Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Cairn's Sea Front and Michaelmas Cay, Queensland.

A day out on the Reef.
Australia, Day Thirty Three.
 
The boat, beach and Noddy's.
The three of us set off early from Cassowary House and Ian drove us down to the Harbour south of Cairn's where we were getting a boat out to Michaelmas Cay to see some of the sea birds that breed and visit the small island, just after leaving the House we saw a couple of Northern Bettong's (Bettongia tropica) disappear into the roadside bushes.
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
We were there early so we went around onto the Esplanade for a coffee, as we sat at the bar we saw Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii). 
Sooty Terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) one with Chick.
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) stood over an egg.
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).
Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) chick.
On the landward side of the bar we added Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus), Australian Swiftlet (Aerodramus terraereginae) and a couple of the more unwelcome Black Rats (rattus rattus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus).
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus), Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) and Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
We got on to the boat and after health and safety chats we were on our way, it took us about an hour to motor out to the Cay where nearly everyone went into the water but Deb and I went straigt ashore in the smaller boat to do some photography of the sea bird, we spent quite a while in the roped off area which you are not allowed to leave.
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
The birds were fantastic but the very strong wind made it difficult to get shots whithout sand in them which was also making standing quite painful as the sand was also blasting our feet.
General View of the Cay.
General View of the Cay.
More distant view of the birds over the Cay.
On the Cay we had amazing views of
Brown Booby's (Sula leucogaster), Great Crested (Thalasseus bergii) and Sooty Terns (Onychoprion fuscatus), Brown Noddy's (Anous stolidus) and Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
On the smaller boat checking the ends of the Cay.
We then got back on to the smaller boat and one of the guys took Deb and Myself to both ends of the island were we added the only Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) of my trip and a single Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres).
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons).
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) with a mouth full.
The rest of the day was spent at another area of reef where most of the group went snorkeling and I spent a short while flapping around very ungainly in the water near the boat before giving it up as a bad job and removing my wet suit and continued to do some birding from the front of the boat before we all returned to Cairn's and Cassowary house.

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