__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

winter 2013

Bayside’s spectacular Brighton Dunes BRASCA origins and efforts Autumn birds in Beaumaris

Arid Recovery: protecting threatened species


From the Mayor Welcome to the Winter edition of the Banksia Bulletin.

While we will all spend more time indoors over the cold months, I encourage everyone to get out and about as often as possible to walk off the winter chill and enjoy the tranquillity of our reserves and foreshore this time of year. With the advent of more consistent rain, planting in Bayside’s bushland and foreshore reserves is in full swing and we can all look forward to seeing the new growth and flowers emerge later in the year, just in time for the annual Spring Openings in the heathlands. Earlier this month I was very pleased to open Bayside City Council’s World Environment Day event at the Pantry in Brighton. The topic of the evening was `Think Eat Save’ and was all about educating residents to make sustainable food choices and reduce food wastage at home. Over 80 Bayside residents attended the dinner and heard from Melbourne chefs Geoff Lindsay and Ian Curley, and FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho, about the benefits of eating locally, organic, in season and saving food from going to landfill. On the night we launched Council’s new `Home Harvest’ produce gardening

booklet. I encourage you to pick up your free copy and start producing sustainable food in your own backyard. I was also privileged to speak at the Beaumaris Conservation Society’s 60th anniversary celebration event. You can read more about the Society’s past campaigns and its celebration on page 14 of this publication. Speaking of anniversaries, five of our Friend groups are celebrating more than 20 years of volunteering in Bayside’s bushland reserves this year. Friends of Donald MacDonald Reserve, Friends of George Street Reserve, Friends of Long Hollow Heathland, Friends of Gramatan Avenue Heathland and Friends of Bay Road Heathland Sanctuary were all established by dedicated Bayside residents in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Other Friends groups will also be celebrating significant milestones in the next year. What they contribute is truly inspiring and the Bayside community is fortunate to have this group of dedicated people who help conserve our heathland and coastal vegetation.

program, ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders for Sustainability.’ These budding environmental leaders are the first Bayside students to participate in the 26 hour schools program. Stay warm and safe over winter and don’t forget to use those fallen leaves in your compost. Cr Stephen Hartney Mayor Bayside City Council

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Sandringham College and Stella Maris Primary School students for their completion of Council’s environmental leadership

Front cover image Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) Photo by Kim Croker Back cover image Native Fuchsia (Correa reflexa) Photo by Pauline Reynolds

2

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


In this ISSUE Special features

Other articles Handle WIth Care

4

Sydney’s Castlecrag  and Melbourne’s George Street Reserve

6

The Curious Case of  the Bare Apricot Tree

7

Rob Saunders

5 8 10 12

Autumn Birds in Beaumaris Moria Longden

Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association Origins and Efforts Valerie Tarrant

Valerie Tarrant

Lucy Farmer

Winter at the Sanctuary

11

Beaumaris Conservation  Society Celebrates 60

14

Volunteers Needed

15

A Baby Blue-tongue  Surprise

16

Ricketts Point Landside  – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

17

Home Harvest

18

Life Towers 

19

Kids Corner

20

The Value of Mature  Trees to our Birdlife

21

Working Bee Calendar

22

Raymond V Lewis OAM

Geoffrey Goode

Ian O’Loughin

Bayside’s Spectacular Brighton Dunes Jenny Talbot

Sue Raverty

Michael Norris and Barbara Jakob

Arid Recovery: Protecting Threatened Species Alan Sherlock

Liam Bucknell 

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

3


A flowering Horny cone-bush Photo by Eric in SF

Handle With Care The Horny cone-bush (Isopogon ceratophyllus) is one of Bayside’s most prickly plants. A small shrub about half a metre high and wide, it is usually shaped like a ball with spines pointing out in all directions. Each leaf divides in three, then three again, and again… making 27 spines per leaf! In my mind it’s the ‘Echidna plant’, but when they named it, botanists decided the leaves looked like deer’s antlers, hence ceratophyllus (antler-leaved). A bright red bud which opens to an equally stunning yellow flower sits at the centre of the prickly ball.

4

Research at Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens suggests Proteaceae species like Isopogon need fire to regenerate, because very high proportions of seeds, and seedlings, are consumed by insects in unburnt areas. At Long Hollow Reserve, only two Isopogons remain from the first flora survey undertaken by the Friends back in 1984, and no new plants have regenerated naturally in the last 30 years. So it was with much gratitude and tremendous pleasure that we recently planted three wellestablished potted Isopogons and several smaller tube-stock supplied by the Community Nursery. Long may they grow! Rob Saunders Friends of Long Hollow

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

A budding Isopogan ceratophyllus Photo by Pauline Reynolds


Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea) Image courtesy of JJ Harrison

Superb Blue-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Photo by Kim Croker

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) Photo by Kim Croker

Autumn Birds in Beaumaris The following records the random bird sightings which have been made locally during the last 3 months. The beach path on top of the cliffs beside the sea is a good place to find birds, as are the bushland areas. The first birds in autumn are usually Silvereyes, Grey Fantails, Eastern Spinebills, Mistletoebirds, followed by Golden Whistlers, Little Corellas, Pied Currawongs, Black-faced Cuckoo, Shrikes and sometimes a Spring-cheeked Honeyeater. The greatest delight for this viewer is to find Flame Robins (Petroica phoenicea). Banding studies in the past have revealed that some birds migrate from Tasmania across Bass Strait to arrive on our southern coasts in autumn. The males are spectacular. This year I have only seen grey uncoloured birds, probably females or juveniles. Small birds, usually on the ground or in low foliage, the males are unmistakable, but the others revealed white outer feather on their tails and a broken white band on their wings.

