Posted on Dec, 2018
Fan Flower - MF
Sea eagle chicks - MM
The Reserve should be a shining example to all of what we can achieve in habitat repair and restoration. Education is essential. Our marvellous School Ambassadors
program is a start. But education should reach all the community through their involvement. The excellent Melbourne Water volunteer Waterwatch project and the
BirdLife/Devilbend Foundation monthly bird monitoring must continue into the future, with new people to become involved and eventually take over from the current teams.
Practical involvement is available to all in monitoring, research and habitat restoration projects. New Devilbend Foundation members will be welcomed heartily.
We are glad to hear that reserve managers, Parks Victoria, intend to become involved in sound scientifically-based bird monitoring and analysis.
This is commendable. Rather than short-term research projects designed to meet a pre-determined agenda, Devilbend needs a strategy focused on long-term habitat
restoration and being part of a world-wide climate change mitigation program. Devilbend Reservoir is recognised internationally by BirdLife International and other
agencies as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). For its importance to be appreciated throughout the Biosphere and beyond it needs signage ASAP.
Signs have been designed by the Devilbend Foundation and submitted to the managers. We eagerly await their installation.
Note: If you know anybody wishing to be involved in monitoring, community science, or other activities please contact our website or Facebook page
Devilbend Foundation Inc.
September 29th weeding day at Woodland Break had six toilers. Work was carried out amid socializing and saving the world. It was pleasing to see where the contractors have laid the enemy to waste and it was easy to pick up where they left off. The patch we’re currently working in has a forest of sizeable pittos and you don’t have to move far to deal with them. It’s hopeful that one day we’ll see the end of pittos in Woodland Break and be able to pay attention to other needy areas.
Activities for – September, October, November and December .
September Weeding Team - MF
November Weeding Team, less a few faces - MF
Key points made by Sam Pollard from Parks Vic at the DFI AGM
• In November 2017 the launch of Non Powered Craft on Devilbend took place. Sam was involved in upgrading of signage, exclusion zones and the installation of buoys. Exclusion zones are working quite well. Most users are compliant and head to deeper water where there is less weed and more fish. • A visitor guide to Devilbend can be down loaded with a fact sheet for non-powered water craft.
• KBA (Key Bird Area) signage is still in the hands of the Parks planning department.
• Fish licences are being checked (trout and redfin).
• ESTA (Emergency Services Tracking Authority) points have been installed in the park.
• Extension of the fishing platform has allowed for off-jetty fishing in deeper water.
• A launch area for kayaks has been established and rocking and roaming repairs have been undertaken.
• 2 new seats and a new shelter have been provided, as well as clearing around fences for fire break integrity. Also Corrections Victoria has undertaken various jobs such as attending to carpark beds, and sallow (Sydney Wattle – Acacia longifolia) removal.
• Gidja pointed out that Mahogany is the No 1 environmental week in the reserve as it pollutes the eucalypt gene pool. Parks will start on this soon hopefully and it may take 10 years of drilling and filling.
• TAFE students have also undertaken plantings in the Derril Road area and have been helping with the pittosporum removal in Woodlands Reserve.
• 2000 trees were planted by friends and Sea Winds people.
• There are many ongoing issues with vandalism, such as gate ramming, graffiti, damage to fittings, illegal dumping of rubbish.
• The quarry is a ‘hotspot’ in summer. Parks can only give advice.
The Foundation and Friends of Daangean continue to enjoy a good rapport with Parks in working together to preserve the integrity of the reserve as both a recreation and habitat haven.
Echidna - MF
EBD 200 October 19th - MF
Richard Akers from Melbourne Water accompanied us on October 19th Waterwatch day, as he wanted to check on the proposed refuge ponds.
He provided us with a measuring pole and coupling for the sample collecting pole and gave directions where the photo monitoring points were.
Pobblebonk and Eastern Common Froglets were chorusing beautifully in the Bittern Reservoir. My recording of them failed so I obviously did something wrong
EBD 200 November 21st - Helen Ford
EBD 200 Water Level December 18th - MF
Spring - Macroinvertebrate survey.
Sadly our admired Adie & Geoff have retired from their macroinvertebrate surveying, they have done such a fantastic and will be missed.
They felt it was time to pass the baton on and were happy to past it onto Hansi to continue.
I'm exited to take on this role to provide the valuable water heath data to Melbourne Water and incorporate part of the survey into the Ambassadors program. The Ambassadors first invertebrates survey was a real hit thanks to Monica Tewman from Melbourne Water.
