Hi to everyone from Cecilia. This week I have participated in a Marine Debris fieldtrip at Phillip Island in Victoria.
After arriving on Wednesday, we all walked down to watch the Little Penguins land and parade on the beach. It was great to watch these amazing little creatures, and just as amazing to watch the reactions of the hordes of tourists who had made the pilgramage.
On Thursday morning, after some initial instruction, we all trundled down to the Penguin Parade beach and conducted some Transect and Emu Drop surveys. We were on the lookout for plastics that had been dropped or washed up. The data was entered onto the data base for the scientists as CSIRO to analyse. After lunch, Dr. Peter Dann told us about the penguins, their life histories and behaviours
While we were there, the people of Phillip Island were preparing for their annual Shearwater Festival – a celebration of the annual migration of these fantastic birds. Short-tailed Shearwater (Mutton Bird) expert, Dr. David Boyle, took us up to the rookeries on Cape Woolamai as night fell on Thursday to watch the birds gather over the sea, then land and enter their burrows. It is estimated that there are between 300 and 600 thousand birds in this colony. At 4.15 on Friday morning, we CRAWLED out of bed and walked back to the Cape to watch them leave their burrows and launch from the cliff tops at first light.