In May, some years back we would regularly see the Goshawk, the Grey Shrike-thrush and the Swift Parrot. The latter were attracted to a flowering red Iron-bark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) in my back garden. They were driven out by large numbers of the very aggressive Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) when they arrived in Beaumaris a few years ago. Birds of prey have also been recently seen in Bayside. A Black-shouldered Kite was seen from Elwood Canal to Parkdale foreshore. Friends volunteer Kim Brijer also saw a Hobby (Falco longipennis) perched near the Beaumaris Life Saving Club. Then on May 29th, at our Friends of Watkins Bay working bee, we were delighted to see a Hobby fly past along the shore-line where we were working near Reserve Road drain.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

On May 1st I personally had an excellent close view of a Sparrowhawk (Accipiler species) perched on the edge of the cliff opposite 460 Beach Rd. Now why would a Sparrowhawk be perched out in the open on top of a cliff? Perhaps he was waiting to swoop down on a solitary Hoary-headed Grebe which was swimming below. I apologise for not mentioning the resident birds which give us so much pleasure all year round such as Brown Thornbills, Whitebrowed Scrubwrens, Superb FairyWren, Spotted Pardalotes, Tawny Frogmouths to name a few. Try to learn the bird’s calls because it makes them easier to find. Moria Longden Coordinator Friends of Watkins Bay

5


Sydney’s Castlecrag and Melbourne’s George Street Reserve Castlecrag situated on Sydney’s North Shore, is remarkable for the survival of bushland close to busy Edinburgh Road and Middle Harbour. The crag itself, high up above Tower Reserve, supports local trees and wildflowers, including Heath (Epacris longifolia) and Flannel Flowers (Actinotus helianthi) which flourish among the boulders.

Walter Burley Griffin

in 1912

The suburb is the brainchild of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin who are well known in Australia for their role in the design of Canberra. In a remarkable initiative, Griffin formed the Greater Sydney Development Association and gained an option over the Castlecrag, Castle Cove and part of Middle Cove areas in 1919. His objective was to create suburbs in harmony with the local bushland. The Griffins settled in Castlecrag in the mid-twenties and turned their delight in the local flora into efforts to ensure its conservation. Griffin wrote that ‘landscape should be accorded the respect due to a highly developed and perfected organism’ in the journal of The Wildlife Preservation Society. Today Griffin’s vision lives on in the projects undertaken by those his teachings have inspired.

Like Castlecrag, Georg e St Reserve is a suburban area in harmo ny with nature

Heathland, such as the Native Fuschia (Correa reflexa) and Golden Guinea Flower (Hibberta species). The many visitors to the Reserve enjoy the pleasant walk along the track from Tulip Street to the new planting.

The George Street Reserve holds some features in common with Castlecrag, notably its character as an area of local flora.

For more information on the Griffin’s and Castlecrag visit castlecrag.org.au

Like Castlecrag, ‘George Street’ is part of a suburban landscape with houses close by, and has attracted an enthusiastic Friends Group.

Valerie Tarrant Joint Co-ordinator Friends of the George Street Reserve

Current work includes the clearance of Coastal Tea Tree (Leptospermun laevigatum) in an area adjoining the firebreak and an earlier planting. Friends have also enjoyed working with dedicated members of the Citywide Bush Crew in planting indigenous to the local

6

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


Lucy discovered a Saunders Case moth caterpillar (Metura elongatus) enjoying her apricot tree

The Curious Case of the Bare Apricot Tree Over a few nights a young apricot tree in my Beaumaris backyard was stripped of almost every leaf. I was perplexed. Were possums the culprits? Possums receive bad press in Bayside and are usually the first to frame when our fruit trees get mauled. When I discovered my stricken tree, suspicion fell on the ubiquitous ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus). On closer inspection of the bare branches, I spotted a curious silken cocoon of small sticks dangling in the air. Unlike the discarded cases I had observed in the past, this one was plump and occupied. I plucked it off and was stunned when a few minutes later a boldly-striped, black and orange caterpillar the size of my ring finger partially emerged from the cocoon. I collected a few of the remaining apricot leaves and put the caterpillar in a large jar in the kitchen. That night, equipped with a torch I returned to the tree and discovered a veritable plague of the same caterpillars devouring what was left of the foliage from the safety of their cocoons. I carefully removed each one and added them to the jar.

