Mary Potter's Nature Notes, annotated by Dr Peter Dann.

Last updated on 3 April 2015

SAN REMO DISTRICT NATURE NOTES

By Mary Potter (Mary Anderson) 1918

Notes on current status and names of birds and animals by Dr Peter Dann.

 

Introduction

“The following notes from memory have been set down by a lady who spent most of her life in the neighbourhood of San Remo but somewhat reluctantly (set down). The assurance of the communicator that the notes would be gladly accepted by the Field Naturalists Club without the Contributor having any Scientific Knowledge or that the appearance of such notes might induce other old residents to follow the example was the deciding factor and, with only slight editorial treatment, this addition to our knowledge of the fauna of the San Remo, Bass River and Phillip Island district is placed on record.”

A D Hardy.

 

LAND ANIMALS AND BIRDS:

 

Kangaroo (grey) (Grey Kangaroo): Used to be very plentiful all through the district, but since settlement have gone further back.  Common along coast and in Bass hills.

 

Brush Wallaby: Have not been seen at San Remo for years, but it is believed that there are still a few round the township of Woolamai at the back of the Bass.

 

Brown Wallaby (Swamp Wallaby): Used to be very numerous in the scrub near the mouth of the Bass River, but they have quite dis-appeared.  Plentiful

 

Padymelon (sic) (Tasmanian Pademelon): Used to be in great numbers on the Anderson property some years ago. They seem to have contracted some disease, for they died in hundreds and are now extinct in these parts.

 

Kangaroo Rat (Long-nosed  Potoroo or bettong?): Never very plentiful in the district.

 

Bandicoot (Southern Brown or Long-nosed Bandicoots both possible): There were plenty of these in this neighbourhood at one time but since the scrub has been cleared away they have practically disappeared.  Rare in the district but still on Mornington Peninsula and northern Western Port

 

Mouse-like Marsupial (Feathertail Glider): ……..feathered tail: My mother got a specimen of this little animal from a Mr Peters who lived at Corinella and made a living collecting birds and other animals. It was about the size of a small mouse and had a feathery looking tail. I never saw another like it.  Gone from district

 

Koala:Were very plentiful whilst the country was heavily timbered, but have dis-appeared since the gum trees died out. Occasionally one or two are seen in the isolated trees.

 

Grey Possum (Common Brush-tailed Possum): Years ago this possum was very numerous everywhere and was very destructive in the orchards. There are still a good many to be seen.  Plentiful

 

Red Possum (Mountain Brush-tailed Possum/Bobuck?): These were never so numerous as the grey. They had smaller ears and shorter fur. They seem to have quite dis-appeared.  Grantville

 

Ringtail Possum (Ring-tailed Possum): I have often found their nests in the tea tree scrub both along the bay and the ocean beach. There are a few there still.  Plentiful

 

Grey Squirrel (Sugar Glider): Between 30 and 40 years ago these pretty little animals could be seen on moonlight nights flying from one tree to another. They have completely dis-appeared.  Gone from district

 

Flying Fox (Grey-headed Flying Fox): Used to come down here in great numbers in the early autumn when they apples and pears were ripe but still not stay with us all year.  Occasional visitor

 

Bats: We often have these little bats flying about at night and come into the house. They seem to live in colonies as on felling a hollow tree quite a number flew out.

 

Dingo (Dingo): Were plentiful 60 years ago, but became scarce as the country got more settled. Were very destructive killing sheep and young calves.

 

Fox: Only came to the district of late years, but have since become very numerous and make their burrows particularly along the sea cliffs.

 

Platypus: Never very numerous, but have seen them in the Bass River. They make their nests in the bank just above the level of the water.  Rare in Bass River.

 

Porcupine (Short-beaked Echidna): These are still to be found in the paddocks where there is timber or scrub.  Plentiful

 

Seal: The principal home of these animals is the Seal Rocks off the SW end of Phillip Island. The fishermen are very much against their protection as they follow the shoals of fish and break their nets.

 

Water Rat (Water rat)-: Have seen them about the banks of creeks. They are larger than an ordinary rat and have a white tip to their tail.  Relatively common.

