October 13 - 19, 2013: Issue 132

Lion Island Challenge 2013- Tim Jacobs Triumphs Again !

Jeremy Cotter (2nd), Tim Jacobs(1st) and Nathan Baggaley (3rd). Picture by A J Guesdon. 

Avalon SLSC hosted their 8th Lion Island Challenge - Ocean Paddling race on Saturday morning on a glorious day. Over 170 racers paddled on included ocean skis, spec skis, OC's, SUPs, Racing Mals, 12 foot and unlimited paddleboards.  Aged from under 17 to over 60, this is one of the best ocean paddling events there is with participants, helpers and all who support them descending on Station Beach to fill the water with colour and the air with laughter. Full report HERE

 Winners of the 8km Womens 14 Foot and under Stand Up Paddleboard- Terrene Black, Tammy Mongomery and Nikki Gillies. Picture by Mike O'Flynn.

Barrenjoey Headland - A Phoenix Landscape Already Rising 

Native seed pods open at Barrenjoey Headland after recent bushfire. Picture by A J Guesdon, 2013. 

We have not run an article on the bushfire at Barrenjoey Headland on Saturday afternoon, 28th of September because arsonists should not be given the attention they seek. A little therapy is more in order...And... we wanted to wait until the small sprinklings of rains we've had would help the first green shoots to return. They have. For the record, and for our Rural Fire Service Volunteers and those who helped them on this terrible afternoon, and because so many have sent in fantastic photos, we run it this week.

Just yesterday (12.10.2013) a staffer went up the hill to see what may be rising from the blackened earth or have fallen from seed pods which require the heat of a bushfire to open and spill the next generation of Australian bushflowers out. Open they are and the seeds have fallen to earth. 

There were a lot of little flies, drawn in by what has been killed. There were very few birds and only five cicadas sounded out their raucous noise when normally, by this time of year, their chorus may be deafening on the 'Joey.

Little birds are still on the lower part of the headland though, where green pockets were saved by those who fight fires, and a few currawongs sounded, wattle birds flitted and one lone butcher bird imitating a kookaburra sang a glorious song. She shall rise, we live in a phoenix landscape, it is in her DNA. 

Media Releases from the NPWS on upcoming regeneration days for the headland you can put your own hands to and from the NSW Police and RFS this week also point to what will occur should the perpeTRAITOR be caught HERE

Green returning to Barrenjoey - from the ground up. Picture by A J Guesdon. 

Watch Out - Shearwaters Are About 

 Short-tailed Shearwater or Slender-billed Shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris) at Station Beach yesterday (12.10.2013) - exhausted from thousand of miles of Spring Migration. Picture by A J Guesdon.

Short-tailed shearwaters are appearing on our beaches and in our bays at present on their annual migration back to Tasmania. The one above was photographed on Saturday at Station Beach, Barrenjoey.

The Short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostiris - Tasmanian Shearwater) is commonly called the 'mutton bird'. Each year the Short-tailed Shearwater begins a journey of about 15,000 km from the Aleutian Islands back to their nesting grounds in the Bass Strait, Tasmania and other coloines i south east Australia, passing New Zealand and Japan. Unfortunately many get exhausted, usually those on their first migration, and appear in Pittwater each Spring.

WIRES asks people who find an exhausted shearwater or any other seabird that is still alive to call WIRES on 1300 094 737 or contain in a box and take to the nearest vet. Do not attempt to feed or give water, keep it warm and quiet away from pets and children. These birds cannot fend for themselves and could be attacked by dogs and foxes, leaving them to die of horrific injuries.

Short-tailed shearwaters are amongst the worlds' most populous bird species. However mortality rates during migration can be very high.

National Bird Week begins next Saturday (19-25 October 2013), and we have some joyful news for then, and begin this week with two our local Brush–turkey (for Children) and the Short-tailed Shearwater, called mutton bird in Australia as it was food for Indigenous peoples and settlers and still is for some.

 Songs of Joy and Love for the Milami School, Kenya – St Marks, Avalon

 Shelagh Bokenham and U3A The Singers For Joy Choir. Picture by Michael Mannington.

Every year St Mark’s in Avalon holds an annual fundraiser where those attending get to hear some of the best music played in Pittwater. In the past few years a focus on missionary projects in Kenya to uplift, inspire and create self sufficiency has become one project in focus. 

Gregory van der Struik, current Principal Trombone with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, along with wife Kristie, organist extraordinaire, were joined by Shelagh Bokenham and U3A The Singers For Joy Choir accompanied by Maureen Stiles, organist at St Marks in a program that although it was wide ranging in music genres had one constant theme - love. See more HERE

 Haka Visits Hitchcock

Pictures by A J Guesdon, 2013. 

The Avalon Bulldogs hosted the Ngongotaha Chiefs in a friendly match at Hitchcock Park on the holiday Monday (7.10.2013) with matches played between the 15’s and 17’s, which included an almost length of the field try by 17’s Bulldog’s player Oscar Barry – a great afternoon and good bonding session between the next generation for both our countries. Story and pictures HERE