A Google search and helpful Victoria Museum expert identified the apricot destroyer as Saunders Case moth caterpillar (Metura elongatus). These distinctive looking native creatures construct their tough cocoons from their own silk, interwoven with small twigs and other natural material. They remain inside the cocoons for safety, dangling from trees and fences when inactive, and revealing only the front portion of their bodies when moving about and feeding. For more than six months my caterpillar army thrived in the jar. When the apricot leaves ran out, I introduced others and found the caterpillars happily munched on a variety of native and exotic vegetation. I fully expected them to pupate after a few weeks but research revealed these strange creatures can live for as long as two years as caterpillars, with the females never leaving their protective cases. Only the males emerge to fly off as adult moths in search of females.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

Armed with this knowledge, I decided to release my collection some distance from my recovering apricot tree. I had learned much in the meantime: • The portion of the body that remains inside the cocoon is a dull uniform colour in stark contrast with the vivid, visible part of the caterpillar. • The empty cases are so tough that even knives and scissors struggle to cut through them. • The caterpillars are mainly nocturnal. • They will eat a wide variety of leaves including eucalyptus and wattles species. • They are not generally regarded as fruit pests and should be treated with respect. • They are endlessly fascinating to children. Lucy Farmer Local Resident

7


BRASCA volunteers weeding the foreshore at a working bee

The Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association Origins and Efforts In November 1969, many local residents were shocked to discover a plan to clear the cliff-top vegetation south of Half Moon Bay Black Rock in order to construct a car park. More than two hundred people responded to a call to ‘Save the Trees’ by gathering at the Black Rock Civic Hall. Speakers urged everyone to form an active organisation and present their case to the City of Sandringham Council, Members of Parliament and State authorities. The efforts made to conserve the area proved successful and the car park plan was abandoned. Thus Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association (BRASCA) began its life of more than forty-three years. Keith Tarrant, the first elected President, led the committee for a number of years until he was succeeded by another enthusiastic conservationist – Janet Ablitt. During this changeover BRASCA settled on its twin objectives of first, stopping action that would damage the trees,

8

shrubs and small plants that clothed the foreshore, and second, to undertake planting in order to fill gaps in the vegetation and stop erosion.

Significant Campaigns In the following year Council agreed to break up the asphalt in part of the Love Street car park so that BRASCA members could plant two stretches of native trees. Members of the Sandringham Junior Chamber of Commerce joined them at the work party. The efforts proved successful and many of the trees are still thriving. A second campaign resulted from the dumping of quantities of rubbish on the foreshore close to the end of Harold Street Sandringham. Finally a resident wrote to the Minister of Health complaining of the health hazard caused by the rubbish and the Minister stopped the dumping.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


The Bayside Environment Friends Network (BEFN) has been on Facebook, sharing information, events, stories and photos about the local area, for more than 2 years now.

The Little Beach south of Half Moon Bay became the centre of another controversy to oppose a Council initiative to reclaim land. BRASCA and the Port Phillip Conservation Council argued that many people loved the beach and enjoyed swimming and snorkelling over the rocks. Dr Eric Bird at the University of Melbourne presented evidence in favour of retaining the area as it was before the initiative. Photographs and reports appeared on the front pages of the daily newspapers, and finally the Honourable Bill Borthwick ordered the Council to stop the dumping and to remove the rubble. This proved to be a landmark decision.

We would like to make our Facebook page even better by asking all Facebook users to contribute to the page by sharing their photos and local environmental stories. You can help make the BEFN Facebook page better by • liking the BEFN page and telling your friends about it • clicking “like” when you see a BEFN article on your own Facebook home page • sharing BEFN stories on your own Facebook page

Our Membership BRASCA members have supported conservation-minded candidates in council election campaigns. They have worked in the Sandringham and Bayside Community Indigenous Plant Nurseries, maintained constructive work on the foreshore and continued to enjoy the natural heritage of Bayside. A number of our members have also participated in conservation efforts on other state issues, including the campaigns to ‘Save Lake Pedder’, to prevent sand mining on Fraser Island, to stop damming the Franklin River, to weed out boneseed on Arthur’s Seat and ‘the Hands off the Prom’ campaign of the 1990s. BRASCA members look forward to the maintenance of policies and practice that recognise the value of our bushlands with their precious trees and wildflowers.

• Sharing your photos and local environmental stories by posting them on the BEFN timeline • Commenting on posts on the BEFN page We want our Facebook page to be a forum where everyone can see the latest news, find out about events, learn something new, discuss topics and share their experiences. We hope you will all enter “Bayside Environment Friends Network Facebook” in your search engine and enjoy our page.