 

Field Mouse: We used to see lots of these small mice when the crops were being cut.

 

Wombat (Common Wombat): Have only once heard of a wombat being killed near Kilcunda. A few had been found back in the hills towards Gippsland.  A few occur in the district.

 

BIRDS

 

Wedgetailed Eagle (Wedge-tailed Eagle): I only knew of one nest in a tall tree above Anderson station. A pair built there for several years, leaving each year after their young were reared, returning the following season to re build their former nest. They often came here in the spring and attacked the young lambs.  Breeding pairs on Phillip Island and in the Bass Valley.

 

Brown Hawk (Brown Falcon): We were never fortunate enough to find a nest, but since the rabbits increased these hawks have increased also. Summer is the best time to see them.  Breeds in the Bass Valley and on Phillip Island

 

Swamp Hawk (Harrier) (Swamp Harrier): The first nest I ever found was on Phillip Island crossing from Newhaven to the ocean beach. It was built of sticks on top of some broken down scrub and contained three white eggs. Since then I have seen their nests at San Remo when the crops were being cut.  Common on Phillip Island, much less common in Bass Valley.  Breeds on Phillip Island and may migrate across Bass Strait via Phillip Island.

 

Whistling Eagle (Whistling Kite): Since the timber has died out these birds have become very scarce.  A few pairs on Phillip Island and in the Bass Valley.  Increases in numbers on Phillip Island in some years as the shearwaters are fledging.

 

Sparrowhawk (Australian Goshawk – likely as now common in the Bass Valley, although Collared Sparrowhawk a possibility although now rare in the district): Had a good many about Netherwood and they were very daring, attacking the fowls and carrying off the chickens.

 

Kestrel (Nankeen Kestrel): These pretty little hawks are rapidly dis-appearing since there are less dead eucalypts to provide them with nesting holes.  A few pairs on Phillip Island, much less common in the Bass Valley.

 

Kestrel (shy) (Nankeen Kestrel): There is another kestrel, but it is a very shy bird (possible confusion caused by slight sexual differences in kestrels). Its colouring is much the same and the eggs have the same markings as the other variety. We only once found a nest in the spout of a dead tree.

 

Sea Hawk (Osprey) (Osprey): I have seen these occasionally about the ocean beach flying usually at dusk. Never saw a nest.  Rarely seen in the district now but reported by many early visitors to Phillip Island and along the Victorian coast.

 

Blue Hawk (Fish Hawk) (White-bellied Sea-eagle- likely, although surprising that they were in great numbers): Used to build along the cliffs of the ocean beach from San Remo to Kilcunda and were in great numbers there.  Now breeds on French and Phillip Islands- approx.. three pairs

 

Black-faced Falcon (Peregrine Falcon): We found a dead crane in a paddock partly eaten which we thought was the work of foxes, so we poisoned the remainder and next morning on going to the spot found to our surprise 2 black faced falcons lying dead close to the crane.  Breeds at a number of sites on Phillip Island.

 

White Hawk (Black-shouldered Kite?): Back as far as Kilcunda. Odd pairs were to be seen, but never a nest.  Not common but a resident pair breeds on the Anderson Peninsula and lower Bass River.  Also breeds on the western end of Phillip Island.

 

Disc-faced Owl (Barn Owl): Seen in scrub, at evening after sitting on the fence posts. Nests very difficult to find.  Seems to be a winter vistor only these days.

 

Boobook Owl (Boobook Owl): Never found nest, but often found them sheltering in scrub and they were often heard round the house at night.  Breeds around Ventnor but relatively uncommon.

 

Mopoke (Tawny Frogmouth): Found many nests and often saw these birds lying along the branch of a tree.  Rare in district now.  I don’t know of any Phillip Island records.

 

Cockatoo (White) (Sulphur-crested Cockatoo): Years ago plentiful, but nested further back in the ranges. Came down in great numbers when the wheat was getting ripe.  Uncommon on Phillip Island, a pair bred at Ventnor for a few years.  Small group lives in Bass.

