Australian bittern in Victoria


This video is called Australasian Bittern.

From Birdline Victoria in Australia:

Tuesday 30 June

Australian Bittern

Western Treatment Plant (Werribee)–Western Lagoons

Thanks to Paul Newman who spotted the bird, the bird spent most of the time in the drain on the left hand side as you enter Western Lagoons via Gate 2. It did, however, move around the centre ponds as well. Time was about 4pm.

Bernie OKeefe

Australian bird news


This video from Australia is called Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus).

From Birdline Victoria in Australia, 15 May 2015:

Noisy Friarbird

Yarra Ranges Council/Lilydale Tennis Club, Anderson Street, Lilydale

Single individual observed in flowering Ironbarks behind the municipal offices/Lilydale Library and adjoining the tennis club.

Feeding with mixed flocks of Red Wattlebird, Noisy Miner and Rainbow Lorikeet. Seen 13-15 May in same location.

Australian priest blames victim for her murder


Jill Meagher, who was murdered in Melbourne. Photograph: Facebook/PR Image/AAP

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Jill Meagher‘s family criticise Catholic priest over ‘disgusting’ claim

Priest reportedly told students at a Melbourne primary school that if Meagher had been more ‘faith filled’ she would have been home and ‘not walking down Sydney Road at 3am’

This victim blaming is even worse for being part of a sermon to primary school children.

Merran Hitchick

Sunday 29 March 2015 06.36 BST

A Catholic priest in Melbourne has reportedly been criticised for a speech in which he said Jill Meagher would have been at home instead of out on the night she was raped and killed if she was more “faith filled”.

Meagher was murdered by Adrian Bayley after a night out Melbourne in September 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The priest delivered his homily at an end-of-term service for a Catholic primary school in Melbourne on Friday and radio station 3AW reported he held up a newspaper article with a picture of Bayley on it to make his point. The report says he told a crowd of about 100 that if Meagher had been more “faith filled” she would have been home and “not walking down Sydney Road at 3am”.

Meagher’s family were outraged by the report and said it was a “stupid thing to say”.

“Adrian Bayley was out there that night looking for a victim and found her,” Joan Meagher, Jill Meagher’s mother-in-law told the Irish Independent. “He was looking for anyone, it didn’t matter to him who the person was.

Thomas Meagher, Jill’s husband, put a statement on Facebook calling the comments “disgusting”.

“What a truly abhorrent lesson to teach a child,” he wrote. “How a human being with such dangerous and misogynistic views can be allowed pass those messages onto children is depressing. Shameful.”

The Catholic Church has apologised for the comments, the Age reports, with one official saying the church did not support the “totally inappropriate” and offensive” comments.

Monsignor Greg Bennett, vicar-general of the archdiocese of Melbourne, went on radio to apologise.

“I’ve spoken with the priest; he acknowledges that the homily wasn’t appropriate and apologises for the offence and upset it has caused,” he told 3AW.

“The reference to Jill Meagher in particular was offensive and inappropriate and the people of Victoria and Ireland mourn her sad and tragic death.

See also here.

Australian birds news update


This is a Beautiful Firetail video from Tasmania in Australia.

From Birdline Victoria in Australia:

Thursday 8 January 2015

Fork-tailed Swift, White-throated Needletail, Latham’s Snipe, Eastern Bristlebird

Cape Howe Wilderness Area.

Mixed flock of over 100 forks and needles over Howe Flat around midday in hot and humid conditions, ratio of around 70:30 in favour of needletails. (200+ WTNT & 30 FTS seen later over Mallacoota before cool change) Single Latham’s Snipe flushed near start of boardwalk at Howe Flat (track still flooded), and 3 Eastern Brist[l]ebird heard but not seen; contact calls and intermittent song only. No sign of White-cheeked H[oney]E[ater] from November. On Lakeview Track near Barracoota Tk a pair of Beautiful Firetail was nest building, and lots of Little & Musk Lorikeet were present in flowering bloodwoods.

Australian birds New Year news


This is a spotless crake video.

From Birdline Victoria (Australia):

Truganina Swamp, Altona

About 8am, immature Lewin’s Rail seen close to the fence beside the path that runs south from the railway line between two swamps. 1x Spotted and Spotless Crakes in the same area. Same three species seen in the same area yesterday around the same time.

Peter Shute, 1 January 2015

Young shark Jennifer studied off Australia


This video says about itself:

The Fastest Shark in the Ocean

The shortfin mako shark swims at speeds up to 60 mph.

From the South Australian Research and Development Institute, with maps there, yesterday:

Jennifer is a juvenile female shortfin mako. She was satellite tagged from FV Home Strait off Lakes Entrance, eastern Victoria in mid July 2013. She was 180 cm in length. We used a very small and light SIRTRACK K2F161A satellite tag. Her tag is duty cycled at 2 days to conserve battery power.

Shark Eyes Designed to Catch Photons in Twilight Zone: here.

Australian bats’ heatwave problems


This video from Australia says about itself:

‘NO ME, NO TREE! – THE GREY-HEADED FLYING FOX

20 Dec 2012

Grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) are highly environmentally significant. Sydney Wildlife carer Sonja Elwood describes their increasingly perilous situation.

From Wildlife Extra:

Australia parks staff give a helping hand to grey-headed flying foxes affected by extreme heat

January 2014: The Australian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria staff are working alongside dedicated wildlife volunteer groups to monitor and treat grey-headed flying foxes at Yarra Bend Park as the extreme heat wave continues in the country.

Up to 500 flying foxes from the Yarra Bend Park colony have died as a result of heat stress and that number was likely to increase greatly without measures being taken.

DEPI Incident Controller, Mark Winfield, said staff and volunteers were on site doing everything they could to keep the animals cool.

“Grey-headed flying foxes, as native animals, have evolved to deal with very high temperatures but only for short periods of time,” he said. “Heat stress incidents of this scale in the colony do not occur frequently, but into our fourth successive day of extreme heat, we saw the flying foxes really struggling to cope.

“The younger animals are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are unable to fly down to the river to drink alone and may just drop from their trees with dehydration and exhaustion.

“Volunteers have been spraying the animals with a fine mist that they can lick off their wings and are also trying to separate them as they tend to bunch up in the heat, which only exacerbates the problem.”

“There is also a vet on site assessing them and providing rehydration when appropriate.”

Over summer the established colony, which can be seen from the Bellbird Picnic area off Yarra Boulevard, can swell to over 30,000 flying foxes.

Members of the public have been advised to avoid contact with stressed, injured or dead flying foxes but to contact DEPI. All wildlife volunteers assisting with the heat stress event are trained and vaccinated.

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