I've been hosting guided walks on St Kilda foreshore for over 20 years... and never found it boring! Ever-changing seasons, temperature, wind, tides, and seasonal shifts in plant and animal populations make sure every walk is different. When the … [Read more...]
Beached jelly snags – a sure sign of spring
The arrival of Sand Snail 'jelly sausage' egg masses on Bay beaches in October is timed to take advantage of the spring growth spurt. Increased average daily hours of sunlight, warmer water temperatures, and increased nutrient washed into the Bay by … [Read more...]
Crested courtship – a real tern on
Sorry about the pitiful pun... but some things are just inescapable! Just about every species has some special moves to win over that special someone, and Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) sure do have style! Take a walk at a beach near you in early … [Read more...]
Arctic ‘blow-in’ turns up at Mordi
Arctic Terns (Sterna paradisaea) are determined little critters who don't do things by halves! From August to October each year they fly southwards almost continuously from their breeding grounds near the Arctic Circle to spend summer on the … [Read more...]
Hard-working Soldier Crabs clean up
With so much organic matter washed into the Bay after heavy rains we're lucky to have a dedicated team on patrol to clean up the muck. Soldier crabs (Mictyris platycheles) are known to gather in thousands where sandflats and mudflats merge. They … [Read more...]
St Kilda Spoonbill
Royal Spoonbills (Platalea regia) are big birds that eat small prey! So they have to work hard for a living. They wade in shallow water, systematically sweeping their open bill from side to side just below the surface. When they find a mollusc, small … [Read more...]
whales just wanna have fun!
If you had to choose a magic marine moment, it would be hard to beat the spectacular breach of a Humpback whale. They just love to leap, roll in mid air, and land on their back. Why do they do it? Perhaps just cos they can! Baykeeper is truly envious … [Read more...]
North Pacific Seastar population decline?
The beautiful, but destructive North Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) first arrived in Port Phillip Bay in the 1990s in ship ballast water. As they eat practically anything live or dead that they can climb onto, they thrived in the local … [Read more...]
Close encounter of the turtle kind
Whale sightings from Carrum to Blairgowrie have caused quite a buzz in recent weeks, but then Judy Muir (of Polperro Dolphin Swims) reported swimming with a Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) during her regular dip off Blairgowrie. That had to take … [Read more...]
Estuary life in the fast drain
The Cowderoy Street drain outfall crossing West St Kilda beach is an unlikely tourist attraction. But Baykeeper has found it brimming with fish during recent guided walks for Elwood Primary School families. Schools of juvenile Yellow-eyed Mullet ( … [Read more...]
Seastar survival strategy
Curiously, the Magnificent Biscuit Seastar Tosia magnifica is reported as relatively common in waters up to 5m in Victoria and Tassie, but is only found in deep water (to 200m) in South Australia. Just one more of those marine mysteries! But it may … [Read more...]
Bluebottles in the Bay – a sign of things to come?
The recent discovery of Bluebottle jellyfish on Portsea back beach and Bellarine front beach received a low key response in Melbourne mainstream media. Despite a fearful reputation that routinely causes closure of Queensland beaches, a web search … [Read more...]
The one that got away!
Your average bi-valve spends most of its life partially buried in the seabed, waiting to filter fine particles of food from water currents. A pretty low-key existence, but it's a living. Whereas the predatory sand snail Polinices sordidus can go … [Read more...]