Harrison Warne photography workshop

Harrison Warne is going from strength to strength as a photographer and filmmaker and we have a few places left for his workshop on Wednesday 28th February

Try the link to book your place: Harrison Warne Workshop

Harrison’s photo of the Gheko won a National Geographic competition earlier this year and he wants to share soem of his secrets and tips to help you take better photographs of all our amazing wildlife. Focus on Macro……


Mini Blue Tide

An unusual mini Blue tide after the stormy seas earlier this week,only 3 Bluebottles ,11  Porpita,13 tiny Glaucus sp. [blue sea slug],a few Violet snails [Janthina ] and the tiniest Velella I have ever seen.

Porpita porpita has a disc like float & marginal tentacles for feeding.

Porpita …underside

These creatures living on the surface of the water are called neuston.Most are countershaded blue so when viewed by predators in the air they look deep ocean blue and from underneath they appear silvery.


Glaucus atlanticus   ….ventral surface up when floating.

Glaucus atlanticus ..dorsal view ,floats upside down




Another tiny creature washed ashore sometimes called a sea lizard sea slug creeps along the sea surface upside down  & feeds on Velella & Physalia.





Underside of Janthina ..showing its” Bubble raft” secreted from the foot. They also feed on the Bluebottles.









Physalia physalis….apparently some colonies have their floats aligned 45*left of the wind and others at 45* to the right so that not all will be stranded together.This one must have been an unlucky one !

Velella     By the Wind Sailor

Velella velella   has a disc shaped float which has feeding tentacles round the margin & a sail on top. 


Snorkelling Snippets

Snorkelling is beautiful now that the water is about 22*C,so for those of you who don’t venture into this fascinating underwater world here is a small selection of some of the sights we see ,it is quite addictive !

Thank you to Libby & Rick for some of the photos and we’d welcome others to add to the gallery.

Magpie Perch…..Cheilodactylus nigripes

Stripey…..Microcanthus strigatus


Gloomy Octopus…… Octopus tetricus

Stingray…..Dasyatis brevicuadata

Jewel Anemones …Corynactis australis

Waratah Anemones …..Actinea tenebrosa

Baked Bean Anemone…Phlyctenactis tuberculosa

Feather Duster worm…Sabellastarte australiensis

8 Armed Seastar..Meridiastra calcar

Sand or Shellgrit Anemone …Oulactis muscosa

White Ear….Parma microlepis

Sea Horse…Hippocampus abdominalis

Blue dragon ….Pteraeolida ianthina

Octopus ” garden “

Bennett’s Nudibranch…..Hypselodoris bennetti

Sea star….Uniophora granifera

11 Armed Seastar….Cosciniasterias muricata

Stingaree …Trygonoptera testacea

Sea Tulips …Pyura sp.

We welcome donations to support our work

Maratus Sapphirus a new species of Peacock Spider, found by Helen Ransom, named and photographed by Stuart Harris 2016 at the Atlas of Life/Four Winds BioBlitz

The Atlas of Life exists to bring people closer to the wonders of the nature that surrounds us in our beautiful region.

We are a community project that relies on the interest and expertise of a large community of people giving their time as volunteers to work we enjoy and feel is meaningful.

We spend our time creating activities and building our database rather than applying for lots of grants(the ratio of applicants to success in being awarded a grant for all environmental/science grants is around 5% these days). However we could do much more if we had more resources, so we welcome donations small and large to assis our efforts.

On October 11th 2017 we became a Registered Environmental Organisation with Deductable Gift Recipient(DGR) status. This allows donors to claim tax relief on the amount of their donation.

If you would like to make a donation please use our Atlas of Life Public Fund Account which is

BSB: 032 704    Account number: 222 206

Please also let us have a name and email so we may send you a tax receipt.

A Weedy Walk along the Shore

These Seaweeds or Marine Macroalgae were strewn on our local shores after the recent storms.

There are 3 main groups ,reds,greens & browns ,sometimes hard to distinguish when some of the browns look green & vice versa. If you’d like information on the seaweeds & sea grasses there is a small booklet called “Marine Macroalgae & Sea Grasses of the Bega Valley”  produced by BVSC.