Valerie Tarrant First Secretary and long-standing member BRASCA

Sue Raverty Bayside Environment Friends Network Facebook Page

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

9


Boneseed’s (Chrysanthemoides monilifera) huge root system ensures it is a successful invasive weed. Drawing by Jenny Talbot

Brighton Dunes in Autumn It’s May, and we are well into the planting season – conditions are harsh and planting is best done in late autumn and winter to give the plants time to establish themselves before the heat of late spring and summer. As we work to the Bradley Method of Natural Bush Regeneration we plant where natural regeneration won’t take place, for instance at the eroding edges of the sand dunes that are held together by the vegetation. The historic bathing boxes would not be able to survive if the dune system collapsed though interference. It is also significant that Dendy Street Beach is still functioning as a natural beach. It is one kilometre of continuous midden, the longest continuous midden in Port Phillip Bay and is the only natural beach in Elwood/Brighton/Hampton A natural beach so close to an enormous city of over four million people is a treasure to be cherished, and a huge tourist attraction. There are a number of flourishing plant communities in the bushland. The She-oak (Allocasurarina verticillata) and the Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) community once formed a continuous circle around Port Phillip Bay. The early settlers

10

devastated the trees, using them for firewood, tanning and building huts. At the moment the She-oaks are at their finest – the extraordinary long, orange/tan of the dropping inflorescences can be 40-45cm long. They are on the male trees – the females trees develop hard little cones. The She-oaks are dioecious, both male and female. Dioecious trees are ancient trees. As we plant along the fore-dune and the primary dune, we use plants that have been propagated from our own seed pool which have been propagated by the skilful Citywide workers and volunteers at the community plant nursery. This is to preserve the genetic integrity of the area. Dr Jim Willis said he thought our Tea Trees (Leptispermum laevigatum)seemed different from the Tea Trees at Hampton and Sandringham – smaller leaves, lower, and more spreading. Always, as we work, we pick up plastic, Styrofoam, tins, glass, bottles and pull out weeds such as Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera).

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

Our group has worked tirelessly for 19 years to try to ensure that a unique and lovely little beach of natural charm and beauty is saved for those who come after us. Many thanks, always, to Jo Hurse, the suburb team leader of the Bushland Crew. Also to Liam from City Wide, and our volunteers, particularly Elizabeth Owne and Vicky Plousi. Jenny Talbot Coordinator Friends of Brighton Dunes (Dr Jim Willis Reserve)


Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) Photo by K Croker

Red-throated Ascidian (Herdmania momus) Photo by R Lewis

Eleven-armed Star (Coscinasterias muricata) Photo by D Reinhard

Port Jackson Sharks (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) Photo by K Wright

Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) Photo by T Forster

Four-sided Biscuit Star (Tosia magifica) Photo by T Forster

Winter at the Sanctuary In the sanctuary, winter is a time when very few of us venture in for a dive. This time of year the water temperature can get down to around 8 degrees. Without a wet suit about one in six people would die of hypothermia in about 15 minutes at this temperature. Even when in a wet suit, the thought of a trickle of water seeping in is enough to keep a lot of us out of the water. Instead of venturing into the sea, winter is a time when we at Marine Care Ricketts Point begin to think about the spring and autumn ahead and our upcoming programs such as the Winter Solstice Walk and the Summer by the Sea program. It is a time too, to talk about what we have seen or learned over the past year. Among the environmental highlights, the truly beautiful Royal Spoonbill, the Cape Barren Goose, a record number of 140 swans, Eleven-armed Stars abounded, a Great Southern Cuttlefish, a Red Throated Ascidian

and a rare Four-sided Biscuit Star all graced us with their presence this past year. The Port Jackson Shark numbers were also well up and some stayed with us until April. In addition to our environmental highlights, we also had a visit from Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith, enjoyed excellent talks from oceanographer Dr Randall Lee and we heard from Dr Sandy Webb about her Antarctic diving adventure. Marine Care Ricketts Point, partnering with Bayside City Council is also a finalist in this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Award – Clean Beach category for Ricketts Point disability access improvements. All in all, a happy and successful time. Raymond V Lewis OAM Citizen Science Convener Marine Care Ricketts Point inc.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

11


Local Bayside resident Alan Sherlock shares national environmental success story, Arid Recovery

Arid Recovery

Before European occupation the Western Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) was widespread across the southern arid zone of Australia. Foxes, cats and agricultural practices led to their demise. Now they exist naturally only on Bernier and Dorre Islands in the Shark Bay World Heritage area. They have been reintroduced to Arid Recovery and appear to be doing well.

Arid Recovery is a conservation initiative supported by BHP Biliton, the SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the University of Adelaide and the local community. The project seeks to protect an area of land in the South Australian outback and reintroduce locally threatened and extinct species of animals. Arid Recovery was established in 1997 by a young ecologist, John Read, who was working with BHP to monitor how their mine was affecting the environment. Feral and introduced agricultural animals have had a disastrous impact on the fragile ecology of this area and at that time rabbits were in epidemic proportions. To manage this problem, Australia trialled a new rabbit control virus, Calicivirus (or Rabbit

12

Haemorrhagic Disease), on an island in SA, called Roxby Downs. Experiments were conducted on the local rabbit population which soon plummeted to about 1 per square km and the local vegetation ‘heaved a sigh of relief’. John felt that if he was ever going to eliminate feral animals, now was the time to begin. After much negotiation with BHP he was able to secure a small grant to begin building an ‘exclosure’. An exclosure is the opposite of an enclosure, fencing an area of land to exclude animals – in this case introduced species. Trapping occurs inside

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

and outside the reserve every year, always in the same locations. In addition to excluding introduced species, Arid Recovery aims to protect the few remaining species that struggle to survive and to re-introduce species that we know originally called this place home. The results give a good idea how animal numbers are changing, after the foreign predators have been removed. The big success story of Arid Recovery is undoubtedly the Burrowing Bettong (Bettongia lesueur) (top right photo). Similar in some ways to the rabbit, it is a hopping, burrowing, nocturnal animal.


