inbox and environment news: Issue 498
June 13 - 19, 2021: Issue 498
Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA): Mona Vale Dunes Planting Morning
Sydney Wildlife: Registrations For The Next Rescue And Care Course Are Now Open - Commences June 19, 2021
World Albatross Day Is June 19th
Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) - pictures by A J Guesdon - taken while off the Pittwater shores
Why Fishing Club Has Been Wound Up.
The "curse” of an offended albatross is held responsible for the end of a deep-sea fishing club at Gosford, New South Wales. It began when the 24 men were fishing out at sea. One of them accidentally hooked a large albatross, the bird which is reputed to bring disaster if harmed as it did to the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge's poem. The bird fought savagely for half an hour before it could be brought aboard to have the hook extracted. Then it battled its way loose, and for three hours refused to leave the launch. Instead it viciously attacked first one and then another of the 24 men. At length it flew away, and the anglers sighed in relief. Their troubles, however, were only beginning.
An hour later, one of the men suffered agonies when a large fish hook became embedded deep in the palm of his hand. As the launch raced for the shore, the hook had to be prised out in an effort to reduce the man's suffering. Soon afterwards the launch grounded on a mudbank, and the men were marooned for three hours until the tide rose. Bad luck continued to dog every outing arranged by the club. Terrific storms prevented several trips. Club membership waned, and all efforts to revive interest failed. At the annual meeting the three remaining members of the original 120 have decided to wind up the club in an effort to avert the albatross “curse”. ALBATROSS “CURSE”. (1936, June 6). Shepparton Advertiser(Vic. : 1914 - 1953), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article176993041
The wise and lucky Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) - Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm petrelsand diving petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic, although fossil remains show they once occurred there and occasional vagrants are found. Albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) have the largest wingspans of any extant birds, reaching up to 12 feet (3.7 m). The albatrosses are usually regarded as falling into four genera, but there is disagreement over the number of species.
Albatrosses are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. They feed on squid, fish and krill by either scavenging, surface seizing or diving. Albatrosses are colonial, nesting for the most part on remote oceanic islands, often with several species nesting together. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years, with the use of "ritualised dances", and will last for the life of the pair. A breeding season can take over a year from laying to fledging, with a single egg laid in each breeding attempt. A Laysan albatross, named Wisdom, on Midway Island is recognised as the oldest wild bird in the world; she was first banded in 1956 by Chandler Robbins.
Of the 22 species of albatrosses recognised by the IUCN, all are listed as at some level of concern; 3 species are Critically Endangered, 5 species are Endangered, 7 species are Near Threatened, and 7 species are Vulnerable. Numbers of albatrosses have declined in the past due to harvesting for feathers, but today the albatrosses are threatened by introduced species, such as rats and feral cats that attack eggs, chicks and nesting adults; by pollution; by a serious decline in fish stocks in many regions largely due to overfishing; and bylongline fishing. Longline fisheries pose the greatest threat, as feeding birds are attracted to the bait, become hooked on the lines, and drown. Stakeholders such as governments, conservation organisations and people in the fishing industry are all working toward reducing this bycatch.
In culture Albatrosses have been described as "the most legendary of all birds". An albatross is a central emblem in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; a captive albatross is also a metaphor for the poète maudit in a poem of Charles Baudelaire. It is from the Coleridge poem that the usage of albatross as a metaphor is derived; someone with a burden or obstacle is said to have "an albatross around their neck", the punishment given in the poem to the mariner who killed the albatross. In part due to the poem, there is a widespread myth that (all) sailors believe it disastrous to shoot or harm an albatross; in truth, sailors regularly killed and ate them, e.g., as reported by James Cook in 1772. On the other hand, it has been reported that sailors caught the birds, but supposedly let them free again; the possible reason is that albatrosses were often regarded as the souls of lost sailors, so that killing them was supposedly viewed as bringing bad luck.
Albatrosses are popular birds for birdwatchers and their colonies are popular destinations for ecotourists. Regular birdwatching trips are taken out of many coastal towns and cities, like Monterey, Kaikoura, Wollongong, Sydney, Port Fairy, Hobart and Cape Town, to see pelagic seabirds. Albatrosses are easily attracted to these sightseeing boats by the deployment of fish oil and burley into the sea. Visits to colonies can be very popular; the northern royal albatross colony at Taiaroa Head in New Zealand attracts 40,000 visitors a year, and more isolated colonies are regular attractions on cruises to subantarctic islands.
