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Wet weather = fungi. And there's plenty to see on the island at the moment. Foreshore vegetation is particularly rich with a variety of fungi fruiting bodies (which we know as toadstools, mushrooms, puffballs, etc) at the moment. Here's few photos from Silverleaves, Swan Lake and Red Rocks from Lisa Schonberg and John Eddy. And to think what we see is just the tip of the iceberg of all the tendrils under the soil or inside the vegetation! ... See MoreSee Less

Red Rocks Weed Working Bee: Report from PICS working bee cooridnator Meg: A huge thank you to the wonderful team of 13 volunteers who turned out on this perfect autumn morning to help John Eddy and myself with weed control at Red Rocks - making a weeding team of 15 volunteers in total - a great job done by all!

It was wonderful to be joined by our regular volunteers but also to meet some new ones - Mark H and Pepi M - who came along after seeing the recent article in the Advertiser. Thanks for joining us - it's great to have you on board!

We had a hugely successful and enjoyable morning of weeding with John breaking us into two teams:
Blue Periwinkle Team: John led his team consisting of Karen, Mark C, Phil and Irene W and Bruno C. who worked in the foreshore reserve along the firetrail carefully removing 3 bags of blue periwinkle including the long root system!
They also cleared branches away from a large patch that will need to be sprayed by Council in the coming weeks.
Sea Spurge Team: Meg led her team consisting of Mark H, Pepi M, Jo W, Greg J, Greg C, Patsy H, Maurice S and Sam B. who spread out across the dunes removing sea spurge - starting at the steps down from the carpark (where we found few plants) and continuing all the way up past the McRae Avenue track, including the inland side of the water course (RR drain) where we found large numbers of plants hiding amongst grasses and beneath the coastal wattle.
We removed 4-5 bags of small, medium and some very large mature plants with flowers and seed heads - so timely work!
We also collected some rubbish (bottles, cans, plastic and an old towel) and removed bridal creeper and arum lilies from the McRae Av track - much more work to be done there!
Many thanks to the work of Colin and Carol B. who have helped to keep the sea spurge under control in this area while on their regular walks!

A group of us enjoyed morning tea afterwards at the picnic table - a good chance to chat and relax after the morning's work!

😀 A huge thank you once again goes to John Eddy for organising the tools and undertaking thorough planning for the working bee!

Attached photos from this morning: full crew - Mark, Patsy, John, Jo, Greg, Sam, Pepi, Greg, Mark, Maurice, Karen, Phil, Irene. In front: Bruno; Pepi and Jo with with a large sea spurge; Jo with a smaller sea spurge; sea spurge team; Mark H and PICS president Greg Johnson; Greg J and Maurice; Phil and Irene in difficult terrain trying to clear a small area to get to a periwinkle weed; The Weed Warriors wending their way back to the car park and cuppa time!

✍️Save the date: Our next working bee is on Sunday 26 May - Weeding at Saltwater Creek - more details closer to the time!
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Great work, everyone. There is nothing more rewarding than working as a team to get the job done.

If you're looking for a short walk that's "off the beaten track", and you don't have a dog to walk, you could explore the Saltwater Creek reserve track at Ventnor. This reserve was created as part of the negotiated outcome for the adjacent rural farmland that a developer wanted to turn into a canal residential development back in 1987. A huge campaign, spearheaded by PICS members in the Saltwater Creek Action Group of the Ventnor Progress Association, led to the council caving in and rejecting the application. It was the second major campaign fought by PICS to save the island's precious and scarce freshwater areas. The creek had no reserve and the banks were severely degraded at the time. PICS has been the main revegetating body, although a few other groups have also helped. Here are some photos from this week of some features along the track: grasslands and plantings from the 1990s now maturing well; saltmarsh alongside the creek; lichen on a sheoak; swans on the creek; a male sheoak starting to flower. Photos: John Eddy. ... See MoreSee Less

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🌿

It’s a treasure! Thank goodness for PICS! 🙏💚

There are lots of ways we can try to get important messages through to the 'powers that be'. PICS member Ron Day has been monitoring wildlife road kills for three years, firstly on a hot spot stretch of the Cowes - Rhyll road, and more recently on a stretch of Pyramid Rock Rd. It's a horrible volunteer role, the road kills are horrific, animals are left injured or with live pouch young, and so many species are being knocked - not just wallabies, possums and Cape Barren Geese as people think is the case.
Ron writes: "I was recently involved in a three-year Victoria University research study, recording and documenting wildlife roadkill on the Cowes/Rhyll Rd for Bass Coast Shire Council, in which 1200 kills were recorded comprising 22 species including kookaburras, longneck turtles, falcons, echidnas, rakali.
In that time, I was also aware of several vehicle crashes resulting from drivers avoiding wildlife."

