JOIN US for BERMAGUI BIOBLITZ MARCH 30/31

Plans are going well for the Bermagui Bioblitz with over 30 surveys now being planned.

Everyone is welcome to join our 30 hour challenge to find as many species as we can within easy walking distance of Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf.

If you have a special interest, or would like to join others to learn more about everything that lives in this place, come along between 10.30 am Friday 30th to lunchtime on Saturday 31st March. There will be a timetable of surveys you can join (some have limited places) and you can make your own observations for identification. Bring your camera and a USB cable and learn how to log your sightings onto our Atlas of Life database.

For more details see : Gen Bioblitz intro you can find the map andlist of planned surveys here.

If you would like to volunteer to help, either as an “AtlaNat” – Atlas Naturalist, an “AtlaTek” Atlas Tekkie, or an event helper, please get in touch. There are lots of things to do to make this a great fun event and to create really good data with clear photos for our Atlas database. Call Libby or Alan Hepburn on 0264 950917

Blue tides

As beachwalkers we have all seen the interesting animals that seem to arrive together from time to time on a “Blue Tide”.

The “Bluebottle” jellyfish or Portuguese man of War, Physalia utriculus seems to be the star of the show. Other creatures that are often seen on the tideline at the same time are:

Glaucus Atlanticus a dramatic and beautiful nudibranch see http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/glauatla for more information on this animal and also Velella, Porpita and the Violet Snails Janthina

Lesley Jensen found an interesting article from Tasmania where the author has seen blue tides there for the first time recently.

Called ‘The Blue Fleet” by naturalist Sir Alistair Hardy these occurrences are a frequent sight along our coastlines.

Whaleshark at Tathra Wharf

People on Tathra wharf were treated to the spectacular sight of a massive whale shark slowly cruising past on Wednesday evening.

Three teenagers who had been fishing off the wharf actually jumped in and swam a short distance with the massive fish, an experience normally reserved for those who travel to tropical locations such as WA’s Ningaloo Reef.

One of the teenagers lucky enough to swim with the whale shark was local Tathra school boy Jared Graham-Higgs, 15, who estimated it to be between 8 and 10-metres long.

Jared said he was fishing when the whale shark cruised within 1 metre of the wharf and he soon identified it as a whale shark.

He and his two mates then jumped in and swam with the shark until it moved out into the bay off Tathra Beach, an experience he described as amazing even without goggles.

“He was just cruising along and we swam beside him until he started to dive a little deeper when other people starting jumping off the wharf,” he said. This is a web photo

The Far South Coast is at the southerly boundary of the whale shark’s migration but they have been encountered as far south as Eden, and the water at Tathra this week is a warm 22 degrees with most likely an abundance of plankton attracting the distance-swimming filter feeder.

Wednesday’s whale shark was last seen by the dozens of people on the wharf swimming toward the beach and north on Tathra Bay.

Feathertail Glider – Acrobates pygmaeus

I had an early morning visitor in my bedroom on Wednesday –
identified as a Feathertail Glider – Acrobates pygmaeus or
Acrobates aculeatus.
Feather Gliders are the smallest of all gliders. They get
thier name from their tail which is flat with stiff fringed
hair growing horizontally either side all the way to the
tip.

Found good information on these gliders at
http://www.wiresnr.org/feathertailfacts.html

Glenda Wood