All trapped animals are weighed and recorded. The larger mammals like this Burrowing Bettong are tagged – in this case an ear tag. Some are microchipped. In this way individuals can be followed over their lifetime.

Left: Arid Recovery team members repair the ‘exclosure’ fencing.

Most people consider them to be very cute. Now extinct on the mainland, a small population on offshore islands survived. Twenty were re-introduced into the reserve – now there are about 2,500.

Below: Invasive species such as cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes and wild dogs are trapped inside and outside the exclosure.

While those involved in the project had high hopes for ‘success’, nobody really had any idea what the outcome of the experiment might be.

Photos courtesy of Arid Recovery.

Now, sixteen years later, it is fascinating to see the success of Arid Recovery and begin to understand the complex relationships of plants and animals in this environment. Alan Sherlock Local resident

Right: Herbivores such as rabbits, eat out the vegetation, often destroying the fragile new growth that follows the rain, slowing or preventing regeneration.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

13


Beaumaris Conservation Society Celebrates 60 Bayside is home to one of Victoria’s longest-established conservation organisations. Beaumaris Conservation Society’s founding 60 years ago, in the coronation year of 1953, responded to the beginning of the overall urbanisation of Beaumaris. For the 100 years beforehand, the Bayside area had an urban area, Brighton, in its north. There was much uncleared sandy heathland and bushland in its south, as little was worth clearing for farms, and it was too far from trains to be wanted for housing. Compare that background with today’s cardominated Melbourne metropolis, to which a population bigger than Bayside’s is being added every two years. Will Beaumaris eventually be overwhelmed by relentless increases in housing density? In the Depression years, the Dunlop Rubber Company bought much of the heathland and bushland cheaply. In August 1939 it announced it would relocate its Port Melbourne factory there.

14

The next month, World War II began, and scuttled those plans. The post-war baby boom, and new availability of cars, saw Beaumaris becoming more valuable as a residential area. The Beaumaris Conservation Society – which began as the Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society – pioneered a successful campaign that inspired residents to keep indigenous trees in streets, around homes, and in reserves. The group astutely pointed out that attractively treed land fetched higher prices. It has done that and similar work ever since. The Society proposed and fenced (and from 1960-90 leased and managed) Council’s Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary. It helped save Beaumaris from large coastal intrusions, a 1964 `Oceanarium’ for Ricketts Point, and a 1970s marina near Charman Road. In 2001 it supported the proposed Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. The society has appealed against many residential developments, with some successes. The imminent challenge is Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron’s huge marina proposal, which would, in our opinion, degrade Beaumaris Bay.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

Beaumaris Conservation Society members and guests at the 60th Anniversary Celebration at Beaumaris Community Centre

Our anniversary celebration Five past Presidents attended its 60th Anniversary Celebration, along with Dr Marian Hosking and Mrs Joan Macrae, relatives of the first four Presidents, who cut the 60th birthday cake Sally Stewart kindly made. There were two guest speakers, Mr Murray Thompson, MLA for Sandringham; and Cr Stephen Hartney, Mayor of Bayside. Mrs Patricia Sinclair, Treasurer (1955-57), was voted unanimously to become the tenth-ever Honorary Life Member. The Society happily celebrated its 60 years of work including; highlighting the environmental value of the Bayside area, and advocating for neighbourhoods in harmony with fine coastal landforms, indigenous trees and bushland, and open space. Geoffrey Goode Treasurer Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc.


Volunteers Needed for Bayside Planting Events 28 July National Tree Day This National Tree Day, Bayside City Council, Citywide and ‘Friends of’ groups will host two plantings from 10am to noon. Over 1,000 indigenous trees, ground covers, grasses, shrubs and climbers will be planted to improve the overall diversity of the Sandringham foreshore. Volunteers can meet at two locations: • Melways ref: 76 F8 (parking in carpark B6) • Melways ref: 76 E8 (parking in carpark B8) Please contact Jo Hurse from Citywide for more information on 9283 2052.

