Southern Right Whales……..Baleen & Callosities

Baleen & callosities

There have been more sightings of 2 adults  and 1  calf travelling between Pambula Beach ,MerimbulaWharf and Bournda Island.This one seen from the beach south of Bournda Is. may have been feeding ,we could see it with mouth open and baleen visible [ greyish strands in mouth]. ‘Note the callosities  [like a ‘fingerprint] on its head.

One of the adults cruised off towards the island while the mother and calf stayed around and we actually saw a couple of small breaches [more unusual for the SR whales ]….. if anyone was quick enough with their camera please let us know.

This week – enjoy a half-day sail on a tall ship as part of a marine survey

East Coast Odyssey -Wildiaries are offering a chance to take part in a special survey. See:

Now it’s possible to book for a half day sail $179 from Eden from Wednesday 28th August to Sunday 1st September. At the moment there are whales and bait balls around, so you could have a spectacular sail. 8:00am to 12pm.

Or you could sign up for a longer cruise. see the website above for details.


People with a sense of adventure and a passion for preventing our oceans from becoming a ‘plastic soup’ are wanted to join a unique expedition.

The nature tourism, scientific research and conservation project, East Coast Odyssey, will be the first expedition of its kind to tackle insidious micro-plastics in Australian waters.

A passionate scientist, a tall ship sailor, two new generation garbologists, a beautiful 22m ketch, and a mission, a very important one, will launch in August.

Captain David Nash, one of the project founders, said the East Coast Odyssey was an historic opportunity to take a low-impact holiday, feel the amazing sensation of a wooden ship under sail at sea and contribute to vital research.


The mission, under the supervision of Monash University’s Jennifer Lavers is to collect data on the millions of multi-coloured plastic remnants killing marine wildlife at an alarming rate off Australia’s spectacular east coast.

Mainly Whales – a Marine Society evening with Ros Butt

Friday September 6th, do come and join us to share an evening of stories photos and film with Ros. She and Gordon have been taking out Cat Balou to watch whales all along our coast for over two decades, so she has many stories and images to share.

September will be  the start of this whale watching season, so it’s a good time to learn more from the expert.

As well as listening to Ros, we will show you the great migration routes of the whales and where their journey takes them before and after they pass our homes.

Anthony will provide us with a fine finger food supper and there will be a Whale quiz to test your knowledge.

There is a limit on numbers so please reserve your places in the space at the bottom of this Post or contact Alan Hepburn on: 6495 0917

Australian First for SC Marine Society

Michael McMaster leads the new Climatewatch beach survey at BourndMichael McMaster and Alan Scrymgeour with a Climatewatch survey group at Greencape

At  Saturday’s Bournda Science Expo, Michael McMaster (Sapphire Coast Marine Society) ran the first pilot survey using the new Climatewatch protocols and species guides.

This project will be undertaken across the whole of Australia’s coastline, to gather data about the abundance, absence and change in locations of a set of key species, from birds to jellyfish, seaweeds to shells.

Go to the Marine Society page to have a look at the survey methodolgy, species notes and guidelines and have a look at the Climatewatch website to learn more about the project.

On August 17th and 18th the same survey was undertaken on the rock platforms at Greencape lighthouse.

The  results of the survey can be seen in the Atlas of Life records shortly


Atlas of Life 2nd Birthday newsletter

This National Science Week is the Atlas of Life’s 2nd birthday, so here is a newsletter which tells the story of how this long term biodiversity project has grown.

alcw newsletter web fin  you can read this online or download it to print.

Another great find by Al Broadhurst

A few days ago, Allan Broadhurst gave this strange eel to Michael McMaster to photograph and try and identify. It is now at the Australian Museum with Mark McGrouther who has added Michael’s image to their online collection – see :

Scott's shore eel Alabes scotti








and here is Mark with an earlier interesting catch by Allan.

Science Week fun at Bournda Science Expo

It was a glorious sunny day on Saturday for the first of the Science Week events. there were 174 Registrations for sessions and several activities happening informally as well. The link up with Taronga Zoo and their possums and gliders was awesome and all sessions were fully booked, with “extras” joining in on the day.

The expertise of all the presenters gave us a fascinating range of learning experiences and lots of fun was had by all – you could tell by the busy buzz about the Centre all day.

Many thanks to the scientists and naturalists who gave their time and shared their knowledge with all of us. Many thanks to all the organisation team who helped make the event run smoothly and  for providing the good food and many thanks to everyone who attended and made this such and enjoyable occasion to be part of.

Ali at the Bournda Science Expo Bird Banding session

This event was sponsored by Inspiring Australia as part of the National Science Week and was co-ordinated by the partnership of Bournda Environmental Education Centre, the Atlas of LIfe, the Sapphire Coast Marine Society and Panboola.

Don’t forget you can still join us for more open air science at Greencape lighthouse on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th and at the SCMDC Open Day in Eden  Saturday 17th.

Help is at hand!

Have a look in our new HELP page and find guidelines to help you use the Atlas of Life database.

Videos will be here shortly too!

Any problems, questions or comments, please contact Libby Hepburn on 0264 950917

Yellow Bellied Glider call

YBG Photo David Gallan

Bounda EEC in conjunction with the Taronga Zoo Insitu are launching their Yellow Bellied Glider project at Bournda on August 10th

You will be able to learn about their habits and feeding trees and how to identify them by their call Try this to hear if you recognise it:  ybg   and check out this great video:

The Yellow Bellied Glider is one of our iconic yet endangered species. In our region there are pockets of glider populations and this project is established to invite the community to learn more about them and help to identify where populations exist at the moment.

For  more detailed background information please go to our LINKS page where there are seven research papers on YBG’s by Dr Rod Kavanagh, eminent scientist and one of the speakers at our Celebrating Science Forum last year.


Yellow Bellied Glider