Ambassadors Macroinvertebrate survey - HW
Rachel Devlin helping out on the day - HW
A Few Critters - HW
Tyabb Railway Station Primary School.
Being a Devilbend Ambassador is a great chance to get out in nature, get active and help many different organizations. Some of my favourite activities
were helping Fisheries Victoria release 15000 trout; visiting Seawinds Nursery to see how plants are grown for lots of different reserves; and going to the
Kids Teaching Kids in the city. We got to talk to many groups about how we can make a frog bog, how to use the frog census app and finally we gave them some
facts about our beloved frogs.
Being an Ambassador has taught me the importance of looking after our environment. I think being a Devilbend Ambassador has helped me to get my scholarship in sustainability at Westernport Secondary College. We have had such a great time there.
To our next Devilbend Ambassadors we wish you the best of luck and we hope you have as great a time as we did there.
Thank-you from Janaya
I’ve really enjoyed the chance to be a Devilbend Ambassador. It was fun and interesting. I learned about an app to record frog croaks. I also learned that there are many frogs out there, not just one type of frog. The most fun thing we did is probably the macro invertebrate’s day and frog census recording. Kids Teaching Kids was one of the most educational camps I have been on. I loved it because it was fun and that there were so many people there looking after nature.
Thank-you to the Devilbend Foundation and Hansi for making this happen.
Devilbend Ambassadors - Tyabb Railway Station Primary School
Moorooduc Primary School.
This year I had the opportunity to participate in the Devilbend Ambassador Program. It was a great opportunity to get outside and explore nature and a wide range
of animals and insects. We definitely got out of our comfort zone by touching and handling worms and all sorts of bugs and creatures.
We had a wonderful time throughout the three terms. We went water testing, bird watching, and tree planting; spoke to park rangers, helped with a frog census,
and (lucky last) we went ponding. Ponding was probably my favourite because we got to learn about different water bugs. A highlight of the day was Chloe and I falling in the water and getting really muddy and wet. The mud on the bottom of the dam was sinking mud, so Chloe and I got our gumboots soaking wet and muddy. We also found heaps of insects and bugs.
On the 8th of June Tully and I, including Tyabb Rail Primary School, met Sam the park ranger. He explained to us about how bush fires can start and spread. We got his
firefighting hose from the truck and sprayed it at a cone to practice our control and accuracy. We tried different pressures and while we were having a great time a
photographer came and took a photo that ended up in the Western Port Newspaper.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience. We learnt a range of skills and information about nature and the environment. We also got to explore outside more, and I would personally recommend this program to other aspiring leaders.
I would like to give a massive thank you to all of the helpers and officers who came to inform and educate the ambassadors. I would also like to thank Mr Quigley for driving us to and from Devilbend, and for his ongoing support.
By Chillie M
This year has created lots of different opportunities. These opportunities have produced many great memories of things I wouldn’t normally participate in. One of the highlights for me was being part of the Devilbend Program. My favourite memory would be ponding because we had lots of fun whilst we learnt about different bugs, leeches, and lots of other water bugs. The last time we went to Devilbend we were participating in the frog census. We split up into different groups and I went on to the foreshore with Hannah. We found Striped Marsh Frog eggs and lots of tiny tadpoles.
The activities that we engaged in this year were frog census; water testing; ponding; fire talk; and lots of other fun and informative activities. Overall it was a great experience and I really enjoyed meeting the Tyabb Railway Students. It was an amazing opportunity to get outdoors in different types of weather, and we were always learning different things.
I would like to thank Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Devilbend monitors and most of all Hansi and Mr Quigley for guiding and informing us.
Devilbend Ambassadors - Moorooduc Primary School
The Ambassadors Planting Day
This year was a great opportunity to learn different skills and create new memories and experiences through the Devilbend Program.
I have learnt so much through meeting and collaborating with other ambassadors from Tyabb Railway Primary School. Our knowledge and information learnt
could not have been possible without the workers/volunteers from Devilbend, Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria. While at Devilbend we learnt how to test water,
listen for frog calls and tell what frog it was and its scientific name.
We also listened for bird calls, and learned how to tell the difference between each type of bird; how fires start; and what workers need to use to put them out. During our time learning about fires Chillie, Jenaya, Cody, Hanna, Lachie and I had a chance to appear in the Western Port Newspaper and we obviously took it. Once the newspaper came out we were desperate to see it.