3 August Friends of Native Wildlife planting Friends of Native Wildlife will host its annual planting event at the Sandringham Driving Range on Saturday 3 August. The group is working to bring the Common Bronzewing Pigeon back to South East Melbourne. Meeting at the corner of Talinga Rd and George Street, Sandringham, this event runs from 10am to noon. Please contact Jo Hurse from Citywide for more information on 9283 2052.

y Council, Citywide Please join Bayside Cit r’s National Tree yea this at rs and voluntee Day Planting event

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

15


Immature Blue-tongue Photo courtesy of Peripitus

A Baby Blue – Tongue Surprise We found this little Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) when we were hand-weeding at a Balcombe Park working-bee last April. He was trying to hide in the bottom of a Poa Grass but we carefully lifted him out to get a closer look. Andrew from Citywide held him in his gloved hand, but after a while the lizard got a bit cranky and tried to bite us, so he was quickly released back under some bushes. Andrew said that it’s great to see baby Blue-tongues because it means the adults are still able to breed and reproduce, which bodes well for their numbers in the future. Ian O’Loughin Friends of Balcome Park

w found this baby Ian and Citywide cre me Park working bee co Bal a at e Blue-tongu

Bayside Community Nursery The Bayside Community Nursery is located at 319 Reserve Road in Cheltenham and is open to the public from 10am to 12noon on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Nursery propagates local indigenous heathland species to provide trees, shrubs and ground covers to revegetate both the remnant heathland, coastal environment and suburban gardens. Planting indigenous vegetation in public and private gardens is encouraged as these plants are naturally suited to our environment and do not require fertilisers, pesticides or regular watering. Indigenous plants also create habitat for local native birds, butterflies and other animals, and preserve the natural heritage of Bayside’s environment now and for future generations. For more information please contact Erika Anderson at the nursery on 03 9583 8408.

16

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


2006: Look at the difference a few years and many committed volunteers can make to improve an area for Bayside’s precious flora and fauna

2010

2008

2012

Ricketts Point Landside Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Before 2006 the area of Ricketts Point Landside, directly opposite the Teahouse, looked like parkland consisting of standalone Coast Banksia trees surrounded by an exotic lawn. At best it was a formal garden bordered by low quality indigenous vegetation. Our first step in tackling the restoration of this site was to spray herbicide on the grass around the bases of the trees and plant out the sprayed area with indigenous grass species. In 2008 we used fallen Banksia boughs to form borders around the vegetation beds to protect the plants from accidental mowing and to provide protection for the roots of the trees. The borders also helped protect the public from falling limbs.

By 2010 we had moved the log borders further away from the trunks to allow room for planting larger understorey plants. The area still looked like parkland with informal garden beds and lawn. In 2012 the vegetation beds were again expanded using limbs and trunks of recently fallen Banksias. The grass was replaced by woodchip mulch and porous granitic sand paths. The mulched areas were planted out with grasses, Kidney Weed (Dichondra repens) and Pig Face (Carpobrotus rossii). Today, most of the site is covered in a biodiverse mixture of indigenous plants such as grass species, Bower Spinach, Seaberry Saltbush, Coast Saltbush, White Correa, Slender

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

Velvet Bush, Boobialla, Coast Daisy Bush, Coast Tea-tree, Coast Wattle, Drooping Sheoak and our signature plant Coast Banksia. We now need new volunteers to help our ageing volunteers with planting and weeding to ensure continuing restoration of this wonderful area at Ricketts Point Landside. To learn more about Ricketts Point Landside and of volunteering opportunities, please come along to one of our working bees, dates of which can be found on the last page of this publication. Sue Raverty Coordinator Friends of Ricketts Point Landside

17


Help is on the way.... Bayside’s Home Harvest food gardening handbook has arrived. Bayside City Council would like to announce ‘Home Harvest,’ our very first home produce gardening booklet. Have you been thinking about starting a produce garden in your at home? Do you want to learn a few tricks of the trade, or spruce up your tired backyard patch? Are you interested in learning about different methods for reducing food waste from going to landfill?

a guide to growing you own delicious fresh food. The book details important information for gardening beginners and those in need of a refresher such as, planning, irrigating, planting seasons, crop rotation and growing produce in Bayside’s sandy soils.

Have we got the book for you?!

This 60 page booklet is the perfect addition to any gardener’s tool kit.

Bayside City Council has teamed up with Sustainable Gardening Australia to produce “Home Harvest”

Pop into Bayside City Council offices in Sandringham to pick up your free copy.

Get the Banksia Bulletin via email! If you would like to receive the next edition of the Bulletin by email please write to the Banksia team at banksia@bayside.vic.gov.au 18

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


Life Towers providing refuge for wildlife around the world Starting in Europe, an innovative initiative has spread all over the world and has now found its way into Australia. Faced with the challenge of homeless wildlife, resourceful environmental groups have developed structures for local fauna to make their homes. The project is all about helping wildlife find shelter in our increasingly built-up areas with their limited gardens and impoverished open spaces. In Germany these creations are called ‘life towers’. Typically they are a wooden construction with a 1x1m base and 3m high, filled with all sorts of natural material to attract amphibians, small birds, bugs, wasps and bees. The bottom is filled loosely with stones for lizards. Cracks and hollows allow hedgehogs to raise their young and beetles to go hunting. Further up, branches, leaves and other natural material are loosely stacked for insect habitats. Birdboxes are added. Sometimes climbers are planted around the construction. Life towers can be placed in backyards, on the edge of forests and in reserves or gardens and can provide shelter for insects, birds, bats and many other wildlife.