 

Cockatoo (Black) (Yellow-tailed black Cockatoo): Came occasionally and were regarded as a sign of stormy weather, but on the Lower Tarwin they could be seen plentifully in the old days. They were particularly fond of the seeds of the black wattle.  Rare on the island but appeared in hundreds in the aftermath of  Black Saturday fires.  Regular visitor to pine-trees in the Bass Valley.

 

Gang Gang (Gang-gang Cockatoo): They dis-appeared with the timber but 6 or 7 years ago some were shot about the Bass River.  Rare on Phillip Island and in the Bass Valley.

 

King Parrot (King Parrot): Still about the Bass and used to come about the orchards and sometimes destroyed the potato crops.  Occasional visitor to Phillip Island and Bass Valley.

 

Lorry (perhaps another lorikeet but unsure what species- possibly Musk or Scaly-breasted; in some areas Crimson Rosellas used to be referred to as “Lorrys”): These were in large flocks some years ago, but are very scarce now.

 

Rosella (Eastern Rosella): Came in later years, apparently from Hastings district, first to Phillip Island, and then to San Remo.  Common breeding bird in district now.

 

Lorikeet (impossible to know what species but I wonder if we could get another reference to them re going to Scotland: These pretty little birds used to be with us for a good part of the year. Have found their nests in dead timber. Reared 4 young ones and took them to Scotland where they lived for some years.

 

Blue Mountain (Rainbow Loriket): These came down from the ranges in the late summer when the fruit was ripening. We used to shoot them and make them into a pie as they are very good eating.  Now an abundant breeding species on Phillip Island, less common but increasing in the Bass Valley.

 

Grass Parakeet (Blue-winged Parrot- likely, unusual that in small groups but these were possibly breeding pairs): I saw these beautiful little birds when riding in the paddock at Netherwood and also on the plains near Cape Patterson, but I never saw more than a pair or so at a time.  Regular visitor to Bass River mouth and riverflats often up to 100.

 

Swamp Parrot (Ground Parrot): I never remember seeing these birds at any time. Rare everwhere now.

 

Another Lorikeet (Purple-crowned Lorikeet): There was another small parrot which was probably the purple crowned lorikeet which followed the flowering of the gums. They never stayed with us very long.  Rare in the district.

 

WADING BIRDS

 

Blue Crane (White-faced Heron): Are still plentiful along the coast and on the river flats. They come all over the paddocks as soon as we get the autumn rains and eat a great number of white grubs.

 

Nankeen Heron (Nankeen Night-heron): These handsome birds were only occasionally seen as they came about at night. I only once knew of a nest in a tall tree on the banks of the Bass River.  Now roosts on the Bass River, at San Remo and maybe Rhyll.  Nearest breeding at Yaringa as far as I know.

 

Bittern (Australasian Bittern): They only came here when the season was very dry up north.  Same as now- very rare.

 

Native Companion (Brolga): Years ago I have seen these on the river flats and a swamp near the Powlett River during the summer.  No records for last 40 years in this area.

 

Balerot (this is fascinating, don’t know what it is.  You could try it out on the audience.  I will follow a few leads.): Were numerous about the Bass River and at Newhaven where they used to nest.

 

Stone plover (this could be a number of species including whimbrel, curlew and red-capped plovers etc.): Have often seen them along the shore of Western Port Bay. A very shy bird.

 

Landrail (Buff-breasted Rail).: These usually nested in crops or coarse grass. I have often seen their eggs or young in stubble.  Making a come-back in recent years in the district.  Maybe responding to fox control.

 

Grebe (Either Little or hoary-headed Grebe): We came across plenty of their floating nests made of water weed? in the water holes, and watched the little birds diving.  Both found breeding on freshwater in the district and H-H Grebes occur in numbers on the bay in winter.

 

Little Coot (Eurasian Coot): We often saw the young birds along the river, but never found their nests. Occurs at times on Swan Lake, Fishers wetland or at the racing track.

 

SWIMMERS

 

Black Duck (Black Duck): Many to be seen on the swamps and water holes.  No change.  Common on Bass River.

