February 3, 2011

Of Night Walkers And Nature Lovers

Hi Night Walkers and Nature Lovers - Fraser island was well and truly teeming with wonderful nightlife this month.

The warmth of those January nights encouraged a lovely array of animals out and about and there was no shortage of guests eager to spot them!

The skies were filled with a familiar sound this month with the return of our occasional winged visitors - the Flying Fox. The arrival of these protected creatures was unmistakable as they took to the treetops, bickering over blossom and fruit. These boisterous bats came to Fraser to feed at night and returned to roost in Hervey Bay during the day.

Warm nights and occasional summer showers, mean the amphibian life is rich and abundant at Kingfisher Bay. Beautiful native frog species were spotted at every turn in the Wallum and their distinctive calls fill the summer night air. The always-energetic Striped Rocket Frogs were seen during most night ventures and even the delicate Cooloola Sedge Frogs and the crowd-pleasing Green Tree Frogs made an appearance this month.

The crystal-clear waters of the Great Sandy Strait provided some great opportunities for spotting the island’s amazing marine life. Estuary Stingrays and Blue Spotted Stingrays filled the shallow water under the jetty. The majestic creatures could be seen busily searching the ocean floor for crunchy crustaceans living under the sand.

A myriad of different fish species also brought the waters to life. Schools of Herring and Hardihead could be seen splashing about possibly under pursuit by much larger fish, while the occasional Garfish also graced us with its presence.

Fraser Island's famous Dingoes (pictured) were also regularly sighted on the western beach. This time of year they tend to be more active at night in an attempt to avoid the warm summer sun. Much to the delight of night-walkers, the captivating canines would often stay around for a while, probably as curious of us as we were of them!

Until February - keep safe tree huggers.

January Is For The Birds On Fraser...

Hi there bird lovers - "stone the crows," what a start to the year it has been.

The changeable weather didn’t dampen spirits of our guests and has worked to compact the tracks, making for some good four-wheel-driving on Fraser Island. We’re also pleased to reports that the sun has been shining on Fraser, Dingo mums are teaching their pups to hunt, the waterways are alive with Threadfish Salmon and Catfish and our island amphibians are enjoying being in the spotlight.

Down on the beach the usual shorebirds could be seen eagerly going about their business, searching the intertidal environment for their morning meal. Eastern Curlews with their long, perfectly-equipped beaks probed for tasty worms and crustaceans deep within the sand. White Faced Herons (pictured) and Striated Herons were also spotted along the western beach this month - these graceful and intelligent birds could be seen silently stalking their fish prey... and our early morning bird walkers lapped it all up.

Within the resort grounds a flowering Pink Doughwood was easily the highlight of the month’s bird walks as a collection of exceptionally beautiful birds came to feed on its nectar. Scarlet Honeyeaters flitted from flower to flower - the male’s vibrant red feathers even more stunning when illuminated by the morning sunlight. These creatures were a photographer's dream as they went about their morning unconcerned with the inquisitive twitchers below. Dusky Honeyeaters and Lewin’s Honeyeaters were also regular visitors to the buffet!

Also worth noting were some of the weird and wonderful avian calls that filled the morning air around the resort this month. Resident Noisy Friar Birds sat high in the paperbarks busily preening, whilst occasionally stopping to ring in the morning with their peculiar chortle. The infamous Laughing Kookaburra's taunting cackle turned heads as the cheeky birds went about chasing each other or taking a cooling dip in the fresh water creeks and lakes throughout the Wallum Scrub. And of course who could forget the Eastern Whipbird’s quintessentially Australian sound of the male calling out to his mate.

What a month! This is Ranger Kat signing off til the end of Feb.