02 December 2008

Manly Beach Drift "wood" - December

A monthly 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:

30+ dead Leatherjackets again, possibly Meuschenia flavolineata, (10-20 cm long). Kids playing 'ball' with them. Millions of mostly still alive Ladybirds at the water's edge, struggling. There appeared to be no 'white collar', probably a native. Many aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and mites will not be eaten this season by this 'gardener's friend'. As with the mass occurrence of dead crickets (021108) it is unknown how they ended up in this environment.
The usual 'fast food' wrappers and many 'gift-wrapping strings' with balloons, ready to entangle. Beach worm 'harvesting' and fishing 'classes' now at the waters' edge. High speed kite surfing poses a serious danger to swimmers/surfers and beach users.
Image: sandsculpture, kelp and pine needles 021208

A seagull had both feet tightly entangled by a fishing string. It could hardly walk or balance. Do we really need 'recreational taking' on busy urban beaches? Container ships hovering on the horizon. 031208

Thousands of Ladybirds struggling at the water's edge again. Seagulls gorging on the live ones. No one seems to notice, as strangers are usually recognised, by exhibiting curiousity and looking at objects at the beach. For the locals it is just a tabula rasa to do stuff on. Giant sand castles with deep trenches, possibly to trap joggers in the dark?. Various container ships cluttering up the horizon, possibly heavy in junk for the coming exchange festivities. At the North Steyne cliff end a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) was stalking insects and amphibians in the urban run off. Rock engravings of the Eora people depict this coastal bird doing its thing for thousands of years. An off leash dog did not allow the bird to continue feeding. 041208

A 2 m long log covered densly in living Crustaceans. The Goose barnacles were of white/blue colour. The life raft was returned to the sea. A pelican was gliding north, looking like a flying ancient lizard.

A double rainbow again, nicely offset against the plump white clouds. A few blue bottles , many dog paw prints in the sand and black dog feces plastic bags sloshing in the water. 051208

Post Care Day and after rain. A huge soggy pond at the pipe. Leaf litter plus sub-urban run off, hanging around the surf. A large amount of garbage, mainly plastics: wrappers, bottles and an unusual amout of 'party ballons' with long 'fancy' wrapping ribbon of all colours- ideal to entangle. Inflated baloons blowing around. Again, full nappies, a syringe and chemical loo cleaner.
A near-death shearwater, an unusual number of seagulls with only one leg. Many blue bottles, nice kelp of all different shapes. Painted driftwood and building materials. The daily dog on the beach, hopping about on the prize winning North Steyne beach. A person flying his surf kite over the heads of swimmers/walkers ('obstacles') at very high speeds. Above the water, control of the medium seems to be beyond the guy stearing it. One day a beach user will be injured by these speeding installations. Council probably is liable for such eventualities. 081208A few small Abalone shells (Haliotis coccoradiata), rarely larger than 3 cm. A nice audio-scape coming from the rows of pines: Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), Red Wattlebirds, (Anthochaera carunculata) and Ravens (Corvus coronoides). Black faced Cormorants flying north. 091208

Powerful fast clouds stroke the beach. Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) surfing the dunes at high speed, mopping up insects. Ravens eye the dead fish. Rich leaf litter, blown down the hills from endless noisy debris blowers which move the sub-urban debris into the public gutter and down to the beaches. Civilised places have given up the polluting of air and water a long time ago. 101208

> Drift "wood", November 2008

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