While we participated in the frog census we were split into four groups. I was with Mr Quigley and Lachie in section B while Chloe went with Jenaya and Rachel in section C. Abby was with Hanna and Geordie in section A and Hansi went with Micheal over the road. Unfortunately none of us was successful: however I thought I faintly heard some but didn’t record any.
The other groups found three other frogs and James showed us the most poisonous frog in the world. It looked so cool and on the bottom of it there was a marble pattern. On the top it was camouflaged.
This year I’ve had a great opportunity being a Devilbend Ambassador and have had lots of amazing experiences. This year I have learnt so much about how to spot and investigate what birds are living at Devilbend, what bugs are living in the Devilbend Reservoir, and listening for and trying to find frogs, and water testing.
I’ve also loved talking to the Tyabb Railway Primary Ambassadors and the volunteers from Devilbend, Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water. My favourite activity was definitely ponding - trying to find bugs in the water because I loved looking at all the cool bugs and trying to see if the water was polluted or not.
A highlight of that day was going in the water with Chillie and getting stuck in the sinking mud. My gum boot probably got filled with water bugs and mud like 10 times.
Overall this has been a great time to get out in nature since I’m always doing activities. I have loved learning new things about stuff I never really learn about.
Thanks Mr Quigley for letting us have this great experience.
Devilbend Ambassadors - Moorooduc Primary School
The Ambassadors with James Frazer learning about frog's - HW
I can’t believe it been just over 12 months since Geordie Male from Tyabb Railway Station Primary School contacted me, asking if there were a few things
he and a few students could do at Devilbend.
I remember thinking, ‘absolutely’!!
I put together a few ideas that he could present to his boss, Emma Slater (Principal), who loved the idea. The school selection program then started to select four
wonderful young year 6 students to be the first Devilbend School Ambassadors.
Thinking it would be good to give the students an introduction to the reserve prior to the program starting in the New Year, a frog census was organised in December 2017.
I remember it being a wonderful morning; one of those mornings that nature turns on, and we seemed to discover or see something in every nook and cranny.
I was also extremely lucky the day prior when I popped out to the reserve to scout some locations and by chance I bumped into Gary Sissons, a local newspaper photographer.
Not knowing who he was or what he did, we simply started up a friendly conversation and before I know it he was offering to come out and photograph the kids for the paper.
They ended up on the front page. How cool was that :)!
A little later, in the second term of 2018, Moorooduc Primary School joined the Ambassador program.
It was an offer of a helping hand and some tech advice that led me to meet Peter Quigley, Principal of MPS. I remember talking at length to Peter about what our ambitions &
aims were that we wanted to achieve at the reserve, and what we had already been doing.
Peter then explained he was the Principal of Moorooduc Primary School, and it would be such a great resource for his school and considering too that they were just down the
end of the road, it would be perfect.
He quickly got the ball rolling at his end with the school council, and with me liaising between the two schools we quickly had a second lot of Ambassadors joining us for
fun adventures at Devilbend.
Looking back over the last 12 months it’s been a fantastic year: we’ve had the school Ambassadors to Devilbend; so many memories; a lot of fun, and I know I earned a lot. I would like to thank Parks Victoria, especially Sam Pollard, for all his help and support throughout the year. Also a thank you to Monica Tewman from the macro-invertebrates team of Melbourne Water, and Graham White (leader of the Water Watch group) for their help. And not to mention my DFI committee members, a big thank you to Roger Richards, Annabel Richards, Marnie Fitzsimons (who is always a fantastic help and support), and Anthony Fennell. Also, thank you Michael Mann who is always putting his hand up to help when he can.
Wrapping up: The last visit for the 2018 School Ambassadors from Tyabb Railway Station Primary School and Moorooduc Primary School was a fantastic morning, thanks to James Frazer from Melbourne Water teaching us all about frogs: their types of habitat; stages of life; the types of frogs we are likely to find in our specific area; and what different habitats the different frogs prefer.
We also learnt about this fantastic app called ‘Frog Census’ that's available for you to download to your phone or tablet. The app allows you to easily and conveniently do your own survey of frogs: so give it a go in your own local area - you may even discover a frog that was not known to be there.
Thanks DB Ambassadors for a fantastic year and great memories.
Program / School Ambassadors coordinator
Over the past few months the Parks team has focused a large amount of time monitoring, mapping and treating the new and emerging weed Disa bracteata (South African Weed Orchid) not only in Devilbend but Langwarrin FFR and Arthurs Seat State Park.
Devilbend Reserve – Rangers Update.
