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