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
It has been a mix of weather this past week – calm days blended with a good old Cape wind blast, thunderstorms, dusty skies … a bit of everything really. Nature has shifted into another gear with the warmth – land birds are busily feeding and teaching their new offspring, some are still looking for nest sites, migrant waders have arrived on the beaches and wetlands. But one of the natural highlights of the week was a stunning sunset splashing rich colours across the sky.
This time of year is a period of emergence when the slower, cooler months give way to the vibrancy and frenetic activity of warmer weather and the animals and plants “spring” into action. With the imminent lifting of the “ring of steel”, it will not only be the people of metro Melbourne seeking freedom, but nature is bursting as the next generations emerge into our natural world.
I have been spending a bit of time this past week taking in nature around a lovely old Coastal Manna Gum in the south east sector of The Cape. In the past, there would have been many more of these trees along the coast, but sadly many have been cleared and there are few left to provide reasonable habitat for our native animals.
Plenty of nature signs to tell us that spring is certainly in full swing. Small bird activity is frenetic in the coastal bush and around the remnant vegetation; the wetlands are humming; the restored creek line is planted out and busy with birds and mammals; and the reptiles are starting to emerge.