Underwater World

Blue DamselsConvict Surgeonfish

Small tropicals & large residents

Have you been snorkelling recently  amongst the myriads of small tropicals & larger residents at Bar Beach,Merimbula ? The water is a lovely temperature,very beautiful to be surrounded by the tiny fish feeding on the Cunjevoi and the occasional much larger swimming companion gliding by …….


First field naturalists meeting minutes

Here are the minutes of our first meeting on February 9th 2016

Present: David Jackson, Libby Hepburn, Liz Allen, David Jones, Barbara Jones, Maggie Clowes, Nick Yee, Linda Churchill, Denise Krake, Graeme Krake

Expressions of interest but not able to attend this meeting: Grant Brewer, Danie Ondinea, Paul Whittock, Diane Whittock, Kerry Vance, Olivia Forge, David McCreery, Angelika Erpic

David welcomed everyone to this first meeting to discuss the interest in establishing a regional field naturalist group. He spoke of his experience with similar organisations including the Victorian Field Naturalist club and the South Australian Field Naturalist Society. David described the activities of a farmer in SA who had become interested in invertebrates and had become sufficiently expert to write a book on Ants of the genus Camponotus. David also spoke of his experience of establishing a FNSociety in Broome – The Kimberley Field Naturalist Society, which may still be in existence today.

Field work at Narooma

Field work at Narooma

The group was invited to talk about their thoughts on this suggestion and their own interests. Maggie said that BioBlitzes were great, but only carried our over a couple of days and that serious scientific investigations will need repeated surveys of chosen locations if they are to be really valuable in answering many important ecological questions. She described the Eurobodalla Natural History Group which is of long standing and has regular monthly meetings as well as producing an annual report of sightings observed by members.

Graeme and Kate talked about their work with the Healesville wildlife sanctuary and would be happy to be part of something locally here. Graeme suggested not setting up another group but meeting informally at least to begin with.

Barbara cautioned about the activities seeming too scientific for ordinary people. We need to offer things at a level that will attract the general community.

Linda’s interests are soils including microbiology and she would be interested in coring the beds of local estuaries. David jones would like to see regular botanical surveys of Bournda Nature Reserve. Maggie knows of a property near her own, at CooribarNP which is of difficult access, but which has a different rich diversity of birds to her own property. It would be interesting to compare the two.

Other suggestions for possible activities of a FNG: • short courses on survey methodologies to develop the skills base of the group

• regular visiting speakers such as the Canberra Ornithological Group when they come for their regular surveys, or Steve Sass & colleagues

• Danie Ondinea suggests seagrass surveys of our estuaries using a dronePat Hutchins 1980’s surveys of invertebrates in Merimbula Lake could be revisited

• Maggie’s land surveys • Four Winds have requested Atlas of Life help to develop baseline data for their property

• surveys associated with the Bundian Way Discussion around how best to establish a group.

No one had enthusiasm for setting up another organisation at this stage, so it was decided that David Jackson and Libby would put together a calendar of activities for a year and we would see from the levels of interest and engagement what we might do in the future. For the moment the group will operate under the auspices of the Atlas of Life and a further meeting on the subject of the establishment of a FN group was not scheduled at this time.

Can you find Goose barnacles on pumice for ANU research?

Prof Patrick De Deckker (ANU) is after a few specimens of the goose barnacle for geochemical analyses of parts of the plates[by a French colleague]. He needs them by mid March.
The species he is after is: Lepas (Anatifa) anatifera striata. See image at the following web site:
or refer to the photo attached here.
Patrick would like to have specimens attached to pumice to enable him, by looking at the early stages of growth,  to study whether the specimens first grew in the subtropics [such as near volcanoes around Vanuatu].

If there are specimens which had been attached to wharves or floating platforms or perhaps boats for which water temperature and salinity could be recorded, this could relate to the latter part of the life of the animals.

Goose barnacles

Goose barnacles

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 7.51.05 amThey are illustrated in Dakin’s book on figure 45 if he recalls it well.

Patrick offers to pay for any expenses incurred to find the specimens and posting them to him at:

Patrick De Deckker, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, 142 Mills Road. Canberra ACT 2600.
His telephone number is 6125 2070 [with answering machine] and e-mail address: patrick.dedeckker@anu.edu.au
Please provide details of collector, time of collection, collection site. A photo of the site would be useful.

Dendrodoris? help with ID please

Robyn Wimbush sent us this photo of a magnificent nudibranch she found this morning – in the Blue Pool we think. Can anyone help Id it please – we want to add it to the Atlas and we think it’s anew species for us. Thanks Robyn.

IMG_1087160211 - Copy (1)

new film – Understorey

Invitation from the makers:

The south east forests campaign was a long and complex one. It was ultimately successful because of the untiring contributions by people who valued the natural environment and wanted to protect it.

General Invitation

20 years after the establishment of the South East Forests National Park, a film has been made about the campaigns to protect the public forests on the far south coast. The film is a fundraiser for the National Parks Association.

Adult cinema tickets at Merimbula are $14 each.

There will be DVDs available at the screenings for $20 each.

Understorey will be screened at Merimbula (Picture Show man)  5pm March 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9th and Narooma Kinema March 17th at 7pm. Please see attached invitation card and forward it to others who may be interested in seeing the film. You can see a trailer on this web link: https://vimeo.com/153302501

You can follow UNDERSTOREY on Facebook:

Kind regards

Euey Collins
Peter Constable
David Gallan
Kim & Gabrielle Taysom

Atlas of Life planning meeting

Wednesday February 24th Atlas of Life planning workshop

We will be meeting to discuss what activities and events we wish to organise and what developments we need to make to the work of building our Atlas of Life database and its community of contributors. We invite you to join us at the new Bega Valley Shire Training Centre (the old Auswide building) Cabarita Place (behind the Lakeview Hotel) Merimbula from



Wednesday 24th February.

If you have ideas you would like to see realised or species groups or habitats you would like us to survey, come along and discuss what we do this year. We intend to improve how we can add sightings and create an app to make our fieldwork easier, if you would be interested in testing out different recording platforms, please let us know. We will also discuss the possibility of merging the Sapphire Coast Marine Society with the Atlas, so have your say about that.



Please contact Libby Hepburn 02 6495 0917 or Patricia Daly 0414 240 284 with any questions or suggestions

A Field Naturalist group here?

Would you like to see a Field Naturalist group in our region? It has been suggested that we create a Field Naturalist group here to focus on developing our understanding of the natural life of this region. There will be a meeting at the new Bega Valley Shire Training Centre (the old Auswide building) Cabarita Place (behind the Lakeview Hotel) Merimbula between 6 – 8pm Tuesday 9th February.



Field Naturalists organise visits to study the natural life in a range of habitats. We know there are many people here with interest in a broad range of species groups such as plants, mammals, invertebrates and coastal life and this will be an opportunity to form a community of interest.

It is envisaged that the group would organise guest speakers on topics of interest and also offer support to visiting or regional researchers and with their help, increase local knowledge and capacity of the natural world and current survey techniques. Data from the group’s activities will be added to the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness regional database.



If you are interested in the kind of activities described above, please join us and make your suggestions as as to how best we can explore our natural world together.

Any questions please contact: David Jackson 02 6495 9282 or Libby Hepburn 02 6495 0917UNKNOWN SITE