 

Teal (Chestnut Teal): These were abundant all across the bay to the mouth of the Bass River. They made their nests in the bracken at the foot of an old tree.  Common breeding bird in the district.

 

Wood Duck (Wood Duck): These only visited us in a dry season. One year when there was a drought at Bairnsdale and Sale they came to us in great numbers. I heard of a nest being found in a tree at Inverloch.  This species had disappeared from the district but has made a resurgence in the last 30 years.  Breeding widespread.

 

Musk Duck (Musk Duck): These large birds were to be found on Western Port Bay, but never in great numbers.  In large numbers in the bay in winter and breeds at PI racing track.

 

“Big” Duck (Mountain Duck) (Australasian Shelduck): These handsome birds were with us for months at a time and frequented the flats at the mouth of the Bass River. We never found a nest.  Still in large numbers at the mouth of the Bass River.  Probably breeds on French Island

 

Black Swan (Black Swan): I have seen at low tide the mud flats on Western Port Bay alive with black swans. There great breeding ground was on French Island and swamps round the bay. I have seen the little grey cygnets on the beach below Netherwood.  No change.

 

SCRATCHERS:

 

Lyre Bird (Superb Lyrebird): There were numbers of these shy birds all through the hills in the scrub. I used to hear them whistling in the early morning, but they are very scarce now which is probably due to the advent of the fox.  Gone from the district.

 

Quail Stubble (Stubble Quail): These were found everywhere in the early days. I daresay the foxes destroy a lot of their nests.  Occur in summer in hay paddocks, very common on French Island where no foxes.

 

Quail painted (Painted Button-quail): This variety was always very scarce. I only remember twice finding their nests with 4 beautifully marked eggs in each.  Uncommon but often seen around Rhyll Inlet

 

Quail Brown (Brown Quail): Many were seen all over the paddocks long ago, but now are very scarce. Their nests were frequently found in the long grass.

 

GROUND BIRDS

 

Ibis (Straw-necked Ibis): They only came to us during the summer when it was very dry up north. This I think was the Straw-necked variety.  Everywhere

 

Ground Lark (possibly Richard’s Pipit): These birds nested everywhere in the paddocks, but are fast disappearing on account of foxes and men with guns.  Common

 

Bush Lark (Singing Bushlark):  This bird was always very scarce in these parts. I have not seen any of them for years.  No longer in the district.

 

PERCHERS

 

Kookaburra (Kookaburra): These quaint birds are disappearing very fast since the dead timber has been cleared away. There are still a good many in the timber on Phillip Island.  Still on the island and in the Bass Valley.

 

Magpie (Australian Magpie): Are still plentiful and nest in the pine trees round old homesteads when other timber is scarce.  Plentiful

 

Grey Currawong?……….. Have not seen any at San Remo for some years, but they are still at Newhaven, Phillip Island. Though very destructive in the orchard, they do a great deal of good to the farmer by eating great quantities of grass grubs.

 

Mudlark (Magpie-lark): I remember when the first pair of magpie larks came to Bass, it must have been nearly 40 years ago. After that they appeared more frequently and used to build their mud nests along the creek in the Netherwood paddock.  Plentiful.

 

Bell Bird (Bell Miner): Numerous in the tall timber at the Bass and it was lovely to hear their tinkle tinkle in the early morning.  Gone from the district

 

Whip Bird (Eastern Whipbird): These birds were heard much and seen very little. Their little stick nests were very hard to find.  Gone from the district.

 

Leatherhead (possibly friarbird): Lots of them to be seen in the fruit season and they disappeared before the winter. 

 

Red Wattlebird (Red Wattlebird): Nests were common in the Eucalypts and these birds were constantly shot and eaten, as their flesh is considered a delicacy.  Plentiful

 

Brush Wattle Bird (Little Wattlebird): This variety frequented the banksias along the sea coast, and were not so troublesome to orchardists.  Plentiful

 

White-fronted Honeyeater (probably Yellow-winged/New Holland honeyeater or Crescent honeyeater- former plentiful now, latter very rare in the district): This variety was found occasionally in the banksias at San Remo and in the same trees along the back beach.

