Posts By: David Muirhead

Oct 10

October 10, 2017

The small congolli that I found ‘belly up’ at Myponga Beach

I recently collected a small congolli that I found effectively ‘belly up’. The small congolli effectively ‘belly up’ (Taken by David Muirhead) Actually, it was lying on its side, on the shallow bottom towards one sandy rubbly bank of the moderately briskly outflowing but very narrow rivulet. The small congolli lying on its side, on the shallow bottom  (Taken by David Muirhead) The rivulet, barely 2 metres wide at that point, was running across the beach towards the sea, since the tide was out…

Posted in Bony fishes, Citizen Science, Coastal species, Freshwater systems, intertidal zone | By

Oct 6

October 6, 2017

My Cetacean Sighting at Carrickalinga

In the afternoon of 3rd October, I saw a pair of (what I STRONGLY suspect were) some sort of pygmy or dwarf cetacean, species indeterminate. I saw them from the lookout at Carrickalinga’s Roma Mitchell Reserve. They were quite close to shore and moving rapidly north towards Myponga Beach.  Both were less than two metres long and absolutely were not bottlenose dolphins, or pinnipeds, or so on.  I’m surer about this than I otherwise would have been, because about four years…

Posted in Whales & Dolphins | By

Sep 19

September 19, 2017

More About the Normanville Communication Cable

Further to my article “The 1875 Communication Cable from Normanville to Kangaroo Island”, whether the cable was installed in during the 1860s or the 1870s, has been a niggling doubt for the author. The few historical records I’d come across seemed to vary a bit as to key dates with regards to the draft project’s definitive government funding approval date, works commencement and completion dates, and even the official opening ceremony date. Several years ago, I read an old newspaper article, reprinted in one of several…

Posted in intertidal zone, Jetties, Maritime History | By

Sep 17

September 17, 2017

Pipefish encounters: One genus, two species, endless entertainment

Encounters of the kind below are not what most of us expect when at the beach for a swim and a bit of relaxation on a nice summer day. Which adds a special touch, for me at least. You can wade bare-footed at knee to waist depth off almost any white sandy beach in Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf and see several species of pipefish that specialize  in hiding in and around the edges  of those dark patches of seagrass detritus that are…

Posted in Bony fishes, Coastal species, Syngnathids | By

Aug 19

August 19, 2017

The Unique South

Seems like only yesterday that lovers of temperate southern Australian rocky reefs first heard and, in some cases, eagerly promulgated the term “The Unique South “. The term had instant appeal as a catchy descriptor with seemingly obvious educational value. I loved the term from the first encounter. I guess the term “Unique South ” struck so powerful an emotional chord within me because fate decreed the time had come. And because of the validation it bestowed on people who…

Posted in Creative writing | By

Oct 19

October 19, 2014

Harlequin Fish

Harlequin Fish in peril in SA, still targeted

To the editor of The Sunday Mail, I note with dismay the anachronistic discrepancy of two items printed on page 69 in the Sunday Mail today (October 19, 2014). The first item, ‘Fishing Hot Spots with Jon Huie’ shows a trophy shot of a rare Harlequin Fish caught off Cape Jervis by an angler. The other item, ‘What’s On’ describes a planned beach cleanup and dolphin awareness activities under the heading: Sea Shepherd Adelaide Beach Activity Day at Brighton jetty and beach. The Harlequin Fish…

Posted in Bony fishes, Marine Protected Areas, Pollution | By

Aug 11

August 11, 2014

smooth toadfish buried in sand david muirhead

Opalescent Eye of Toadie – Reflecting on refracted light

Here’s why I rave about our toadies’ amazing eyes when seen via facemask in shallow, sandy, near-shore areas. I see them mainly late, in summer and autumn, when they are at their most prolific. They are found in very shallow areas almost anywhere in SA, except for the far west coast. The image below which features their green and blue ‘opal’ eyes is from knee-depth shallows of Lady Bay on a bright sunny day. Despite the camera data stating ‘flash used: yes’, I assure you…

Posted in Bony fishes | By

Jul 26

July 26, 2014

The Southern Rock Lobsters at Margaret Brock Reef

The sanctuary zone at Margaret Brock Reef is the only place I’ve dived in SA where I’ve seen large numbers of huge rock lobsters (along with prolific juveniles and all between). Until then, I’d wrongly believed the (with hindsight, small to medium) lobsters (up to approx. 3-4 Kg with regard to the few we ate each Xmas!) that I and my various dive buddies were seeing everywhere else in SA were actually big, quite mature lobsters. We were in fact…

Posted in Crustaceans, Marine Protected Areas | By

Feb 28

February 28, 2004

Magpie Morwong

Testing a Shark Shield while snorkeling at Marino

Having used a scuba-model Shark Shield for many years, I recently had the privilege of testing the new snorkeling version which Mike Wescombe-Down of the Coastal Waters Dive Club kindly loaned me in readiness for the West Coast Blue Groper Survey (See next Newsletter?). I never actually used it on that trip as I only snorkeled in ‘safe’ inshore areas such as gutters, channels and pools largely protected from the open sea, and when photographing on SCUBA in open water…

Posted in Dive Reports, Equipment | By

Aug 30

August 30, 2002

Leafy Sea Dragon

Tumby Bay Jetty Dive

Jenni and I had a few days R and R at Port Lincoln this week so I took my gear, hoping to get a few dives. The shore/jetty dive prospects and viz at Whyalla, Cowell, Port Neill and Arno Bay varied from poor to “possibly just o.k. but let’s try the next town.” Finally at Tumby Bay, the last town before Port Lincoln, both the viz and the jetty access looked adequate so in I went, complete with a ‘Seachange’…

Posted in Dive Reports, Jetties, Syngnathids | By