Tawny chicks thriving

Australian grebe chicks on their nest at Begola Wetlands. 147297

By JEN CARR

I’VE spent the past few weeks on a wild goose/tawny chase, trying to locate the tawny frogmouth chicks in Woodlands and in another location in Ocean Grove.
Tawny frogmouths are so interesting to watch, and the young stay in the nest for (it seems) about two to three weeks after hatching, then even before they seem capable of flying they move to a different location. I think the young must move by climbing and walking on interconnecting branches of trees. They must not be too far from their nest, but they are so clever at hiding that I have totally lost both families of tawnies and I hope that they turn up safe and sound somewhere soon.
The three galah chicks in Pete and Chris’s garden in Woodlands left the nest, and haven’t returned to their garden since. The kookaburras are nesting in Pete and Chris’s garden, and I look forward to monitoring the chicks over the next few weeks.
I’ve been taking a few walks in the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve lately, as I saw on Facebook that some lucky photographers captured a sacred kingfisher and brown goshawk from the West Dam bird hide. The photos that they took were magnificent, but alas I haven’t been able to locate the same birds during my visits to the bird hide (just lots of blowflies and mosquitoes).
The Nature Reserve is a hive of activity at the moment. John Sharp photographed a wallaby with a joey in the pouch which was great to see. I bumped into Kevin Teasdale at the Nature Reserve one morning and we had a close encounter with 15 black cockatoos, and one was a juvenile bird which was wonderful.
I participated in a Latham’s Snipe survey which was conducted around the Bellarine Peninsula on 14 November. I surveyed the lake in Kingston Estate, and I didn’t see a Latham’s Snipe there, but did observe 12 reed warblers, and a newly hatched dusky moorhen and another very young purple swamphen – it’s reassuring that young birds can survive in that lake with so many dogs and cats around. The survey did reveal that there were a whopping 35 Latham’s Snipe at Begola Wetlands, which is many more that I would have imagined. I think birds are safer in a fenced off area, so I will continue to request that Kingston Lake be fenced off to help protect the birds.
Speaking of Begola, I have been observing an Australasian grebe nesting there, and I noticed three beautiful stripy young chicks this week, so I will keep an eye on these young birds (unless they disappear like the tawnies do).
There will be hooded plovers nesting on the beach from now on, so please keep dogs under control near the signed areas, thanks.
You can keep an eye on the organised birdwatching activities conducted by the Bellarine Birdlife Group by going to the website at http://birdlife.org.au/locations/birdlife-bellarine-peninsula.
Jen Carr

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