After the Rains

I know this is under the heading of Creature Feature so I have included the Hooded & Red Capped Plovers that feast on the tiny arthropods in the weed & also use the  weed for shelter.

Hooded Plovers & dried Phyllospora

Red Capped Plover

Neptune’s Necklace….Hormosira banksii

Sea Lettuce… Ulva sp.

Sea Tulip and a Sea Grass [green]..Pyura sp & Posidonia

Red Algae …Amphiroa anceps [?] amongst Phyllospora

Sargassum Weed

Atlas of Life/NatureMapr AGM

The Atlas of Life meeting, AGM and Christmas Lunch will take place on Tuesday 12th December from 10:30pm at the LLS Offices at Bega(above the Shopping Centre). Everyone is welcome.

Please find attached 2016 AGM minutes, 2017 AGM Agenda and a Committee Nomination Form

Atlas teamwork at its best!
Scene from this year’s BioBlitz

Cmtee Nomination Form ALCW AGM 2017 Agenda Atlas Chair’s report 2017

Wild Pollinator Count on now! 12 – 19th November


It starts today! The national Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. We invite you to count wild pollinators in your local environment and help us build a database on wild pollinator activity. This count happens every year and lasts one week only.

Scarab beetle photo Max Campbell


Reed Bee photo Michael McMaster

You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in our count week.

  • You don’t need to be an insect expert.
  • You don’t need fancy gear.
  • You may be surprised by what you see!


There are instructions, a tally sheet and a really good identification resource to help you.

Here we are asking you to help us with research on the rare Merimbula star-hair(Astrotricha sp. Wallagaraugh)

plant. There are numbers of these around Tura Beach and into Bournda National Park. Can you find one of these and do a pollinator count on it? Scientists have no information on its main pollinators, what kind of insects or birds that may be important, so your records will be very valuable to the Save Our Species team.

Merimbula star-hair photo Steve Burrows

Merimbula star-hair photo Steve Burrows

Merimbula star-hair photo Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows a local naturalist tells us that the flowering period for the Merimbula star-hair is weeks 42 – 50 or around mid-October to mid-December. We will be grateful for any observations of pollinators on these plants at any time…Please add your records to Naturemapr.


Little Terns & other Beach Nesting Birds

At last the Little Terns are back at Mogareka to breed .Every summer these tiny seabirds come from eastern Asia & northern Australia to this area to nest & raise chicks before flying away again in February or March.

They are endangered because they nest on beaches and are  disturbed by people ,dogs,foxes & goannas….we see footprints of all.Sea gulls & Ravens also predate the eggs if the birds leave their nest [a scrape in the sand ].

If you like to be involved with Shorebird monitoring please let us know.


Little Terns with Non Breeding LT 

Red Capped Plover

Red Capped Plover distracting behaviour

Pied Oystercatcher already has a chick & has bred in the same location as previous years

Hooded Plovers foraging & at this stage avoiding parental responsibility !

Sooty Oystercatcher.. usually breed on rocky platforms

Courting Caspians
Thank you to Leo for the photo & sighting.

Tideline & Beyond

One walk ,one beach & this is only a selection of sightings.

Humpback Whale breaching

Sea Urchin showing Aristotle’s lantern


Egg casing of Cartrut Shells

Violet snail with Goose Barnacle passengers


A face only a mother could love…Porcupine Fish ?

Common Diving Petrel [ bill & cobalt blue legs ]

Pied Oystercatcher JE[ last season lost his foot due to fishing line ]

Goose Barnacle view of the beach

Pig Face

Red Capped Plover..preening

BLUE a new film about our oceans, and what we can do to help

The Ocean – mother of life on our planet – big problems but opportunities for us to make a difference. Join us for this exciting screening on Sunday November 5th in Merimbula, Saturday November 4th Narooma. Stunning footage from great filmmakers and a Q & A session after the screening. Have a look at the trailer for BLUE