Saturday, 8 December 2018

A holiday to remember on Bundaberg's Coral Coast

A female flatback turtle, covering her nest chamber with sand on Mon Repos Beach.

I kicked off the start of this summer with a short break up at Bargara, where I had a fantastic time! I’ll get to all the interesting animals and plants I saw in a minute, but first, let me just say how much I liked the actual region. Bundaberg struck me as a city with the perfect mix of old and new; lovely heritage buildings and structures and a laid-back attitude are complemented by the modern conveniences of good roads, internet access and seven-days-a-week shopping. And while I can see new suburbs popping up here and there, the region isn’t suffering the same intense overcrowding that Brisbane is at present. I loved it! 

And now back to the wildlife! Here are some of the creatures and places that will be living in my heart for much longer than my holiday lasted. 

Sea turtles
If there’s one animal that Bundaberg's Coral Coast is particularly famous for, it’s the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Researchers estimate that approximately half of the South Pacific Ocean’s loggerheads nest on the stretch of coastline centred on stunning Mon Repos Beach, and late spring and early summer is when the females can be seen coming ashore. 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Lamington National Park shines bright on a grey morning

Morans Creek, O'Reilly.

On a cool and overcast morning last Friday, I headed down to Lamington National Park and walked two tracks in the Green Mountains section near O’Reilly’s.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Sea anemones plentiful in Sunshine Coast rockpools

LEFT: decorated anemone, RIGHT: green anemone.

Last Wednesday I went searching for sea anemones on a rocky shoreline south of Coolum Beach, and found five different species in the rock pools there.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Wild BNE meet-up: Oxley Creek Common

Double-barred finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii).

Oxley Creek Common is regarded as one of Brisbane’s premier birdwatching locations, with over 200 species recorded at the site. On Saturday 22nd September, I am offering to host a walk for a group of people who would like to spend the afternoon at this beautiful reserve, exploring the wetlands, farm margins and wooded areas for as many fascinating birds, animals and plants as we can find. The pace will be leisurely and along a flat gravel path, but the total distance walked may be as much as five kilometres.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Mangroves of Toondah Harbour

Grey mangroves at the edge of Cassim Island.

I love mangroves. I find them to be fascinating examples of adaptation, and admire the way they shape and influence entire coastlines and ecosystems. 
Salt crystals on a yellow mangrove leaf.

Here in South-east Queensland, we have seven species of them (eight, if you count a species of fern), so I also appreciate how beginner-friendly they are when it comes to plant identification, as there are not too many to sort through.

Unfortunately, despite their immense environmental and economic value, mangroves are sadly not championed by the general public in the same way that rainforests, coral reefs and other ecosystems are. Governments and developers use this to their advantage, feeling comfortable in destroying coastal wetlands for the sake of marinas, canal estates and the like. A situation just like this is currently playing out in Cleveland, where a proposed development threatens Toondah Harbour and surrounds.

Swamp tiger (Danaus affinis) on a river mangrove.

This blog post examines the different mangrove species that can be seen in the Toondah Harbour area, and provides tips on how to tell them apart, but may also be useful for other mangrove communities in South-east Queensland.