What should a successful Bayside life tower look like? The City of Nillumbik is putting on a workshop this August led by Kat Irwin, who will show us how to use natural, foraged, recycled and reclaimed materials to make our own insect hotels. In addition to insect hotels, bat and bird boxes could also be incorporated into our Bayside backyards. Similarly rocks would make a good home for lizards, and a sand tray might attract some of native bees and wasps, which need sand free of weeds and trampling to make their burrows. As with any other artificial habitat, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. It can take a year or two for bats, for instance, to use a bat box. All we can do is offer a home to our animals and see how they respond whether in the bush or in our gardens.

Above: Michael’s niece Patricia took this photo of her ‘life tower’ in her garden in England. Notice the bee nests in the lowest drawer. Right: Sketch of a German garden ‘life tower’.

We look forward to sharing and enjoying our experience with you. Michael Norris and Barbara Jakob

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

19


C o s rner d i K

Banksia

7

1

4

6

3

2

1

Colour me in!

5

Match the numbers in the drawing to these colours.

3

7

2

1 5

8 6 8

1

Red

2

Royal blue

3

Bright green

4

Light green

5

Yellow

6

Brown

7

Sky blue

8

Grey

The Rainbow Lorikeet Hi there! My name is Lilly the Rainbow Lorikeet and I love living in Bayside. My look

My home

I am a small, brightly-coloured Australian parrot about 35 centimetres long and weigh 130 grams.

I live in rainforests, open forests, woodlands, parks and orchards up and down the east-coast of Australia, including Bayside. I love travelling and will move from place to place stopping wherever flowering trees and shrubs can be found.

Young Lorikeets have a black beak which brightens to orange as we become adults.

My food While hanging upside down, I use my brush-tipped tongue to eat just about anything I can find – flowers, pollen, nectar, grubs, seeds, insects, fruit, and berries. I spend about 70% of my day eating!

My voice I have a rolling screech call when flying and like to chatter while I eat.

20

My family I feed in flocks of about 20, but sleep with thousands of birds. I also have a mate that I stay with for my entire life, which is about 20 years. I lay eggs in a hollow limb above the ground. I sit on the eggs for 25 days, while my mate fetches food for me. Both of us will find food for the chicks when they are born.

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


Black-shouldered Kite on Sandringham Foreshore

Kookaburra Photo by JJ Harrison

The Value of Mature Trees to our Birdlife Much of Bayside’s foreshore and heathland reserves are dominated by iconic tree species, most notably the Coastal Banksia (Banksia integrifolia), the Drooping She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) and the Coastal Tea-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), among many others. As these species grow they provide shelter for smaller bird species, such as the Superb Fairy Wren (Malurus cyaneus) and Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus). They also produce pollens and nectars on which Little Wattlebirds (Anthochaera chrysoptera) and other honeyeaters feed, and provide seeds for parrot species. Though the young trees play a crucial role in providing shelter and food for our birdlife, some of the most crucial roles they play in our heathland and coastal ecosystems only become evident as the trees grow older, reaching larger sizes and begin to die off. Coastal Banksia in particular reach a stage when hollows begin to form.

Hollows appear when branches fall off and leave a scar, the scar then grows in size as insects, fungi and other small animals contribute to decay, scratching their way through the old wood within. Even the smallest of hollows will potentially take over 100 years to form, and even longer to grow large enough for bigger animals. Typically hollows are in short supply and are in high demand. Because of the short supply, bird species such as the Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) can be hard pressed to secure a suitable hollow. It is therefore very important to retain these old growth specimens. When the Coastal Banksia, Coastal Tea-tree, Drooping She-oak and

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

others, reach their final life stages they provide perfect perches from which predatory birds can observe the ground below. These birds vary from insectivorous Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) to larger carnivorous Grey Butcherbirds (Crocticus torquatus), Laughing Kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus axillaris) as well as various owl and duck species. These trees are the lifeblood of many bird species and their prey, and are integral to our heathland and coastal ecosystems. Liam Bucknell Bushland Crew Citywide

21


Working Bee Calendar MELWAY REF

CONTACT DETAILS

Friends of Balcombe Park

86 C4

Coordinator: Joan Couzoff Phone: (03) 9589 1060

Friends of Bay Road

77 B11

Coordinator: Michael Norris Phone: (03) 9521 6879 Email: menorris@ozemail.com.au

FRIENDS/ENVIRO GROUPS

Bayside Environmental Friends Network

Coordinator: Barbara Jakob Mobile: 0408 032 963 Email: baysidefriends@gmail.com

Bayside Bushwalking Club (Charman to Cromer Rds, Beaumaris)

Contact: Jo Hurse (Citywide) 9283 2052

Bayside Community Nursery

77 D12

Beaumaris Conservation Society

President: Ron Morris PO Box 7016, Beaumaris 3193 Email: info@bcs.asn.au

Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association

President: Bob Whiteway Phone: (03) 9502 0060 Email: bobwhiteway@optusnet.com.au

Friends of Brighton Dunes

76 C2

Co-ordinator: Jenny Talbot Phone: (03) 9592 2109

Friends of Cheltenham Park

86 G1

Coordinator: Valerie Tyers Phone: (03) 9588 0107 Email: valerietyers@hotmail.com

Cheltenham Primary School Sanctuary Friends of Donald MacDonald Reserve

Contact: Cheryl Clark Phone: (03) 8585 3200 Email: cheltenham.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