 

Spine-billed Honeyeater (Eastern Spinebill): I have often seen these beautifully coloured little birds sucking the nextar from the fuchia (sic)and gladiolus flowers in the Netherwood garden. Relatively common particularly in winter

 

The white cheeked honeyeater was common there also (possibly White-plumed honeyeater).  Plentiful.

 

Bronzewing Pigeon (could be either Common or Brush Bronzewings both on French Island but otherwise rare in the district) Plenty of these years ago in the scrub. They were very fond of feeding on the native cherry.

 

“Slaty Grey” (Wonga)(Wonga Pigeon): Not many in this district, but more common about the river Tarwin.  Gone from the district.

 

FINCHES

 

Wax-Bill (Red-browed Finch): This little bird was to be seen in flocks feeding on the ground, but have not seen any for some time.  Relatively common on Phillip Island and in the Bass Valley.

 

Sparrow (House Sparrow): These are to be found everywhere and prove themselves a great nuisance to farmers.  Plentiful.

 

Pardalote (Spotted or Striated Pardalotes- both common in the district now): I found nests of these in the cliffs along the inner beach.

 

Brown Tits (Brown Thornbill): Fairly numerous. Often found their nests in the outer trees of a tea tree scrub.  Plentiful.

 

Yellow-tail Tit (Yellow-tailed Thornbill): Very common and built very often in the pine trees round a homestead.  Common.

 

WRENS

 

Blue headed wrens: (Superb)( Superb Fairy-wren) Plenty of nests to be found in the sword grass and they were very tame.  Plentiful.

 

Scrub wren (brown) (White-browed Scrub-wren): We found their nests along the sea coast in the tea tree scrub and only a few are to be seen now. Plentiful.

 

Field Wren: Used to be common at one time but do not see them often now.

 

Emu Wren (Southern Emu-wren): Long ago they used to be on the flat part of Netherwood and also at Cape Paterson. I never see them now.  Still persist in small numbers at the mouth of the Bass River, used to be at Rhyll.

 

Red (sic) Warbler (Reed Warbler): I never saw any of these birds at San Remo, but they were in the reeds on the Bass & Tarwin Rivers.  Plentiful along the Bass & Tarwin rivers

 

Grass Warbler (possibly Golden-headed Fantail Warbler): Are very scarce in the district now but used to place their nests in crops and long grass.  Occur in a few places on Phillip Island and in the Bass Valley.

 

Swift (Spine-tailed Swift): In Autumn they used to arrive before a storm and often flew quite low, but did not remain long.  Occur in much the same circumstances now.

 

Marten (Tree Martin): They used to come for the nesting season, but did not stay with us very long. They placed their nests in holes in trees.  Relatively rare in district now.

 

Wood Swallow (probably Dusky Woodswallow): Were very plentiful in the summer and as soon as they arrived began building their nests. Are not nearly as numerous as they were.  Uncommon now

 

Redbreast (Scarlet Robin): This pretty little robin stays with us all the winter and leaves for its Summer home early in the Spring.  Relatively uncommon.

 

Flame Breast robin (Flame Robin): Like the scarlet breasted only stays with us in the winter.  Relatively common winter migrant

 

Yellow Breast Robin (Yellow Robin): This variety were never very plentiful. They used to nest in the tea tree scrub below Netherwood, but have since dis-appeared owing to the scrub having been cleared. Still occur on Phillip Island and in parts of Bass Valley.

 

Caterpillar Catcher (White-winged Triller?): Only came to us of late years. As soon as they arrived (about November) they began to build their small neat nests. If their nests were destroyed they at once started to build another nest and quite close to where the first nest had been. They were only to be found in the timber and left as soon as their young were reared.

 

Azure Kingfisher (Azure Kingfisher) : This small kingfisher nested in little holes in the dead timber. Was very shy. Have not seen any for some time. There are still a few on Phillip Island.  Rare in district.

 

Parson Bird (Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike): This is the name given by bushmen to the black-faced cuckoo shrike. They come to us in the early summer and begin building as soon as they arrive. They make a very shallow nest on the dead limbs of trees.  Plentiful.