The black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), also known as the black-browed mollymawk, is a large seabird of the albatross family Diomedeidae; it is the most widespread and common member of its family. The origin of the name melanophris comes from two Greek words melas or melanos, meaning "black", and ophris, meaning "eyebrow", referring to dark feathering around the eyes.
The word mollymawk dates to the late 17th century, comes from the Dutch mallemok, which means mal – foolish and mok – gull.
The black-browed albatross is a medium-sized albatross, at 80 to 95 cm (31–37 in) long with a 200 to 240 cm wingspan and an average weight of 2.9 to 4.7 kg (6.4–10.4 lb). They can have a natural lifespan of over 70 years. It has a dark grey saddle and upperwings that contrast with the white rump, and underparts. The underwing is predominantly white with broad, irregular, black margins. It has a dark eyebrow and a yellow-orange bill with a darker reddish-orange tip. Juveniles have dark horn-colored bills with dark tips, and a grey head and collar. They also have dark underwings. The features that distinguish it from other mollymawks (except the closely related Campbell albatross) are the dark eyestripe which gives it its name, a broad black edging to the white underside of its wings, white head and orange bill, tipped darker orange. The Campbell albatross is very similar but with a pale eye. Immature birds are similar to grey-headed albatrosses but the latter have wholly dark bills and more complete dark head markings.
WRITTEN AT SEA, ABOARD THE "ANNE MILNE," OF DUNDEE.
With an eye as sedate as the eye of a sage,
And quick to discern what is passing below ;
With a pinion to cope with the hurricanes rage,
See the Albatross come, with his bosom of snow.
He comes where the bark, o'er the blue wave is bounding,
All music below, and all beauty above,
The emigrant's song, o'er the bright waters sounding,
The sails all a-breast to the breeze which they love !
He comes with the dawn, when the emigrant dreaming.
Is still with the friends of his heart and his home,
He leaves with the sun, when his golden rays streaming
O'er ocean and sky, make it rapture to roam.
He glides with a motion, majestic and grand,
The air never stirr'd by the wave of his wing,
And looks as if, born each bird to command,
As he sits on the ocean, enthroned like a king.
But in doubling the Cape, should the winds in their might,
Make the waves in the strength of their terror appear,
How sublime in the storm is the Albatross flight,
Like the spirit of faith, in the region of fear !
Around and across, o'er the wild breaking wave,
Where the Petrel, in hollows, shoots under his wing,
He soars undismayed, while the hearts of the brave,
Grow faint, as to perishing objects they cling !
The whale bird, in vigour, in habits and size,
Comes nearest the Albatross, but in the gale,
He shrinks from the contest, resigning the skies,
To his mightier rival, the great leathered whale.
Original Poetry. (1849, February 24). Bathurst Advocate (NSW : 1848 - 1849), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62045380
The Powerful Owl Project Update
ORRCA News: 2021 Census Day - Sunday June 27
- This is a FREE event for all to join in.
- From sun up to sun down.
- Record all your sightings from your favourite whale watching location using an ORRCA data sheet and sending it into the team at the end of the day.
- Email email@example.com for all the details as they unfold.
Koala Takes Up Residence In Partially Built House
Whitehaven Pleads Guilty To Stealing One Billion Litres Of Water During Drought
NSW Planning Department Refers Hume Coal Project To IPC For Second Time
EPA Fines Bluescope Steel For Alleged Water Pollution
New Outback Reserve To Protect Diverse Western Wilderness
- Langidoon and Metford Stations lie in the far west of NSW, 65 km east of Broken Hill, within the Broken Hill Complex Bioregion. It lies along the Barrier Highway.
- The properties contain a diversity of broad ecosystems supporting Acacia shrublands on sandplains and on stony desert, gibber chenopod shrublands and floodplain woodland associated with ephemeral watercourses.
- Size: 60,468 hectares (Landgidoon at 35,554 ha and Metford at 24,914.19 ha).
- Bioregional significance: Langidoon and Metford make a significant contribution to a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system by:
- Increasing the level of protection for Broken Hill Complex Bioregion from 3.45% to 4.42%.