86 B6

Enviro Kids

Coordinator: Kim Croker Phone: (03) 9589 2443 Email: kcroker@bigpond.net.au Enquiries to Barbara Jakob Phone: 0408 032 963

Friends of George Street Reserve

86 B1

Coordinator: Val Tarrant Phone: (03) 9598 0554 Email: vtarrant@ozemail.com.au. Coordinator: Pauline Reynolds Phone: (03) 9598 6368 Email: pauline.reynolds@bigpond.com

Friends of Gramatan Avenue Heathland

86 C6

Coordinator: Ken Rendell Phone: (03) 9589 4452

Friends of Long Hollow Heathland

86 D5

Coordinator: Ken Rendell Phone: (03) 9589 4452

Friends of Merindah Park & Urban Forest

77 B12

Coordinator: David Cockburn Phone: (03) 9598 6148 Email: davidcoc@optusnet.com.au

Marine Care Ricketts Point Inc

86 C9

Phone: (03) 9589 4452

Friends of Native Wildlife

Coordinator: Michael Norris Phone: (03) 9521 6879 Email: Bayfonw@hotmail.com

NED (New Environment Directions) at Elsternwick Park

Coordinator: Neil Blake, Port Phillip EcoCentre Phone: (03) 9534 0413 Email: neilblake.ecocentre@iinet.net.au

Friends of Ricketts Point Landslide

86 C9

St. Leonards College Conservation Group

22

Contact: Erika Anderson 319 Reserve Road, Cheltenham 3192 Phone: (03) 9583 8408 Open Thurs and Sat 10am – 12pm

Coordinator: Sue Raverty Phone: (03) 9589 2103 Email: sraverty@westnet.com.au Contact: Luisa Ingram Phone: (03) 9909 9300 Email: Luisa.Ingram@stleonards.vic.edu.au

Friends of Table Rock

86 E10

Coordinator: Ken Rendell Phone: (03) 9589 4452

Friends of Watkins Bay

86 D9

Coordinator: Moira Longden Phone: (03) 9589 2725

banksia bulletin — winter 2013


July, August, September 2013 TIME

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

10am – noon

28

25

29

10am – noon

13

10

14

4.30 – 6.00pm

29

26

23

Contact Jo Hurse (Citywide) 9283 2052

Editorial Policy The purpose of publishing the Banksia Bulletin is to circulate information, report on events, and to profile relevant environmental issues important to our community. The Bulletin is also published to support the network of people involved in enjoying and protecting our local environment. Bayside City Council encourages people from our local community groups to submit articles of interest, share experiences and news about any upcoming events. All articles are reviewed prior to publication and Council reserves the right to omit or edit submissions.

10am – noon

10am – noon

2, 16

6, 20

3, 17

8am – 10am

2, 9, 16, 23, 30

6, 13, 20, 27

3, 10, 17, 24

10am – noon

7

4

8

3

8 8

9am – noon Contact School 9583 1614

Acknowledgements Thank you to all the people who have contributed to this issue of Banksia Bulletin. Disclaimer The views expressed in the Banksia Bulletin are not necessarily those of Bayside City Council nor its representatives. Editor Simon Hill, Manager Environmental Sustainability & Open Space. Content Coordinator Triér Murphy Sustainability Promotions Officer.

10am – noon

7

4

9.30am – 11.30am

3

25

10am – noon

21

18

15

Summer 2013 8 November for early December release

1pm – 3pm

7

4

8

1pm – 3pm

28

25

29

Banksia Bulletin is published quarterly by Bayside City Council to service people interested in enjoying and protecting the local environment.

Copy deadlines 2013 Spring 2013 8 August for early September release

10am – noon

9.30am 12.30pm – 2pm 1pm – 3pm

16

20

17

12.30pm – 2.30pm

30

27

24

10am – noon

31

28

25

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

If you would like to be added to the Banksia Bulletin mailing list, please contact Bayside City Council on 9599 4444 or email: banksia@bayside.vic.gov.au Please indicate whether you would prefer to receive your Banksia Bulletin by post or via email. Corporate Centre PO Box 27 Royal Avenue SANDRINGHAM VIC 3191 Telephone: 9599 4444 www.bayside.vic.gov.au banksia@bayside.vic.gov.au Hours of business 8.30am – 5pm Monday – Friday (except public holidays)

23


Do you want to know more about Bayside and the Banksia Bulletin? Please refer to our website

www.bayside.vic.gov.au/ environment_banksia_bulletin

24

banksia bulletin — winter 2013

Profile for Banksia Bulletin

Banksia Bulletin winter 2013  

Banksia Bulletin winter 2013  

Advertisement