Water tank art project - HW
Disa bracteata - wikimedia.org
For all volunteers who have not yet registered to Parks Victoria "Parks Connect" please register following the link Here
Blackberry is a perennial, semi-deciduous, prickly, scrambling invasive plant. It is a semi-prostrate to almost-erect shrub, with arching and entangling stems arising from a woody crown and forms thickets up to several metres high. The root/crown system is the only perennial part of the plant.
Weed of the Month – Blackberry.
Blackberry - SP
The Red-eared Slider Turtle has been reported in the Devilbend Natural Features Reserve. This species has previously been found in the wild in and around the metropolitan areas of Melbourne. It competes with native turtles for food, basking sites, nesting sites and suitable habitat.
Red-eared Slider Turtle.
Red-eared Slider Turtle - www.infoturtle.com
December Update from Jacqui Salter, Landcare Facilitator for Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network and Project Coordinator for the MPLN’s ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’.
Linking Mornington Peninsula Landscape.
In memory of Matt Stahmer
It is with much sadness that we received news that Matt Stahmer died of heart failure whilst surfing on 19th November. He was a gregarious and caring person
who would go above and beyond to help others. He was also hilarious. I had the wonderful experience of working with Matt in the Natural Systems Team of the
Mornington Peninsula Shire since I began in 2012. He was passionate about the local environment and his legacy lives on across the Peninsula, including a
significant patch of Calcareous Swale Grassland he helped to establish at St Andrews Beach Recreation Hall; his work to protect the Frankston Spider Orchid;
the biolinks along Browns Road Rosebud and Meakins Rd Flinders, and so much more. His hearty laughter and zest for life will be missed by all
who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the strength we all receive from nature. At this busy time of the year, I encourage you to take some time out for yourself to re-energise and reflect on the big picture – what a beautiful place we live in and how lucky we all are.
A few weeks ago, I headed out to Balcombe Estuary to check out Hansi Wegner’s great camera set up for nest box monitoring which transmits live videos to a handheld screen. .
Last week I also attended the DELWP ‘Weeds at the Early Stages of Invasion (WESI)’ Weed workshop run by Kate Blood and Bianca Gold.
The top weeds were:
1. Sicilian Sea Lavender
2. Berry-Flower heath
3. Chilean needle grass
4. Black Flag/Star fish iris
5. Bitou Bush
6. White flowering Brooms
7. African Daisy
Hansi Wegner with his nest box camera
Weed samples from WESI workshop. - J Salter
Since the formation of the Devilbend Foundation Council in 2006, I have been sitting on the Council as the representative of the Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers and Residents Association (MPRRA). At MPRRA’s invitation I spoke to the assembled members at their AGM, held on 11th November, in the Rosebud library.
Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers and Residents Association Enlightenment.
During the years that I spent in East Gippsland as a Fisheries and Wildlife Officer I was sometimes called upon to perform duties that were outside the
normal activities associated with my position. During the twelve years I spent at Bairnsdale I was often involved in rescue or recovery operations on the
Gippsland lakes. The local Police did not have a boat so in any search or recovery operation on the water they invariably called on me and the Departmental boat.
Two recovery operations that I was involved in occurred during the mid-1960s, and each resulted in the loss of young lives.
In the first incident a group of young couples on motorbikes arrived at Paynesville on a Saturday afternoon and relaxed on the foreshore with a few drinks. From local reports they were well behaved and not causing any disturbance. In the early evening one of the party members, a young man who was there alone, walked out into the lake fully clothed and kept walking until he disappeared from view. I got an early call the following Sunday morning requesting that I pick up a diver and a Police Officer and proceed to the site of the suspected drowning. By the time we arrived on the scene the visiting group of bikers had departed except for one couple who had stayed behind to indicate the spot where their friend had disappeared.
The diver, who happened to be the owner of a local garage, found the body within a minute or two and managed to float it over to the boat. We then took the body back to a nearby jetty laid it out and waited for the arrival of the undertaker. The deceased, a small man, looked to be about 20 years of age and he was fully dressed in his biking clothes, boots, jeans and leather jacket. Laying there with his hands by his side he looked as though he was sleeping. However, the blue pallor of his face indicated that it was a sleep from which there was no awakening. I thought at the time what a sad and bizarre way for someone to end their life. The young couple who had remained at the scene had a brief look at the body and then departed. The police informed me that they had difficulty finding his next of kin, all they knew was his name.
