Category Archives: Beach

Early morning on the beach

We rose early and checked the sky, decided that the scattered cloud cover still gave us a chance of a decent view of the eclipse and so we drove down the road to Wonga Beach.  Too many trees at Wild Wings for a decent view of the lower regions of the sky!   We eventually chose a position on the grass overlooking the sand and settled in our chairs with some Mangosteens and a cup of tea.

Allen was in charge of the camera – the photos taken through the welding shield  had a rather eerie green tinge  so I’m pleased he managed some without!

This is about as dark as it became but that was enough to excite the children in front of us, one of whom had dressed in his Spiderman outfit for the occasion. The parents of these children were enjoying champagne  and some others further along the beach looked like they had been readying themselves on a variety of substances since the night before! However, there was plenty of space for everyone and it was very peaceful.

In spite of grey clouds obscuring the sun we did manage some good glimpses at various stages of the eclipse although it did not become as dark as I remember it during the total eclipse in Melbourne in the mid 70′s.
On that occasion I was the one enjoying the champagne along with many others at a rather good afternoon party.
There are many ways to experience a solar eclipse.

Distractions

No posts here for such a long time – my apologies to regular visitors.

My secretarial duties with Daintree Region Cassowary Group have been claiming a fair proportion of my ‘desk time’ as we try to co-ordinate a cassowary population monitoring project with CSIRO, which of course involves applying for some funding assistance.

www.daintreecassowary.org.au will give you some more information about the group’s activities as well as some facts on cassowaries.   We are also busy telling the local tour guides about the sighting submissions page so that we can start to build up a picture of cassowary movements in the Daintree area.  The last  survey of the cassowary population north of the Daintree river was carried out in 1996 so another assessment is vital.

AND We have now launched ourselves into social media with a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/cassowarydaintree

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However, it hasn’t all been hard work here.  In early March we had a holiday on North Stradbroke Island (‘Straddie’ to the locals) as part of a family reunion to celebrate the younger of my two older brothers’ 70th birthday.  We all agreed that it was fun to get together without the stress of a wedding or funeral and Straddie is well set up with a variety of accommodation to rent.  The scenery is spectacular with some wonderful walks along the cliffs, beaches and around the freshwater lakes.  We couldn’t find many small birds.  This may have been why …………

Pied Currawong

however, we particularly enjoyed the sea birds and spent a long time watching the terns diving close to the rocks – this group of Crested Tern, including some juveniles,  is taking some time to rest in the sun.

Crested Terns

And we weren’t the only ones to enjoy the cliffs, this well-muscled Eastern Grey kangaroo met us at the start of the walk at Point Lookout.  In the afternoons Eastern Greys browse on the grass around the cliffs, undisturbed by the tourists on the extensive boardwalk.  This one may have been coming in to the local cafe for a home-made gelati, these delicious frozen treats are absolutely beautiful, and there seem to be new flavours every day - such temptation!

Eastern Grey on Stradbroke Island

Although keeping an eye out for any danger even this female with her joey at foot didn’t bother hopping away when we walked quietly past.

Eastern Grey female & joey

It is 30 years since I last visited North Stradbroke Island and there are now many more houses and shops – there were only a few shacks at Point Lookout 30 years ago and now it is the most popular tourist destination.  It is, however, still a delightful place to visit and although sand mining continues at least 50% of the island has some form of environmental protection.

 

Cricket on the Beach

An outing to the beach after Olga had moved on – it was still very humid with a slight off-shore breeze and millions of mosquitoes.  The southern end of Cape Kimberley beach meets the Daintree River mouth – we were not there to risk swimming with ‘stingers’ or with crocodiles – rainforest, beachfront vegetation including quite an interesting selection of mangroves provides plenty of interest.

Grey Mangrove, (Avicennia marina), Red Mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa) and River Mangrove (Aegiceras corniculatum) were growing together – about the middle of the first photo.  The prevailing winds blow seed and lots of rubbish from passing boats into this corner.

And the lovely Thespesia populnea was flowering next to its close relative Hibiscus tiliaceous – its spent flowers decorating the beach detritus.

However, I am drifting away from my topic.

We walked as far as we could along the rocks then had to start making our way back before the incoming tide cut us off.   A movement near one of the rock puddles caught my eye and I called out to Allen for the camera – I haven’t been able to identify this cricket yet although I have sent the photo to a couple of entomologists I know, so I’ll update the post as soon as I have more information.

Body length  approx. 25mm.

Its worthwhile clicking on the image to look at the detail – wonderfully intricate patterms and fine filaments.

Update from Dr Roger Farrow

Your image looks like a male nymph of Cardiodactylus novaeguineaensis (Gryllidae:Eneopterninae) which has run out from the rainforest edge and got lost. The winged adult is quite distinct with 2 white dots on the forewing.  As the name suggests its also found in PNG and is probably a recent Asian invader (when there was the land bridge).