In January we had three short rambles, all in Aireys Inlet.

The first was a PLANT WALK from the mouth of the Painkalac creek up to the lighthouse, and then down to Allen Noble sanctuary. We were very pleased to see a few flowers on two plant species which are growing on the seasonally exposed river mud flats. Creeping Monkey-flower Thyridia repens, has delicate butterfly-like mauve flowers among small crowded stalkless leaves.

Creeping Monkey-flower
Creeping Monkey-flower

Creeping Brookweed Samolus Repens var. repen, has small leaves, and erect, five petalled flowers which are usually white, but sometimes a luscious soft pink.

Creeping Brookweed
Creeping Brookweed

Beside the pathway going up to the lighthouse there were several dense bushes of Sea Box Alyxia buxifolia. The oval leaves are dark green and leathery to touch. The very distinctive, small white scented flowers have petals forming flat propeller-like spirals…a bit like children’s pinwheels. There were also berries, some green and others colouring up to bright orange-red.

Sea Box
Sea Box

At the sanctuary there were a number of plants in flower, the most obvious being the bright yellow papery flowers of Common Everlasting Chrysocephalum apiculatum.

Common Everlasting
Common Everlasting

The BIRD WALK was around the edge of the Painkalac Creek estuary to the Great Ocean Road, which is only possible at times of really low water. We saw a few quite unusual birds for this area. The highlight was three ‘Hoodies’ (Hooded Plovers), which I have never seen there, a Caspian Tern and a Black-shouldered Kite.

Black-shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite (by Margaret Lacey)

The MARINE RAMBLE was at Step Beach on the other side of the Aireys Inlet lighthouse.

Let's all have a look
Let's all have a look

We were very fortunate to have a young summer ranger from Parks Victoria to lead the group, and to enthuse and inform the children.

What is this?
What is this?

He started by showing them a large jar containing cigarette lighters which were found in one hour in a city marine sanctuary. He then went through his treasure-trove of shells and other marine species, which included some nearby seaweed with Sandhoppers.

Box of beach treasures
Box of beach treasures

 

It was then off to the rock pools.

Rock pools
Rock pools

Unfortunately it had been a fairly high low tide and we were not able to get out very far. However the children had a satisfying time looking in the higher pools. At the end he handed out stickers and badges to the new young marine rangers.

'Official' Marine Park Rangers
'Official' Marine Park Rangers

Ellinor Campbell

Events Calendar

Dec
18

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Dec
19

Tue 9:00am - 12:00pm

Jan
5

Fri 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Jan
6

Sat 8:30am - 11:30am

Jan
8

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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