Members Updates2020-09-19T03:15:50+00:00

Reefcare Saturday 2nd July

Hi all,

Unfortunately a major weather event had been predicted this weekend, with large swells and high rainfall. 

As such the Bushcare group has been cancelled for this month.

I hope you have all been well and hope to see you back next month.

Reefcare report for Saturday 4th June


As normal, I will send the additional photos one by one, due to the size (crop etc as you require for the Reefcare Site). The one attached to this email, is morning tea.

The first two of the following photos, show some of the group working around the midden with planting and the last one is the end result with the log and stones protecting these two dune areas.

It was a little cool to start with, but once on site and working, all ten of us had warmed up – the sun almost making up for the cold wind. The whole group worked for the first hour around the NE Midden which was eroded in the big swells that the east coast of Australia had a few months ago. First of all, we stamped down what was left of a large Bitou which was removed from here about 6 months ago, to use a mulch, before plating around 20 tube stock of Carpobrotus (pigs face) at the bottom of the midden and in the sand dune to the east which gives this midden some protection.

We then collected some spinifex and Scaevola calendulacea runners from the eastern dunes – trimmed a few nodes of leaves and planted these around this area, hoping that they may sent out roots from the nodes and establish to give additional protection.

There was some drift wood on the beach, so we collected that to put in front of this area, and some rocks behind to try and stop the waves a bit more. Then we spread the small twigs and mulch around the plantings, as this helps to keep the soil moister and roots not get burnt, until the plants can get more established.

John has an on-going shoulder problem so didn’t work on the midden area, instead targeting his (and my) weed of hate….Burr Medic. That will keep John entertained for some time; I’ve been trying to get Council to spray this for about 20 years, as we cannot keep up with this nasty weed. John, you now have a job for the next 20 years is my guess!

After this the group divided with Des, Brad, Merrilyn and Gen moving to their loved western area where there was a mountain of Blackberry nightshade, Ehrharta and Merrilyn finding lots of asparagus fern. This group took the rest of the tube stock with the balance of the Carpobrotus, 6 x Canavalia and one lonely banksia!

Joanna, Rohan, Alex and Lisa worked on removing Kikuyu and Buffalo grass from around the Lomandra on the flat northern rim of our site, whilst Ivana worked around the track area where we work every month for a short while on the Asthma weed and Bidens – it is working, as there is less and less of these two weeks in this area each month.

We met for morning tea at 10:30 and were blessed with carrot cake and vanilla slice which our Dragonfly Environmental Supervisor for the day – Joanna, kindly provided. There was much excitement within the group. Joanna also did a great ‘Show and Tell’ for the group on how to tell the difference between Kikuyu, Buffalo and Ehrharta. This was much needed so that working on removing these weeds from the Lomandra, that there was no Themeda removed due to lack of grass identification. The group were really interested in this – so many thanks for sharing your knowledge to make the identification easier. Des also talked a little about his long weekend at Boorowa (which North Sydney Council together with Land Care arrange each year) planting natives on farms in the area – Des has done this long weekend for many years – Maria from the group also attended.

Images from John Isles

After morning tea each person went back to continue working in the area they were before morning tea, except Ivana after some time came over to remove Kikuyu and Buffalo from off the Lomandra. There was such a huge pile of grass, we filled the four bags we had to take up the top, but unfortunately, still left quite a pile. Hopefully when we get there next month, the pile will be half the size, but we will still have an issue of where to put all the weed when we work in this area next month.

1. Morning Tea
2 & 3. Some of the group working around the midden with planting
4. The end result with the log and stones protecting these two dune areas

Reefcare Report – Saturday 5th May

It was a beautiful sunny day for the twelve of us to work at beautiful Long Reef point. Josh and Alex worked on removing the rest of the non-native Pigs Face off the Themeda on the lower northern west part of the site. A number of us worked for awhile down the path targeting Parramatta Grass immediately next to the track, so that it doesn’t come down onto our site. Maria stayed longer on this task, and Julie targeted Asparagus fern. Brad and Gen worked on the lower west side on various weeds whilst John, Izzy, Jarrah, myself and latterly Maria worked around near the bottom of the track targeting Asthma weed, Bidens and Buffel grass. As Des was in isolation, Merrilyn took over his role and scouted around the sight for asparagus fern, collecting other weeds as she moved around the site – she had a significant amount of weed in her bag by morning tea, that’s for sure.

