A 3 metre Seven Gill Shark was caught and released a few kilometres off the Anglesea Beach.
The species is harmless to humans! It is so named because sharks of this species have seven gills on each side of their pectoral fins, whereas most sharks have only five gills.
An adult Giant Cuttlefish Sepia apama was found washed up at Point Roadknight. Members of this species die after mating in early spring, and this one, when found, was on its last tentacles. Cuttlefish are members of the molluscan class Cephalopoda (Greek plural (kephalopod) ‘head-feet’). The class now contains two, only distantly related, extant subclasses; subclass Coleoidea includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.
The Australian Giant Cuttlefish is the largest cuttlefish species in the family Sepidae and can be found in waters off southern and eastern Australia. They can grow to a length of 1 metre, weigh up to 10 kg and can live for two or three years. Giant Cuttlefish are excellent at changing colours and camouflage, often being seen with their body pulsating different colours, especially during mating season. (Editor’s note: beautiful photo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sepia_apama.jpg)
Thanks to Regina and Peter at EcoLogic for these reports.
Early in October, we were driving along a gravel road at the back of Anglesea. It was a fine day, and there were many birds about. One bird was on the road, and as we approached, it crouched down and half spread its wings. We thought it looked like either a lark or a pipit, with prominent striation-like markings. On checking the book, we learned that one of the characteristics of the Common Skylark, is that it crouches and flattens itself on the ground. We hadn’t actually observed that behaviour before.
Some of the interesting sightings have been in Anglesea Heath.
- Chestnut-rumped Heathwren
- A flock of Varied Sitellas along Coalmine Road
- Tawny Crowned Honeyeater
- Southern Emu-wren
- Spotted Harrier
Victor Hurley, of the Victorian Peregrine Project, made a quick three-day visit to southern Victoria in October, as part of the Peregrine Falcon project, to check the nesting sites. It appears that the breeding season is later this year, because many of the nests contained only eggs. His aim this time, however, was to note the ages of the parent birds, which he was able to do by reading the bands, using a tripod telescope. He did mention, that on Churchill Island earlier this year, a Peregrine brought down a White Ibis. A Ranger noticed the peregrine on the ground with the prey, and was able to walk over to them. He picked up the falcon, and realising something was wrong, took the bird to the vet. It seems it had concussion, and after a recovery time it was released. The vet had removed the bands, and the data indicated that it had been banded at Briagolong, near Sale in Gippsland, 14 years ago. The oldest record of a peregrine was a fifteen-year-old bird from Tasmania.
Kaye and Mike Trayner