Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Celebrating Australia Day


What better place to celebrate Australia Day than on Beach One. Good job all you nippers and dedicated surf club patrols.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Death on the Beach

The Life Cycles of the Natural world play out daily along the coast at Venus Bay. Sometime you are confronted by the site of dead birds, like the albatross below, penguins, seals, dolphins and even whale. Unfortunately such deaths happen, frequently related to storms at sea. If you come across such birds, particularly penguins, it is a good idea to check for leg bands, its is import to note which leg is banded and the order of colours and any letters or numbers. Also if the cause of death is clearly not natural (eg the bird, fish is tangled in a net, line) they probably should be recorded. We don't need to be forensic experts or act as" the wildlife police", but significant changes in our environment may be signaled by other species.
Even Natural deaths when in larger numbers are worth recorded, for example our site was probably the first to note the large number of mutton birds that died and washed up in beaches all along Australian beach last year.

BUT please inspect these animals and birds with respect, a very rare and endangered species may need to be the subject or further scientific study.

VBOPing on Google+

VBOPing is now on Google+, not fully sure how we can us all the facilities of google+ but if you are on Google+ start following and watch for share circles and links. Also add the Hashcode #VBOP to your post so we can find it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coastal Walk Report

The "Geology Rocks" coastal walk along Pt. Smythe yesterday was enjoyed by around 20 people who took the chance for a guided tour through the different environments and habitats of the area. We got to see much of the local plant and animal life, including bracket fungi (species unknown), the White Elderberry Sambucus gaudichaudian which are bearing their pale fruits.

We also saw a few dead birds washed up onto the beach. There was a Muttonbird Puffinus sp. ,and an Albatross (possibly a juvenile Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora). They most likely perished as a result of a storm event out at sea.

Thanks to Norm and Bruce for making the tour engaging, informative and fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So this is summer …

What is the saying? “Beautiful one day, overcast the next” …Welcome to Venus Bay 2012

This summer so far has not been the typical hot blazing sun and deep blue cloudless skies. yet on the beach there are signs that it has been a much more typical summer than the past few years (at least for the beach profile)


The Erosion at the top of the beach seems to be very limited (last big events being in November) and the scarps are drying and collapsing leaving a steep wedge of sand rather a vertical cliff (except where marram grass clumps are hold up some areas (as shown above). The Average Height Tide Line is 10 to 20 meters seaward from these scarps, which has meant that the flatten out upper part of the beach (the summer berm) has been able to be strongly developed along the beach. This an area where dried out seaweed and other beach debris can accumulate. the sand dries out and is more susceptible to wind erosion so this part of the beach is flatter.  This is an important habitat for the shore nesting birds (like the hooded plovers). Hopefully they are enjoying this summer on the beach.

BTW its the Walk out on Point Smythe TODAY!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Point Symthe – Geology walk to Inlet & Ocean Beaches

soldier crabYou will find this years geology walk out on Point Smythe area (not to Point Smythe itself) in the Summer by the Sea program list under Geology Rocks!. Sorry no rocks to see but plenty else, including geological processes in action. Perhaps a few experiments on the beach. The route this years has been trimmed (no big dunes to walk up) and there is still plenty to see, in less than 5km.

Fri 20 January 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Bookings Essential (03) 5674 3738

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pipi Plunder continues

Just in case you missed the item on Channel 7 last night. Here is a link to their story (sorry about the ad at the start but that's the way Yahoo7 have set up the embed link).. There is a lot more to the story than is covered in this news item, and I agree the majority of recreation pipi collectors probably do following the guidelines. Clearly a massive amount of the beach is being turned over all day long in January (and that is a lot of work just to get your 2 litres of fresh pipi). I for one an a bit disappointed that the fisheries department representatives are playing such a conciliatory hand. SO are they blind, or just pretending to be so, perhaps it is time the authorities got stronger feedback. SO if you witness any of the following blatant and clearly organised flouting of the recreational catch limits

1) “mule” family groups tipping their catch into larger buckets and carrying those buckets into the dunes.
2) Young male “runners” (often holding radios or mobile phones)collecting the buckets in the dunes and carrying them along tracks in the dunes.
3)  People with radio or mobile phones marshalling vans in the beach car parks. (Clearly these vehicles are not full of holiday makers) The licence plates on these vans will probably give the best way to find the organizers of these rackets.
Please take photos and/or report you observations to 13 FISH (a free call number)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Adventures in Environmental Science

The Rounded Noon Flower Disphyma crassifolium subsp. clavellatum, sometimes called Pigface, an endemic species of our coastline are coming into flower now.

I would also like to post a link to a film I made called Adventures in Environmental Science which is about some of the activities of the Venus Bay Observation Project.

I am hoping that those who do view the film would find it to be educational and entertaining, but most of all I hope it inspires others to be brave and become involved and add their contribution to the Venus Bay Observation Project.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Summer 2012 edition of Coastline is available for down load at the DSE website.

This cover a wide range of cpastal matters and in particular a lot of local community groups concerned with there part of our beautiful Victorian coastline.

Whilst at the website check out this year Summer by the Sea program.