At morning tea, Brad pointed out all the dead trees we had in our area, which was quite a shock. Jarrah said that he had seen this on another site, and that perhaps this is due to the amount of excessive rain that Sydney has experienced this year.

After morning tea Merrilyn, Gen and I did some planting in the eastern dunes as we had about half a dozen each of Lomandra and Kennedia (Coral pea) tube stock, whilst Alex and Josh also worked in this area on the non-native pigs face until they had to leave early for soccer. The previous areas cleared of the non-native pigs face are doing well with plenty of spinifex moving in as well as native geranium. Brad and Izzy attacked a large patch of Turkey Rhubarb up the top of the south bank (which Brad found), and unfortunately had seeded quite a bit, but they were able to get a lot of seed that was still developing. Izzy told me at the end of the day… ‘it was the worse job ever!” John, Jarrah and I were going to start on the Kikuyu along the northern sand dunes, but low and behold Jarrah found a Turkey Rhubarb, well into and under a large lomandra longifolia just east of the track – it was very difficult to get in there and get the buried red bulbs, we really needed a wombat.

As we didn’t get to start removing the Kikuyu from the Lomandra along the northern sand dunes, I’ve promised Jarrah, this will be our priority for next month.

Reefcare Report – Saturday 2nd April


Despite having a week of non-stop rain, like last month we were lucky and go in our full 3 hours of work – not only that, we had morning tea in sunshine. The waves were massive and we were all in awe of their size, power, strength and stunned at the damage that they were doing to the coastline and our site – which is now several metres smaller in a number of areas.

There were eight of us with three (Brad, Alex, Josh and Jarrah) working on removing the non-native pigs face just west of the flat area which was growing over a beautiful stand of Themeda. Des walked the site weeding and looking for his favourite weed – asparagus fern. Three of us (John, Claire and Lisa) weeded just west of the main path targeting Bidens and asthma weed.

After morning tea, we walked around the site to look at the wave damage and picked up two bags of foam which had come in from the waves, and the large pieces we left in a pile, where the Monday litter group put their collection of flotsam and jetsam for the Council to collect. On Monday morning one of our members with the hand of some casual beach uses cleared all the logs and other foliage on the sea side of the path, they did a great job.

After the groups tour of the site and picking up all the foam pieces, we all removed some of the non-native pigs face from the eastern sand dunes where there isan underlying cover of spinifex – which should help this grass establish better in this area.

(above) Photo of Alex and Josh above the area in the eastern dune where we cleared the non-native pig’s face.

Erosion SE Corner – this show the landslip that occured a few weeks ago
on the South East Cliff, where Reefcare lost about 1 to 2 metres of our
site down the cliff.

Erosion SE Cliff – this shows the water on Saturday – right up to the
cliff and scouring away the soil from the landslip a few weeks ago.

Erosion SE Dune – the waves were so large, that they were coming up and
into the eastern sand dunes. Normally there would around 3 metres of
sand between these dunes and the ocean

Erosion SE Corner – this show the landslip that occured a few weeks ago
on the South East Cliff, where Reefcare lost about 1 to 2 metres of our
site down the cliff.

here’s part of the group heading down the track to our work area.
The photo was taken by John Isles

clearing of the non-native pigs face

Claire and Lisa weeding for Burr Medic and asthma weed

Reefcare Report – Saturday 5th March

Sydney has had weeks of non-stop rain, but miraculously – we had Saturday without a drop. But my gosh, it was tremendously humid. Despite the weather we had a great turn up of 11 volunteers plus our supervisor.

In the morning, Elias our supervisor for this month from Dragonfly Environmental along with Josh, Alex and Rohan removed more of the non-native pig’s face on the steep south western slope, whilst Claire, John and Issy worked on the flat targeting weeds, but mainly burr medic. Des, Brad and Merrilyn all worked on the western side removing more bitou. Des and Merrilyn had around a dozen plants – mainly creepers to plant around the area.