The second incident involved the drowning of two young girls in the Tambo River downstream from Bruthen at a place known as Tambo Upper. As the story unfolded it appeared that a woman had left her three young girls on the bank of the river while she went off to do something or other. From my memory of the tragedy I believe the eldest girl was about 12, there were two younger girls with the youngest being of pre -school age. When the mother returned sometime later the two older girls had disappeared and only the youngest remained standing on the bank of the River and pointing into the water. I received a phone call from the police early that afternoon so I picked up a Police Officer and proceeded up the Tambo River to a spot known locally as the Cliffs. Here the River is bounded on one side by the Tambo Upper road and on the other by a line of steep cliffs. The riverbank on the road side was heavily vegetated with a small clear spot here and there to provide access for anglers. It was not a place where I would leave three young children unattended.
When we arrived on the scene there were a number of police and local farmers standing around and very little happening. There were no divers available so I and the local police officer started towing a grapnel up and down the river in the hope of snagging the bodies. It was a very crude way of attempting to recover a drowned person but in the absence of any other recovery activity it was the best we could do. If a similar tragedy occurred today no doubt a team of expert police divers would be sent from Melbourne to assist in the recovery operation. Later that afternoon a fish net was stretched across a bend in the river and the two bodies were recovered as they drifted with the current and became enmeshed in the net. The Police believed that the mid-aged girl had fallen into the river and the eldest girl had attempted to save her and both had drowned.
I didn’t attend the inquest and I don`t know if the Coroner made some negative comments on the circumstances of the incident. It was a tragedy that need not have happened.
Herald (Melbourne, Vic.: 1861 - 1954), Thursday 24 May 1923, page 16
HEARD THE SCREAMS - Tales of Eerie Sounds in Bush
EXPLANATIONS DIFFER - Additional reminiscences of experiences in the bush are related by correspondents who have at various times heard blood-curdling screams, resembling those which have terrified residents of Christmas Hills. More than usual interest attaches to the contribution sent by Mr T. J. Ruddell, Deepdene, who gives the result of nearly 80 years’ experience of bush life in this State. He speaks of early experiences with the Aborigines.
BUNYIP DID EXIST Sir, — I would like to tell my experience after nearly 80 years in touch with bush-life in Victoria. About 1850, my father purchased a cattle station in Western Port, now Mornington. The station was named “Tuerong.” “With it he bought stock and outfit. The first occupant was Mr Thomas, who was also appointed “Black Protector,” to distribute the flour, blankets, and other comforts to the natives. Although rations stopped when he left, the tribe still remained in their quamby—a collection of shelters made simply by planting two forked sticks in the ground, a sapling across for the ridge, and branches and bark leant against the ridge. These mi-mis ran in two parallel lines, about 30 feet apart. Across the one end was a bark square, about 8 x 10, composed of flat sheets, sewn or tied together with dried sinews from kangaroos. On this large sheet there was sketched in some white substance, similar to the clay or paint with which they smeared their faces and bodies for corroboree or war-dance, the outline of the bunyip or debbil-debbil of the lagoon, or lake, or pond. The bunyip when spoken of was always associated with still water, never a river or creek. Its noise was like “drum-boolabool,” or thunder. It seemed a sketch of it very largo amphibious creature like a walrus or seal. Some years afterwards, when I was in business as photographer, Mr Street, of the City Buffet, who had been a collector of wild animals previous to the Zoo, got me round to photograph lions, tigers and other animals.
There was a sea devil (which snapped at my camera legs), with unblinking, round eyes, the exact counterpart of the sketch on the sheet of bark of which I speak. Although like the New Zealand dodo, they have become extinct, the bunyip traditions have been handed down from tribe to tribe.
Yours, etc - T. J. RUDDELL.
“Tuerong,” Barnsbury Rd., Deepdene, May 23. P.S. Tuerong Pastoral Run No. 191 - Ralph Ruddell held the Tuerong run from 25th May 1852 until Charles Vaughan & Edward Wild took it over from 17th April 1860.
They held it until 19th August 1864 when it was forfeited.
Victorian Squatters Compiled by Robert Spreadborough & Hugh Anderson 1983
The license for Tuerong, 12,000 acres, was held by William Jackson Thomas, son of William Thomas
(Valda Cole) Hastings District Heritage Study Vol 2
Devilbend Ck Reg ID No. 14242, the same number as Balcombe Ck, which indicates they are one and the same
Victorian Register of Geographic Names (VICNAMES)
The traditional Boonwurrung name for Devilbend Ck was Tichunggorroc Victorian Register of Geographic Names
Daangean is written on the map below and note the spelling of Western Port
Graffiti on Quarry Wall - MF
Raided Turtle Nest - HW