working. Also on cue was the rare sighting of an immature White-bellied Sea Eagle last Thursday flying over The Cape being pursued by a following of Little Ravens.
Well, the first week of summer has been a windy one. As I sit here penning this issue of Chatter, the winds have been gusting up to 80 km/h from the west/north west along with the occasional Cape Paterson ‘squall’. I was hoping to do a feature on the growth of the plants in the new creek line with some macro shots of the emerging flowers on the ephemeral plants, but wind and macro photography don’t go together. However, I did do a couple of walks along the new creek line tracks to check things out and some of those observations feature in this issue.
Another interesting journey with nature at The Cape this week. Standouts for me were the sound of crashing waves along 2nd Surf, the constant bird chatter within the remnant bush, and more stunning sunsets. I also witnessed the journey of a ‘plant seed’ emerge into a seedling which will become part of our future habitat; the Latham’s Snipe were busy around the edges of our wetlands; the Hooded Plover in small flocks on 2nd Surf; little birds everywhere, especially Silvereyes; and we are pretty confident the ‘saucy’ Eastern Rosellas have taken up the nesting box.
It appears there is a problem with the link if you want to download or try and open the link to the latest Issue 27 of Cape Chatter. It is taking you to the WordPress website when it should not. If you click on the bold blue title “Stunning Sunset” at the top of the email you received it should open up … hopefully. Apologies – I’ll see if i can fix it! Cheers David