Julie worked over near the old creek removing bitou and planting around 30 banksia cones – so here’s hoping we may get some banksia seedlings coming up.

After morning tea, Issy and Claire collected some small Warrigal green (Native spinach) from the lower south slope to the west of the track which has absolutely flourished in the past few months with all this rain, and then went up the western slope planting in the area cleared with pigs face, and also where Des, Brad and Merrilyn had cleared bitou. So, we have 3 species of creepers and Warrigal green to cover this steep slope, which I am sure will prevent erosion. Alex, Josh and Rohan went to the bottom of the western slope and worked on removing Bitou in this area – as I say – heading west, bit by bit. Lisa and John went up to the steep south eastern end of the site and did general weeding and removing mainly in this area, Burr Medic, Ehrharta erecta, and bitou seedlings plants. This area is doing well, as we have many self seeded natives in this area which is reducing the weeds. couch and winter grass will be a target in the future when we get time.

The area is looking good, so hopefully we maybe able to spend some time in the near future to tackle the Kikuyu.

There were some really exciting sighting and finds this month which included:

· A new native creeper with lovely tiny purple/white pea flowers in the bottom grassland, just west of the track – Glycine clandestine
· Quite a number of beautiful large mushrooms just above the north facing dune – which in places with this weather of rain and high tides, the dune have in some sections lost almost a meter of cliff.
· A lovely delicate white Gilled fungi – we believe to be a species of Trogia. Found on the flat, east of the track.
· There were a number of Tiger Moths around the site – and Lisa managed to get a couple of good photos of one on some Warrigal Green (native spinach)
· John Isles got a photo of which we believe to be either a Grass Dart or a Darter (thinking probably the latter)
· There were 15 Oyster catchers on the shoreline at the most eastern point of Long Reef. Lisa cannot remember ever seeing this many of this bird species together at Long Reef; an amazing sight.
A hive of hairy caterpillars
· There were two other sea bird species on the shore line – the smaller one in great numbers – probably 100+, we think they maybe two of the migratory species that we are lucky to have arrive at Long Reef (hence we the no dogs signs for the reserve area), but as none of our members are bird watchers, we were unable to identify the species.

Reefcare Report – Saturday 5th February


Reefcare had a fabulous turn up of 12 volunteers, which was fantastic given the inclement weather…  we were actually getting organised with equipment with Jarrah from Dragonfly Environmental when we had a slight downpour, for which volunteers just put on their raincoats – what Trojans we have in our group!

Luckily it was only a 10 minute or so rain cloud and the rest of the day was fantastic.  There was a pretty strong southerly, but working on the north side of the ridge this did not cause any problems.  There was diverse working on site with a number of us (Izzy, Ivana, Claire, John, Josh, Maria, Jarrah and myself) working on getting rid of the non-native aggressive pigs face on the south  western side, leaving hopefully a base of deceased pigs face as erosion control and then vegetation matter for  mulching we cleared a large area and put in some tube stock – and then we planted about 8 plants (which takes time as we need to build our terraces due to the sandy steep slope) before moving down to the bottom where Ivana and Josh tackled a couple of Bitou, whilst Izzy, John, Claire and I worked on Burr Medic and Jarrah and Maria along the track working mainly on Bidens and other weeds.Julie worked on the high west slope on Bitou, whilst Des was also in that area planting. Merrilyn and Gen worked slightly lower than the big group targeting Bitou seedlings, general weeding and they had 6 plants for their area.  Six of us met at the Outpost coffee shop in Ocean Grove afterwards where we chatted on a wide range of topics.

Photos – taken by John IslesTop: arriving on site in inclement weather.
Second: the pile we made after removing some of the non-native pigs face on the south western side of our site.

Photos – taken by Lisa Calder
Third: photo of the Pigs Face removal prior to then doing some planting in this areaFourth: The photo of the coastal rosemary shows that with good terracing (old branches of the removed bitou) and mulching – on this steep sandy slope that the plants can do really well and it is easy to see the green shoots and how this Coastal Rosemary is growing. This was planted in December – 2 months ago and still looking good on this steep slope.

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