Some welcome arrivals

Reed warbler on a nest. 160768

IT’S been a wonderful few weeks with more rain and strong winds.
I hope not too many young birds have been blown out of their nests! The highlight of my fortnight was a trip to the Western Treatment Plant with Tom. We saw some shorebirds including ruddy turnstones, curlew sandpipers and red-necked stints.
I have been looking along the Barwon River Estuary for shorebirds, but haven’t seen any as yet. I did see a flock of about 20 red-necked stints at Black Rocks beach at the end of Thirteenth Beach.
I must thank Kevin for sending me a photo of the large flock of shorebirds that he saw as he had a coffee at ’The Heads’ in Barwon Heads. It’s awesome to see these birds returning to our area from the Northern Hemisphere.
I did spot a reed warbler sitting on a nest the other day. Reed Warblers weave their nest into reeds, and the nest is quite deep so that the eggs do not roll out even in very strong winds. The female lays three to four eggs that take just over two weeks to hatch. Usually the nests are hidden in the reeds so that they are hard to spot, but the one I saw was very obvious because the reeds in some areas do not seem as thick this year for some reason.
I ventured to Swan Bay pier one morning after dropping my daughter at school and a pair of superb fairy wrens spent a good 10 minutes attacking the car windows of my daughter’s car. Apparently this behavior occurs in spring and early summer, when most birds establish their territories and raise young. Birds defend their territory aggressively, and will attack and chase away any bird they view as a possible competitor or a threat to their young. When they see their own reflection in the window, they think that they are seeing a competitor and attack the mirror. Fortunately, this behavior usually only lasts a few days or weeks.
I would like to thank ’Voice’ reader Jan who keeps me up to date with a tawny frogmouth pair that nest somewhere around the Bellarine. Jan noticed that there are a few young in the nest that she has been monitoring, so I look forward to further updates as to how many young have hatched!
Pete and Chris from Ocean Grove have galahs, eastern rosellas and kookaburras nesting in their Woodlands block, so I also look forward to seeing the young birds in a few weeks.
If you are interested in any organised birdwatching activities, you can access the calendar of events run by Bellarine Birdlife at
I know there is a trip coming up to Mud Island in Port Phillip Bay. These trips are always great, especially because the boat goes to Mud Island via Pope’s Eye and there are great views of the wonderful gannets that breed at Pope’s Eye.
– Jen Carr,