Atlas of Life planning meeting

It has been a roller coaster year with so many things happening, including two Bioblitzes in six months!

We had outr AGM last week and all agreed it is time to take stock of what we have achieved and consider what goals we set ourselves and what project we would like to undertake in the next year/18 months.

We would very much like your contributions to this discussion, so please join us at Bournad Environmental Education Centre on December 9th at 3pm, or, if you can’t make that, please send ideas and comments to Libby at :

Marine Discovery Centre Networking – Island Style

Each year representatives from Marine Discovery Centre’s Australia get together  for an annual Marine Discovery Centre conference.


At these conferences like minded Marine Educators meet up and over a period of two to three days discuss ideas, give presentations about their own centres, hear interesting talks and share experiences.   It is an excellent opportunity to see how other Marine Discovery centres around Australia operate and to meet the diverse and energetic group of people who work at them.

PA170219Each year one of the centers’ will host the conference and this year, it was set in the rather awesome location of Thursday Island, Queensland. Set at almost the tippy top of our continent, our Host Tim Hillier , Head of Land and Sea, Tagai College, held an impressive meeting at the school he works at which houses his Marine Discovery Centre , called the Torres Strait Land and Sea Discovery Centre

Tim boated us around just a few of the 244 spectacular islands that make up the Torres Straits which included Prince of Wales Is, Horn Island, Friday Island and of course Thursday Island itself. We had a chance to dive a few stunning coral ribbon reefs, lunch on pristine sands while conducting ‘reccies’ for future outdoor activities for Tim’s students, conduct a marine debris clean up and check out some of the local wildlife and nightlife. Of course there was the more serious side of business such as presentations about The Great Barrier reef, turtle and dugong management in the area and general fisheries management. We had a chance to tour Tim’s school and check out the marine discovery centre he is in charge of and meet some students.


All in all this years’ conference proved to be once again highly successful as an informative learning session and sharing of thoughts, new concepts and designs. Set in a beautiful location we were treated to some amazing scenery, made new friends and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say we all came back with heads full of new ideas ready to implement into our own centres.

The annual Marine Discovery Centre conferences are made possible with a grant by the FRDC (Fisheries Research & Development Corporation).


Help to ID this bird

Fiona has seen this bird but is unsure of the identification. She thinks it may be a restless flycatcher. Can anyone out there help? what do you think it is.

Congratulations for getting the photos, it is never easy and these are good enough to help.IMG_1161 IMG_1137

Great koala find at the Bioblitz

Chris Allen from NPWS led three teams to search for koala scat at the Mimosa Rocks Bioblitz. They had planned three surveys each on Friday and Saturday, but decided, in spite of finding nothing, to go out for a last look before the Bioblitz ended. Just before they finished their last transects, two of the teams found koala scat.

This was very exciting for everyone, as until Saturday no koalas had been recorded as living on the east of the road near Gillards.

Someone had made a video of a male koala seen on the road several weeks ago, so these surveys were to try and find evidence of koalas living in this area.


As Chris said, “so often these surveys are influenced by the “Great Koala” in the sky”, and they were priviledged to find this definitive evidence.

Chris has this message for his volunteers,

“The finding of koala pellets of varying ages at the last two sites of the survey makes an important contribution to knowledge of the distribution of the coastal forests koala population and will help its conservation. A big thankyou to every volunteer; each tree that was searched brought us one tree closer to the ones that had the pellets, they would not have been found without your help.”



Deb Morgan, Toby Hulf, Roger Park, Mark Lems – one of the successful teams with their prizeAustralia_NSW_Koala__6d0e4f77ae56493cb31b2e52871a29c3 IMGP0149

Painted Button quail

This Painted Button-quail was startled while wandering around a Tura Beach garden and flew into a window. Stunned, it rested over half an hour before continuing…10523999_748086301937244_5665757467818847462_n

Christmas Celebration dinner

It’s that time of year again and we would like to get together in your good company to celebrate.

David Gallan will be presenting in video and still images a celebration of our local National Parks and how they were created.

We are so fortunate that a bunch of far sighted and determined people worked very hard to get so much of our coast and landscape designated as National Parks. Because of their efforts we have such a wonderful playground. Their legacy is our and our grandchildren’s continuing joy and treasure.

We will be celebrating the Mimosa Rocks Bioblitz in an exhibition of photographs and lists of what we found and will be displaying the spectacular winners of our 2014 photography competition.

Sally and Anthony and their team will be preparing us a great seasonal dinner at the Merimbula Wharf Restaurant and the Aquarium will be open.

Tickets $40 each. from 5:30 to 9:30pm Wednesday 10th December. Numbers are limited so call Alan soon Phosphorescent sea pen, close-up of poplyps and eggson 64950917 to reserve your places.

Scarlet Honeyeaters for the first time

Chris Polglase managed to photograph these lovely Scarlet honeyeaters at his property at Tanja. He says there were about 10 of them. Perhaps others will be lucky enough to see them during the Bioblitz.

Thanks for the photos Chris._MG_9049_2 _MG_8795_2

David Jones is looking for a photographer/recorder

We are very fortunate that David Jones heeded our request for ore botanists to join the Mimosa Rocks Bioblitz this week-end.

He plans to explore the northern side of Nelsons Lagoon and then a grassy woodland near Gillards. If time permits he will check out a patch of rainforest near Bithry!

So it sounds like a really good flora search and David would like a volunteer to walk with him and record what is found.

Anyone who is interested in this opportunity please contact Libby : 02 6495 0917


Large Tongue Orchid

Taken with a Nikon Coolpix L25 compact, in our garden at Dalmeny. I couldn't resist the beautiful yellow flowers - neither could the bees!

2014 Photocomp Exhibition at Tanja

We are holding the first exhibition of the winners of this year’s photography competition at the Mimosa Rocks Bioblitz, Tanja Hall. David Gallan will present the winners with their prizes at 2:30pm Saturday.

Come and enjoy the spectacular photography of our talented contributors. We had 235 entries, 90 in the hotly contested “Birds” category. boardwalk-birdTaken with a Nikon Coolpix L25 compact, in our garden at Dalmeny. I couldn't resist the beautiful yellow flowers - neither could the bees!