Birds, fish and Mangroves

A flash of iridescent aquamarine blue darts into the mangroves fringing one side of the tiny island. 

Yes, a Kingfisher! Was it a buff breasted Kingfisher (seasonal visitors to this part of Queensland) or a mangrove Kingfisher? Probably the latter we think but it was so fast…

We are in the the Low Isles – a group of two islands – one a coral cay (Low Island) and the other (Woody Island) a mangrove island – a combination unique to the Great Barrier Reef. 

Low island is toy-sized with just a couple of dwellings (for the lighthouse keeper and his assistant in the days of manned lights) and a dear little light house, still lovingly kept in pristine condition by volunteers. It takes less than 20 minutes to walk round the island’s perimeter.


The lighthouse on doll-sized Low Island

Next door on Woody Island more than 25, 000 pairs of Pied-Imperial pigeons have their nesting site. Some of them prefer the relative peace of Low Island and we were fortunate to see several pairs of these lovely birds. 

There were also some intriguing calls but we couldn’t see the birds that made them. They could well have been honey eaters of some kind.

Enjoying the peace of Low Island

In 1928 the first ever detailed scientific study of a coral reef was undertaken at the Low Isles and because of this they hold an important role in climate change research, providing a vital baseline from which to compare current outcomes.

As well as some lovely birds, there are many varieties of fish to be seen amongst the corals. We had a number of massive Batfish that came to the back of the boat looking for tidbits. 


A bat fish looking for tidbits


Batfish chasing each other

One night at the Low Isles and it was time to move on. What delights would be waiting for us at our next stop?

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

4 thoughts on “Birds, fish and Mangroves”

  1. This sounds idyllic, Dot. What wonderful birds – and superb photos of the batfish. It all looks and sounds gorgeous, specially the kingfisher – whether buff breasted or mangrove!

    On a much tamer note (but also connected with water and bats!), we’re going on a punting bat safari on the Cam next Friday evening when we’ll have Rose staying with us. However it won’t be quite as gloriously tropical as your current location; the booking info says that they provide extra blankets and umbrellas in case of changes in the weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was a beautiful little island. We have loved discovering this and other gorgeous locations up the coast North of Cairns. Now in Thursday Island! Very exciting! The bat spotting on a punt sounds like a good example of English eccentricity – especially if it’s cold enough for blankets! But great fun ! Xxx


  2. Hi Dot and Jonathan, it must be fascinating to explore a new part of the Australian coastline and see the wildlife at such close quarters. Bat fish, catfish, every this and that fish…! or maybe it was ‘dog fish, cat fish’ in the song we used to listen to on Children’s Favourites all those years ago…? Thanks again for your card from Cook town – I’ve emailed XXX

    Liked by 1 person

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