 

Pallid Cuckoo (Pallid Cuckoo): Is a very early spring visitor and is very fond of depositing its eggs in the nest of the wattle bird.  Still occurs in the district but not common

 

Bronze Cuckoo (Shining Bronze-cuckoo): This is the Little Bronze cuckoo and usually arrives before the pallid. It usually chooses the nest of the yellow-tailed tit in which to place its small dark brown egg.  Still occurs in the district

 

Bronze Cuckoo (Horsefield’s Bronze-cuckoo): This is the narrow billed bronze cuckoo and is not nearly as plentiful as the other one. It often places its egg in a wren’s nest.  Common

 

Fantail Cuckoo (Fantail Cuckoo): This is a somewhat later arrival but it stays with us till autumn is quite over. It usually chooses the nest of the black and white fantail.  Common

 

Restless Flycatcher (Restless Flycatcher): This little bird could be found all through the district. They built both in the timber and in scrub.  Rare.

 

Fantail Flycatcher(Willy Wagtail): Plentiful everywhere and were particularly common about old gardens and orchards.  Plentiful.

 

White shafted Fantail (Grey Fantail): This tiny bird was numerous all through the tea tree scrub. They generally came in great numbers into the garden just before rain after the insects.  Plentiful.

 

Rufus Flycatcher (Rufous Fantail): Only odd ones to be seen in the scrub. I never found a nest of this species.  Rare in the district

 

Satin Bower Bird (Satin Bowerbird): Used to be very plentiful everywhere but are fast disappearing. There are still a few to be seen in the vicinity of the Bass River.  No longer occurs in the district.

 

SHORE BIRDS

 

Snipe (Latham’s Snipe): They were much more plentiful some years than others and they never stayed long. Their favourite hunting ground was the flats at the mouth of the Bass River.  Uncommon in the district now.

 

Oyster Catcher (Sooty Oystercatcher): They used to be numerous on the ocean beach, especially about the Tarwin river. I never saw a nest. Relative common on ocean shores

 

Oyster Catcher (not red leg)(Pied Oystercatcher): The pied oyster catcher was not as plentiful as the red legged one, but seen occasionally on the rocks at low tide.  Relatively common in Western Port

 

Hooded Dottrell (sic)( Hooded Plover): Mostly to be found on the ocean beach and I have found lots of nests at the mouth of the Powlett River. Sometimes even below high water mark so many must be destroyed in that way.  Increasing on Phillip Island

 

Little Sandpiper(Red-necked Stint probably): To be seen late in the autumn just before they migrate.  Relatively common.

 

GULLS

 

Pacific Gull (Pacific Gull): These used to come into Western Port Bay just before stormy weather. They never nested on the rocks there.  Plentiful

 

Silver Gull(Silver Gull): These nested in great numbers on Cape Wollamai (sic), but not so much now owing to disturbance from tourists and others.  Plentiful


Tern(Crested Tern): These are known there as Sea Swallows and I have seen them flying about in the Eastern Passage between San Remo and Phillip Island. Like the Gulls they came in for shelter before stormy weather.  Plentiful

 

Mutton Bird(Short-tailed Shearwater): They only come to Phillip Island as they are never known to nest on the mainland.  Plentiful

 

Gannet ( Australasian Gannet): The fishermen say they take an immense amount of fish. The crayfish boats bring gannets’ eggs in from the islands when they return to San Remo and the fisher folk eat their eggs.  Plentiful

 

Cormorant, Black(probably Great Cormorant): These may be seen sitting on the rocks in Western Port Bay watching for fish of which they devour a great number.  Plentiful

 

White-breasted (French Island) ??(probably Little Pied Cormorant)  This variety forms large rookeries in the Mangroves on French Island.  Plentiful

 

Pelican (Australasian Pelican): These were very numerous at one time in the Bay, but have dis-appeared of late years. The last pair I saw was in 1918 at the back of Churchill Island.  Still present around San Remo and Churchill Island

 