Speed and uneducated drivers appear to be the main reasons for the high stats and resulting wildlife suffering. If this major issue concerns you, Ron is asking us to go on to the RACV survey and nominate and identify, “Country-road, Safety Issues” of concern to you. RACV indicate they will forward results of the survey to the relevant State Government departments, road authorities, and councils.
Here is the link to the RACV survey: www.racvhaveyoursay.com.au/my-country-road-2024\
Click on the + at top right of map to zoom in on Phillip Island so you can mark in your hotspot. You can fill in a number of fields of information there to give lots of detail. Thank you for taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to contribute to raising awareness of this huge problem. Signs on Phillip Island hand-painted and official to try to alert drivers.
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There are lots of ways we can try to get important messages through to the powers that be. PICS member Ron Day has been monitoring wildlife road kills for three years, firstly on a hot spot stretch of the Cowes - Rhyll road, and more recently on a stretch of Pyramid Rock Rd. Its a horrible volunteer role, the road kills are horrific, animals are left injured or with live pouch young, and so many species are being knocked - not just wallabies, possums and Cape Barren Geese as people think is the case. 
Ron writes: I was recently involved in a three-year Victoria University research study, recording and documenting wildlife roadkill on the Cowes/Rhyll Rd for Bass Coast Shire Council, in which 1200 kills were recorded comprising 22 species including kookaburras, longneck turtles, falcons, echidnas, rakali.
In that time, I was also aware of several vehicle crashes resulting from drivers avoiding wildlife.

Speed and uneducated drivers appear to be the main reasons for the high stats and resulting wildlife suffering. If this major issue concerns you, Ron is asking us to go on to the RACV survey and nominate and identify, “Country-road, Safety Issues” of concern to you. RACV indicate they will forward results of the survey to the relevant State Government departments, road authorities, and councils.
Here is the link to the RACV survey: https://www.racvhaveyoursay.com.au/my-country-road-2024\
Click on the + at top right of map to zoom in on Phillip Island so you can mark in your hotspot. You can fill in a number of fields of information there to give lots of detail. Thank you for taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to contribute to raising awareness of this huge problem. Signs on Phillip Island hand-painted and official to try to alert drivers.Image attachment

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Thank you for looking after our beautiful wildlife!

"Turn off to Take off" tonight through til Thursday - lights out on the Phillip Island bridge for the first batch of short-tailed shearwaters heading off on their annual migration to waters off Alaska.

They don't all take off at once, so expect another round of 'lights out' next week. Here's hoping the weather is kind to them as they head off, with a fine breeze but no big gales. Photo from Phillip Island Nature Parks FB page.
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Turn off to Take off tonight through til Thursday - lights out on the Phillip Island bridge for the first batch of short-tailed shearwaters heading off on their annual migration to waters off Alaska.

They dont all take off at once, so expect another round of lights out next week.  Heres hoping the weather is kind to them as they head off, with a fine breeze but no big gales. Photo from Phillip Island Nature Parks FB page.

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I could hear them last night, for first time this year

Lauren Johnson

Today April 22 is Earth Day. The theme for this year is "Planet Vs Plastics". The aim is to reduce plastic manufacture by 60% by 2040. If we can all work to achieve this in our own lives starting right now, the world will be a safer place, especially for marine creatures. Even shearwater chicks now have plastic in their tummies, and a term for plastic that's causing fibrosis tissue inside seabirds, especially in their digestive tracts, is now called: 'Plasticosis. If plastic was just in big bits we could easily see and remove from the environment, it would not be so bad. But tiny microplastics and nanoplastics cannot be seen, but easily lodge inside living things where the body does not recognise them, so parks them and coats over them. The irritation however does not go away, resulting in build up of fibrosis tissue and scarring. There's much to know about this important topic.
Photos taken on Phillip Island Millowl, a wonderful part of Planet Earth, show Lapwing eggs, echidna, Sun Orchid flower (photos John Eddy) and Peregrine Falcon (Lisa Schonberg).
Thank you all for honoring our Earth this Earth Day and every day.
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Eastern Curlews are incredible migratory waders, and they deserve a celebratory day to themselves! ... See MoreSee Less

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Love the curlews! 🥰

A perfect morning for a nature walk through Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve by a group of naturalists guided by FOSER member John Eddy with support from FOSER committee member Carmen Bush. This weekend Phillip Island Millowl is hosting about 100 members of the South East Australian Field Naturalists Association. Their members are visiting lots of different locations here, following their individual interests such as geology - the Nobbies, Kitty Miller Bay, Pyramid Rock, the Colonades; birds - Oswin Roberts Reserve, Swan Lake, Rhyll Walking trail; heritage land use - Churchill Island; microscopy - pretty much anywhere! And many other interests. SECR is rich in native vegetation, but there was also geology, management issues, climate change and even some insects to investigate. One knowledgeable Field Naturalist found a Common Brown Butterfly, and told the group that at this time of the year they are all female, the males having died. The females have been dormant for a while awaiting rain, and now emerging to lay their eggs in the green grass. With permission, a small sample of fine buckshot gravel was taken from the beach for sampling, and proved to be highly magnetic. A leaf was taken from a mangrove to investigate whether the white spots on upper and lower sides of the leaf are actually from salt glands - which are natural - or some sort of exudate from a scale insect. Pictured are some photos by Carmen of the group, and a Common Brown Butterfly photographed at SECR last week by local Phillip Island Camera Club member Ken Anderson. ... See MoreSee Less

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Great walk. John’s knowledge and understanding is amazing. 👍

Anyone know where I can find the kingfishers?

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