- Protecting an area of two subregions. The Barrier Ranges subregion, characterised by steep, low rocky ranges is not sampled in the national park estate; and the Barrier Range Outwash subregion has only 0.4% reserved in the national park estate. This subregion is characterised by stream channels and floodplains, low angle alluvial fans and floodouts, extending to extensive sandplains and dunefields with lakes and claypans.
- Protecting 7 landscape types. Three (Barrier Salt Lakes and Playas; Barrier Tablelands and Barrier Fresh Lakes and Swamps) are not protected in any other national park and one (Barrier Downs) is effectively unprotected at 0.02 per cent reserved.
- Ecosystems: The land contains a diversity of ecosystems – 33 Plant Community Types (PCTs) are mapped, of which 25 are effectively unreserved at the bioregional level.
- Over 30% of the land comprises Acacia loderi shrublands – an endangered TEC (Threatened ecological community). In New South Wales, the community is mainly confined to south western NSW with the major stands occurring between Broken Hill, Ivanhoe and Wilcannia, while only isolated stands occur beyond these areas.
- Threatened species: provides potential habitat for at least 14 threatened fauna species, mainly birds.
- Threatened species are likely to include the Australian Bustard, white-fronted chat, pink cockatoo, blue-billed duck and freckled duck
- Wetlands: includes Eckerboon Lake (160 ha) which during times of flooding provide habitat for migratory bird species.
- Aboriginal heritage: artefacts associated with ephemeral Eckerboon Lake.
- Contemporary history: Little Topar on the Metford property hosted the 'roo shooting scene' for 1971 movie Wake in Fright starring Jack Thompson, Chips Rafferty and John Meillon (among others).
Australian First Keeps Waterways Clean
Bellinger Riverwatch To Count Waterbugs In Snapping Turtle River
Conserving Coastal Seaweed: A Must Have For Migrating Sea Birds
Clean Bill Of Health For Macquarie Island Marine Life
The Next 20 Are Years Crucial In Determining The Future Of Coal
New Population Of Pygmy Blue Whales Discovered With Help Of Bomb Detectors
Ocean Microplastics: First Global View Shows Seasonal Changes And Sources
Maori Connections To Antarctica May Go As Far Back As 7th Century
New Plan To Revitalise NSW's Oldest Park By Installing Mountain Bike Trails
- Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park, Garawarra State Conservation Area Draft Planning Considerations
- Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area Draft Plan of Management
- Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area Draft Mountain Biking Plan
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Avalon Golf Course Bushcare Needs You
New Shorebirds WingThing For Youngsters Available To Download
A Shorebirds WingThing educational brochure for kids (A5) helps children learn about shorebirds, their life and journey. The 2021 revised brochure version was published in February 2021 and is available now. You can download a file copy here.
If you would like a free print copy of this brochure, please send a self-addressed envelope with A$1.10 postage (or larger if you would like it unfolded) affixed to: BirdLife Australia, Shorebird WingThing Request, 2-05Shorebird WingThing/60 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
Local Opportunities: Youth Advisory Group + Plan And Run A Youth Event
NSW Young Environmental Citizens Of The Year
Council Among Those To Showcase Local Acts On Make Music Day
- Northern Beaches Council - 50 musicians performing 45-minute sets across four locations including the Manly Corso, Berry Markets at Narrabeen Lagoon and Mona Vale Village Park and Dee Why Town Centre.
- City of Parramatta Council and Sydney Olympic Park Authority - events in multiple public spaces including Parramatta Square, Cathy Freeman Park, Jacaranda Square, The Abattoir Heritage Precinct, Epping Railway Station and more, featuring 30 acts from Western Sydney’s live music scene;
- Yours and Owls Event - Wollongong’s Globe Lane will be transformed to present Full Set Fest, to showcase grassroots and promising artists in the Illawarra;
- Lisa Farrawell - in a First Nations-led initiative, local musicians will perform live on an outdoor stage for the Crescent Head community;
- Blacklight Collective - for a one-day pop-up program in Coffs Harbour featuring dozens of local artists performing electronica, contemporary, Indian classical, percussion, jazz and more; and
- Leeton Shire Council – for two acts including a soul, afrobeat and electronic artists to the Leeton Skate Park
Danica's Career Sets Sail Thanks To TAFE NSW
Sound Education Leads To Blockbuster Career
Helena's On Her Way To A Ferry Impressive Career
Night Drive For Learners
Karuah Mother Tour
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition 2021 Entries Now Open
2021 OPTIONAL THEME: "RICH AND RARE"
''Our poets are encouraged to take inspiration from wherever they may find it, however if they are looking for some direction, competition participants are invited to use this year's optional theme to inspire their entries."
