Here is a link to a presentation about the annual eel migration in the Geelong area:

Professor Graeme Hays, Alfred Deakin Professor of 
Marine Science, contacted us to ask if we could
distribute a www link to an effort to track rare
and endangered Leatherback Turtles. Anybody doing
regular sea watching for birds or going on
pelagic trips
should be aware of this project.

If you are interested you can find out more
from the link:
* Note that a dead Leatherback
Turtle has recently been found at
the Western Treatment Plant by Bob Swindley, Danny Rogers
and Maarten Hulzebosch.

Pitfall Traps

An effective method for invertebrate capture

By Dave King


One of the most effective ways of collecting invertebrates during fauna surveys is by the use of pit-fall traps. The trap described here-in was designed by the writer as an inexpensive and easily made item, at the same time very effective in overcoming a number of inherent problems.


Problems associated with pit-fall traps intended for invertebrates are:-

  1. Catching non target species, such as frogs.
  2. Rain water getting in and diluting the preservative.
  3. Litter in the form of leaves, twigs, etc. dropping or blowing in.
  4. Evaporation of the preservative.

To overcome the above problems the trap has a wire mesh screen around the pit-fall container, a cover to prevent rain water and debris falling in. The preservative used is ordinary motor vehicle anti-freeze, being non-evaporative, reasonably cheap and readily available. This anti-freeze fluid is of the order 95% pure ethylene glycol plus additives of corrosion inhibitors, colour dyes etc., none of which, in the writers experience, adversely effect the collected material.

Materials & Construction:

The lid or cover consists of the lid from a standard plastic margarine container. Wire mesh, of 1cm mesh, readily obtainable from most hardware stores, is cut into strips about 30mm wide and length sufficient to form a cylinder that will fit into the groove around the lid perimeter. For the average margarine container this will be about 360mm. When cutting this strip, the top edge is cut to allow a wire strand as the rim, the opposite edge is cut allowing the ends of the vertical wires to be free, shown in the diagram. The lid is secured to the mesh cylinder by passing a length of wire through the rim of the lid , bending each end to retain it. Make certain the securing wire passes under the top wire of the mesh. Holes for this wire can be made using a heated wire.

A normal plastic disposable coffee cup is used for the container, buried flush with the soil surface. A second cup can be used as a permanent and stable hole in which to place the trapping cup. This makes it much easier to replace the cup after emptying and recharging.

Placement of these traps is probably best in situations where ground vegetation is minimal or relatively bare. Camouflage with other vegetation is generally advisable to reduce adverse aesthetic values and inquisitive public. Traps can be left unattended for a week or more without deleterious effects upon any specimens captured.

Recovery of specimens is performed by straining the contents through a kitchen plastic sieve with fine mesh. The resultant collection is then carefully washed in water, to remove the glycol, then transferred to a shallow dish containing a 70% solution of alcohol for sorting of the specimens. Finally, transfer to a fresh 70% alcohol solution before further processing.

In early January, 2015, John, David and Craig ventured to the You Yangs for what turned out to be a most enjoyable and rewarding day of birding. After a time at the Information Centre, including enjoyment of the Tawny Frogmouths, we ventured around the Great Circle Drive. At Gravel Pit Tor we were thrilled to get wonderful views of an adult White-throated Gerygone (vagrant to the Geelong region). We left plenty of time to explore East Flat and were rewarded with prolonged views of an adult Dollarbird (also a vagrant to the Geelong region) perched high on an exposed branch and a pair of White-browed Woodswallows feeding a very recently fledged juvenile. A second pair of woodswallows was present. A Diamond Firetail was heard calling several times. We also found evidence of successful breeding of Brown Goshawks and Collared Sparrowhawks in nearby areas.

... Craig Morley,  All photos courtesy of David Tytherleigh.

White-throated Gerygone

Female White-browed Woodswallow feeding a juvenile - an exciting local breeding record of this species


3C1A3880 W t Gerygone red

3C1A4118 W b Woodswallow juv fed red

3C1A4079 Dollarbird red