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?
4 thoughts on “Birds, fish and Mangroves”
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!
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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
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
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I remember! Little boy fishing on a wooden pier – Burl Ives I think! So glad the card arrived OK – a bit of a worry sending from such remote locations! Xxx will email soon x