02 November 2008

Manly Beach Drift "wood" - November

A summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:

Dead crickets (Gryllidae), along the entire beach, a thick layer 1 to 2 m wide of dead insects. Seagulls were feasting on some of them. There was talk of aerial spraying locust in Sth NSW/North Victoria. Bees in Victoria were protected from the pesticides. Any connection? A dead Petrel. Thick clumps of kelp. Some blue bottles 021108

Rabbit poisoning (sodium monofluoroacetate?) is taking place in the Mona Vale Beach area. An unusual amount of dead birds, fish and insects were observed there. (Manly Daily, 041108, p2) Just a reminder, there were unusual numbers of dead fish (moray eel) at Manly Beach (081008), a dead albatross (021008). There seems to be no monitoring body of these mass ecological occurrences or possible eutrophication. It will be a different 'silent night' without the chirping of the many crickets.
Today, many translucent jellyfish, (10-15 cm round), a nice large shark egg case, maturing kelp and sea gulls and their young all along the beach. 0411108

Many glass-like translucent jelly-blobs, one had rusty/ red tentacles. 5 dead black seabirds, more kelp, fresh large blue bottles. Many plastic lighters. At the rocks off Queenscliff Rockpool, one rock had been cleared of all the oysters. Right in the run off from all the houses and toxic Manly lagoon. Yum! 051108

Post weekend frenzy: 8 dead shearwaters, possibly short-tailed shearwaters. No, it was not starvation and exhaustion' which kills them but 'fishing'. One had been trapped by a fishing hook of a human being, it had a long nylon string tangling out of it's beak. Is there any monitoring body for the eradication of wildlife in this biome? A marine wildlife annual database?
Fishing took place just there at Queenscliff Rockpools and at the weekend the ocean was full of boats in full take-mode. The multiple fishing rods on the busy beach are a hazard to people and wildlife. Busy urban coastal areas must be free of 'recreational taking' and sharing of their dangerous debris.
One dead Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus), a lot of kelp, many sepia hulls and very large bluebottles. Full "disposable" nappies were generously left behind. The usual plastic 'convenience' food, drink and toys. Giant sand castles, are being built by large optimistic families, simulating rapid and extreme climate change. 101108 Image: Bird hanging by long nylon string out of its beak.

Polystyrene, the white crumbly plastic that does not biodegrade in various chunks and pebbles. Many plastic dummies and the usual plastic bottles and plastic tops galore. A lot of 'gift wrapping', long enough to entangle any marine creature. A lot of dead winged insects and lost mole crickets.
A lot of grey round pumice again and brownish foam that sits on the sand for a long time. The surf is lapping at the cement stairs.
There is light pollution emanating from new street lights, starting at North Steyne and continuing along half of the beach. One of the mega-lights even stays on all day. Turning the dark sky and the Pacific into an overpowering glare. So much spare energy, blasting emissions like there is no tomorrow. For beach/promenade users it is unpleasant, for birds and insects deadly. Residents living in this 'sport-light' ambiance must be blinded. 141108

A few Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) mingling amongst the Silver Gulls (Larus novaehollandiae), a sure sign for hotter days to come. A fluffy thing, called dog walked along the beach illegally in bright daylight.
The disappearance of the horizon
- hardly a day goes by where there is an absence of toxic diesel spewing container ships hovering until they can enter the jammed harbour to spill their o.s. commodities on to hungry consumers. More frequent ships increase the risk of oil or chemical spills, as well as exotic marine pests. They are not just clutter on the horizon of a beautiful beach, but a health hazard to all coastal and harbour residents and wildlife. 171108

Another dead moray eel, large blue bottles and many dead bees and other winged insects. 181108

Large amounts of leaf litter, mostly Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus). Either the rain washed them in to the ocean or some considerate person blew them against the wind with their debis blower. A Magpie checked the litter out. Stunning rainbows. 201108

A cold and rainy day. Sub-urbia washed its load onto the beach, the run-off looked like a mix of dark dust, gum leaves, speckled with jacaranda and bougainvillea flowers. Contractors and residents blow the debris of the 'nature strip' into the common gutter. The unwanted of blandburbia is transported via a million noisy petrol powered machines into Manly Beach, the Pacific. There were also many cigarette butts. A chucked unwanted lobster head, full nappies again. A racing beach buggy did not improve the air.Floating in the water a bright plastic buoy, with a couple of long strong ropes and a heavy lead/metal weight attached to one of the ropes. The inscriptions read:'MANLY JLSC 'Nippers''. Turning the beach into an event zone and leaving potentially deadly junk floating for marine mammals to get entangled in can't be kid's fun or delight any sponsors. Floating plastic debris and the possiblility of entanglement does not seem to be in the spirit of "Ocean Care" or good PR for Manly beach. 231108

A fresh smell today of salt, fresh fish and kelp. Huge waves and golden sand. 241108
Many plastic bags, full nappies and a not so fresh smell 251108

Grass stars (inflorescences of Spinifex sericeus) rolling along the beach looking for suitable real estate to bind the sand, stabilising against coming turbulences. Human stampedes limit this colonizing grass in its dune-binding function. A large variety of different kelps today.
Many non-biodegradable balloons sloshing along the beach. Balloons have become a popular way of advertising one's business, as well as staging events and parties. There they are - in all colours, maybe ending up in the intestines of a whale. Later to be found stranded and more than three square feet of plastic would have to be removed from it's bowl.
sharp and dangerous pieces of glass of all colours along the beach. Each bottle taking one million years to break down. The disposable diapers were still there - in 450 years they might be gone. The mono filament fishing line tangled around Queenscliff Rock Pool grids will take 600 years to disappear. Many plastic bags. There is a lot of polystyrene and garbage trapped in between the rocks at that location. So much for ocean dumping for one day 261108
> Drift "wood" December 2008

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