Wildlife Notes - April 2015

We couldn’t produce these notes without YOU! Please contact us with your observations and questions.


Keep an eye out as the autumn movement of smaller birds is well underway with visits by mixed flocks, often including Grey Fantails. Other species recorded so far are Flame Robin, Grey Shrike-thrush, Golden Whistler, and European Goldfinch. All of these have stayed in Bayside throughout the colder months.

The highlight was the arrival of a Spotless Crake, never before recorded in Bayside. It may still be on the island in the Elsternwick Park lake where it was quite easy to see from the platform on the east side for 4 weeks up to 18 April.

Other special birds there are the Hoary-headed Grebes with young, Brown Goshawks, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Wedge-tailed Eagle. Meanwhile the Golf Course was visited by a low flying flock of White-throated Needletails and Little Grassbirds bred. Like the Grebes they may have nested within Bayside before most local swamps were drained about 50 years ago.

Elsewhere Boobook Owls stayed in southern Highett for a while and Common Terns visited Ricketts Point for several weeks.

A list of the 88 species seen so far this year is attached. The Elsternwick area (Golf Course, ovals, park south, and up to Gardenvale station) has racked up 57 species!

Sadly, P62 - the female Black Swan at Elsternwick Park, was found dead with her head severed in January.

This list is the longest to this date since 2009, possibly even earlier. If you can you add to it, please let us know.

Other vertebrates

Rakalis don’t often come out during the day but one was videoed at Quiet Corner with another seen at Ricketts Point.

Our Batting4Bayside project has gathered 91,000 Anabat passes, with at least seven species identified so far. Check out our website for further for analyses of where and when they occur.

The monthly Frog Watch surveys have been disappointing with again no records of Peron’s Tree Frogs and only one record of a Striped Marsh Frog. However, Banjo Frogs (Pobblebonks) were seen at Avoca Street, Highett and there was good news of Blue-tongue Lizards with the first tracks near the Sandringham Harbour for some years as well as sightings elsewhere. Geckos laid five eggs in a single Beaumaris letter box!


The warmer months brought some amazing insect records from four adult observers. What else would be recognised if more people looked out for these wonderful creatures?

Four, maybe six, species of native bees visited, notably over 20 Blue-banded Bees at the Elsternwick golf course and another one or two in Hampton and Beaumaris. In addition, one of the Enviro Kids during their March caught a possible Carder Bee, a South African species that is spreading through eastern Australia. It’s been many years since any native bees have been reported from Bayside, maybe since Tarlton Rayment’s series of articles in the Sandringham News in the 1920s .

Moths provided further highlights with one Black Rock property attracting several unusual moths including one that is rare south of the Murray. The owner also found Ant-lions, insects that make a pitfall trap for ants. Another Black Rock garden welcomed an Orchid Swallowtail and another larger butterfly, the Symmomous Skipper.

If you have a camera with macro settings you could find out what creatures you’ve seen by using BowerBird http://www.bowerbird.org.au/.Please add any postings to the Bayside NatureWatch project.

Thanks to Michael Norris for supplying these Wildlife Notes.

Hoary-headed Grebe
Australasian Grebe
Australian Pelican
Pied Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
White-face Heron
Great Egret
Nankeen Night Heron
Straw-necked Ibis
Black Swan
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Pink-eared Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Black-shouldered Kite
Brown Goshawk
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Spotless Crake
Dusky Moorhen
Purple Swamphen
Eurasian Coot

Sooty Oystercatcher
Masked Lapwing
Silver Gull
Pacific Gull
Common Tern
Crested Tern
Rock Dove
Spotted Turtle-dove
Common Bronzewing
Crested Pigeon
Long-billed Corella
Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet
Little Lorikeet
Australian King-parrot
Crimson Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Pallid Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Southern Boobook
Tawny Frogmouth
White-throated Needletail
Sacred Kingfisher
Welcome Swallow
Fairy Martin
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Common Blackbird

Flame Robin
Golden Whistler
Grey Shrike-thrush
Olive-backed Oriole
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Clamorous Read-warbler
Little Grassbird
Superb Fairy-wren
White-browed Scrubwren
Brown Thornbill
Red Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Noisy Miner
White-plumed Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill
Spotted Pardalote
European Goldfinch
House Sparrow
Common Starling
Common Myna
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Little Raven

Rainbow x Scaly-breated Lorikeet
Mallard x Pacific Black Duck

Total 88 species