Ring Eye (Grey-backed Silvereye): In the winter these were very useful eating up all kinds of small insects and blight, but unfortunately took more than their share of fruit during the season, such as grapes, figs and cherries. They were very numerous before the tea tree scrub was cleared away.  Plentiful

 

Tree Creeper (White-throated Tree-creeper): Plenty of these could be seen long ago especially in the black wood trees, but they seem to have quite dis-appeared.  Gone from the district

 

Emu (reported)(Emu): My uncle Hugh Anderson has shot emus on the Bass flats before the gold rush, but they soon dis-appeared. I have never seen one in the district.  Gone from the district

 

Thrush(Grey Shrike-thrush): The Hamonious or Grey Shrike Thrush were very tame in the garden. I used to put pieces of fat up in the branches of a pear tree and they would come at once and eat it up greedily. They are still quite plentiful.  Plentiful

 

Thrush (Bassian Thrush): this variety was always very shy. They built beautiful nests in the thickest scrub, but were never very numerous.

 

Butcher Bird (Grey Butcherbird): There seemed to be two varieties of this bird as they were so differently marked. They were very daring and would kill canaries which were hanging in a cage on the Verandah. They have a beautiful note. Plentiful

 

Ibis (White Ibis- likely as Straw-necked referred to by name earlier): They only come to this district when there was a drought up north. They were mostly to be found on the Bass river flats and at the mouth of the Powlett river. These were the black and white species.  Plentiful

 

Spoonbill (Yellow-billed Spoonbill-probably, surprising no mention of spoonbills being around all year. i.e. Royals): Very scarce. One summer when it was very dry in Gippsland a few came to the district.  Relatively uncommon but a few on Phillip Island in most years.

 

White fronted chat (White-fronted Chat): These pretty little birds arrive in the early spring. They nest in long grass or rushes. Are to be seen in flocks in the early autumn before they go away for the winter.  Plentiful

 

REPTILES

 

Tiger Snake (Tiger Snake): There were never very many of these.  Common in Bass Valley.

 

Black Snake (Red-bellied Black Snake): Not at all plentiful.  Rare in bass Valley.

 

Brown Snake (Brown snake): rare.

 

Copperhead (Lowland Copperhead): Most numerous here and were often killed about the garden and house.  Plentiful

 

Whip Snake (White-lipped Whip Snake): Often seen when harvesting. They were brown with lighter colour underneath and very active.  Rare in Bass Valley

 

Whip Snake(will ask around): Of an orange yellow colour and rather rare.

 

Goanna (Lace Monitor): Used to be very numerous and would take chickens and eggs, but have disappeared with the timber.  Occasionally one seen at Grantville.

 

Blue Tongue Lizard (Blue-tongue Lizard): This sleeping lizard are still plentiful and come about the houses and eat fallen fruit also strawberries. They would drink milk from the cat’s saucer.  Plentiful

 

Frilled Lizard: I never saw one of this species.

 

Little Lizard (Bloodsucker)( I’ll ask some reptile people about these): These were to be found in the old log fences. They were very dark with a blue tongue.

 

Little Lizard (Common): Are still very common about the homesteads.

 

Starling (European Starling): Are very destructive in the orchard and are driving all our native birds which build in holes away from the district. Plentiful

 

Minah (Indian)(Indian Myna): These were never seen at San Remo but were on Phillip Island at Mr McHaffies’ old homestead.  Plentiful.

 

Bullfrog green(possibly Growling Grass Frog): to be found in great numbers in the dams or lagoons.  Rare.

 

Little tree frog(probably Ranidella signifera): Rather scarce.  Plentiful.

 

Tree Frogs (Green tree-frog): Plenty of these especially in the grape vines.  Plentiful

 

“Yabby” (ruby crayfish): To be found in the mud at the mouth of the Bass river and fishermen used them for bait.

 

Sea Crayfish: Found in numbers anywhere along the coast as far as Cape Patterson.

 

Dragon Fly, Butterflies; moths; Beetles ,etc. Not identified by even common names.

 

Scorpions

Centipedes

Tarantulas

Red money spider


 

 

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