The Seabird Feather Bank Project is a new project of the Australasian Seabird Group (ASG), which requires volunteers, who spend time walking along the beach.
The ASG, in conjunction with State Museum institutions, has launched a national program to collect seabird material for research into seabird biology. The Bank will provide a long-term, collection point of seabird feathers, which will be available as vouchers for species occurrence, assessment of moult, tissue sampling for DNA and other molecular techniques, stable isotopes and hormone stress analysis. These studies can reveal environmental conditions during the long seabird migration, when the feathers are grown. A long-term collection of material would, importantly, reveal changes over time for particular species. Interested people are registered by the ASG to collect specimens from beach-washed material, and are given guidelines on preparing wings for lodgement with State Museum institutions.
Currently the project has been activated in NSW and Victoria. For further details see the ASG website www.birdsaustralia.com.au/asg. If you are interested in participating you can contact Andre Chiaradia at firstname.lastname@example.org for Victoria, and Nicholas Carlile at Nicholas.Carlile@environment.nsw.gov.au for New South Wales. It is hoped that other States will be incorporated in the project over the next six months.
So far the Hooded Plover breeding season has been a success at Anglesea. In mid-October, the birds at Point Roadknight have two chicks, and as well, the pair at the site west of the Point also have two chicks. The area seems to be generally attracting more Hooded Plovers this year. Apart from the breeding pairs, a number of birds have been observed along the beach and rock platforms.
At Aireys Inlet, in early October, a Grey Plover, still in partial breeding plumage, was seen early in the afternoon at almost low tide, foraging among the rocks. It remained there for the rest of the day. Grey Plovers are regular summer migrants (August–April) to coastal areas. They breed around the Arctic regions.
An echidna was found just outside the bookshop in Aireys Inlet. It appeared one day, and was found beneath a chair at the front display window. Nicole and a customer managed to carefully remove the echidna and take it to a safe locality near Distillery Creek