In 2021, the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society has chosen the theme “Rich and Rare.” As always, it is an optional theme, so please write about whatever topic sparks your poetic genius.
For a copy of the wonderful theme poster, please click here.
HOW TO ENTER
*PLEASE NOTE: If you're registering as an individual student, put your HOME address in your personal details and not your SCHOOL'S address! The address you list is where your participation certificate will be posted!*
(primary school and secondary school, anytime during the competition period)
Teacher/parent - registration completed online (invoice will be emailed within 2 weeks of registration)
Log in to your page.
Enter student details and submit poem(s) (cut and paste or type in poem content direct to the webpage) PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD POEMS AS ATTACHMENTS AS THAT FUNCTION IS FOR POSTAL ENTRIES ONLY.
Repeat step 3 for every student/individual poem.
PLEASE SEE HERE FOR A DETAILED PDF ON ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS.
Have a read of the judges' reports from the previous year. They contain some very helpful advice for teachers and parents alike!
It is recommended for schools to appoint a coordinator for the competition.
Only a teacher/parent can complete the registration form on behalf of the student/child.
Log-in details: username is the email address and a password of your choice.
Log-in details can be given to other teachers/students for poem submission in class/at home.
Log-in as many times as necessary during the competition period.
Teachers can view progress by monitoring the number and content of entries.
Individual entries are accepted if the school is not participating or a child is home schooled. Parent needs to complete the registration form with their contact details. Please indicate 'individual entry' under school name and home postal address under school address.
Invoice for the entry fee will be sent to the registered email address within 2 weeks.
‘Participation certificate only’ option available for schools where pre-selection of entries has been carried out. Poems under this option will not be sent to judges, students will still receive participation certificate for their efforts.
Please read the Conditions of Entry before entering. Entries accepted: March 1 to June 30, results announced during early September.
First Insights From The Serious Incident Response Scheme
COTA NSW/Challenger Research Highlights Age Discrimination In The Workforce
- Many employers are unaware of age discrimination in the workforce but are willing to do something about it once it’s been identified.
- Businesses need support to understand how they are tracking, and the steps they can take to improve employment of mature workers.
- Older workers believe a change in attitude by employers would help them financially and emotionally.· There’s a great diversity within mature aged workers.
NSW Government’s Cost Of Living Service
COTA Australia: Policy Alert No 18 Federal Budget 2021
New Research: Having A Say In Aged Care Co-Design
Nurse-Led Home Blood Transfusions Highlight New Trend In Healthcare
- The system used to deliver blood products to the patients was efficient and safe;
- There was less than one percent of adverse reactions, with these reactions not being serious and able to be managed by a registered nurse;
- The gender and age of the patient and their setting (including aged care facilities) was not a barrier to receiving a blood transfusion at home, and did not influence the risk of an adverse reaction.
Young Australians And COVID-19: More Depression And Anxiety, But Less Alcohol-Related Harm
World First From Australian University: New Drug To Halt Dementia After Multiple Sports Related Head Injuries
Fundamental Advance In Understanding T Cell Immunity
UNSW Researcher Named 2021 Young Tall Poppy
Read more about Orazio Vittorio: 'Science saved my life': one doctor's incredible journey from cancer researcher to cancer survivor
Sugar Overload In Childhood May Be A Recipe For Long-Term Problems
$264 Million Data Centre Approved For Macquarie Park
Less Aviation During The Global Lockdown Had A Positive Impact On The Climate
University Of Adelaide Study Finds Depression 50% Higher In Women With PCOS
New Insights Into Survival Of Ancient Western Desert Peoples
Wildlife Researcher Awarded Forrest Research Foundation Prospect Fellowship
Kookaburras Joined By Children In The Old Gum Tree
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.