Rains are a healthy sign

Red-necked stint at the Barwon River Estuary, taken by Kevin.

There’s been some lovely spring rains over the last week, which will help keep the waterways and dams healthy during the summer months.
Once again I’ve been busy with end of year, work and school functions, so have not been able to get out and about as frequently as usual.
I did go to Wallington to once again photograph the beautiful scarlet honeyeaters, and they are still around in good numbers, which is great. While there I spotted the brown goshawk with the lack of primary feathers again – I hope it’s not eating the scarlet honeyeaters!
I participated in the Latham’s snipe count on the weekend of 25 November. I walked around Blue Waters Lake for more than an hour and did not spot one Latham’s snipe, but read that there were 54 snipe seen at Jerringot in Geelong, and a whopping 98 at Begola Wetlands. That’s great that Begola provides the appropriate habitat to allow 98 snipe to visit from Japan over the summer. I think that there’s too much water in Blue Waters Lake this year for the snipe, as they hide on the bank of the lake, and there’s not as much bank at the moment.
I was driving home from work at 2200 hours one night and did spot two tawny frogmouths flying along Lake Road, Connewarre, and further along the road, high in a gum tree was a barn owl which was calling. It was heaven.
Speaking of tawny frogmouths, I received an email and some photos from Ian who saw a family of two adults and one young tawny in Old Ocean Grove. Before I had a chance to see this family for myself I received an email from Sue, who lives in the same street, and she had very unfortunately found a deceased tawny at the end of her driveway. I went over and met Sue, and the tawny was a young bird and it looked like it had been hit by a car. The parent birds were nowhere to be seen.
Thanks Ian and Sue for letting me know about another family of tawnies in Ocean Grove. On a happier note, David, who lives in Woodlands wrote to me to tell me that the tawnies in his garden are sitting on a nest for the second time this season.
The red-rumped parrots that live in my garden have produced two offspring, and they are flying very well, so have not been killed by my dog Max this year (thank goodness). I also have a house sparrow nest in the same tree as the red-rumps, and the little sparrows are such diligent little parents. I hope that the collared sparrow hawk that I saw two weeks ago doesn’t come back to my garden in the near future.
Speaking of sparrows I was having a very pleasant coffee at the ‘Cheeky Cow’ the other day when there was a commotion outside and I saw a pied currawong catch a male sparrow, and all the other sparrows were obviously most distressed. My coffee didn’t taste as great after that.
I received an email from Kevin, who photographed a flock of red-necked stints on the Barwon River Estuary. Thanks so much for the photo Kevin.
Enjoy the beautiful spring weather and the beginning of Christmas spirit.
– Jen Carr, jennifer.carr6@bigpond.com