Since 1992 September 1 has been Wattle Day. Golden Wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem and is in full flower now in many areas. Here is a link to learn more about wattle day and some photos to show that there a many from which to choose. Many provide food for wildlife in the form of the seeds and prickly ones are ideal for safe nesting sites for small birds. When in flower wattles seem to light up the bushland.
At this time of year Logan’s Beach, Warrnambool, is the place to go to see Southern Right Whales. It is where this species of whales comes to each year to calve and this year has been a bumper year. The site is easily accessed by tourists and the whales come in close to the shore.
The best view is gained from overhead, however visitors have to make do with a viewing platform and binoculars. Last Friday there was a special project underway using unmanned aerial vehicle (drones) photographing the whales.
There is strict legislation controlling activity around whales but Threatened Species Initiative Funding was made available from DELWP, to undertake the photographing of the markings on the new calves. This research required a special permit to be issued to allow the flights over the whales and their calves.
Each Southern Right Whale has its own unique pattern of markings covering the head and once recorded, it makes the tracking of the individuals easier in the future. These whales are listed as Critically Endangered and being able to track them assists in knowing how the population numbers are progressing. Here is a link to more information.
There are also birds and plants to see.
You may have noticed this large native shrub that has white flowers. It attracts a wide range of insects and lots of butterflies and has a sweet fragrance. Most shrubs are now developing seed. If you grow your own plants then sweet bursaria seed is best collected as the pods dry and open. You will have more success if you use fresh seed to grow your own plants. They are a good habitat plant for small birds.
There are lots plants flowering and here are some you may see if you are in our local bushland.
Are you a member of the Land For Wildlife program? Have you received the latest newsletter? This State government program has been running for 35 years, has over 5500 members in Victoria and supports landholders who voluntarily provide habitat on their properties for native wildlife. Continue reading
Mallee Plants of South Australia and Victoria By William Higham is a new app for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch is ideal for anyone wanting to identify and learn more about the beauty and diversity of the plants of the South Australian and Victorian Mallee. It is easy to use in the field without or with some botanical knowledge link
Birds, bees and bugs: your garden is an ecosystem, and it needs looking after
As the weather warms and days lengthen, your attention may be turning to that forgotten patch of your backyard. This week we’ve asked our experts to share the science behind gardening. So grab a trowel and your green thumbs, and dig in.
Whether you live in an urban apartment or a rural homestead, your outdoor area is more than just a private space. Ecologically, a garden is another jigsaw piece in the landscape.
Whatever their size, gardens can contribute to natural functions and processes in the local area, such as regulating water drainage, buffering the damaging effects of strong winds, or providing food and shelter for native wildlife. Continue reading