December's Been A Magical Month of Marine Magic

Kingfisher Bay Resort’s Jetty has been a popular hangout with fisher folk after the ‘catch of the day’ and with resort guests wandering down to watch mango-coloured sunsets over the Great Sandy Strait. And with December’s the gorgeous weather – it was also popular feature on our Ranger-guided night walk trail.

The jetty’s infrastructure creates the perfect platform for viewing the intertidal zone – or the seafloor exposed by the low tide - and the creatures that normally lurk beneath the surface. Our guests continue to be fascinated by the moving wave of hundreds upon hundreds of Solider Crabs and Ghost Crabs swarming the area looking for food.

These animals are prime examples of the many organisms that have adapted to this extreme environment. Whilst it’s great for fishermen and the guests that paddle the water’s edge; for marine creatures it represents a combination of voluminous nutrients from the sea, saline and fresh water from Dundonga Creek, and harsh sunlight conditions during tidal changes.

Guests delighted when we spotted Bottlenose Dolphins (file picture - see above) on numerous occasions. Working as a team, they glided through the water in rings, flipping fish out of the air and catching them swiftly in their mouth. It was magical to be just a stone’s throw from the resort, but so close to the action and we hope to see them continue their fun in the coming months.

Other marine life capturing our attention included some particularly large Stingrays, Loggerhead Sea Turtles - which can also be spotted on our guided creek canoe paddles – and ruby-coloured Squid. Deep sea squid are generally this dark red colour because the red wavelength doesn’t penetrate into the deep sea, making them nearly invisible.

Around the rest of the resort, scattered December rain brought our Wallum area to life with a number of species of frogs competing with one another for the loudest croak. The fresh water lakes around Kingfisher’s grounds are naturally acidic and create a special habitat for a lot of these vulnerable acid frog species such as the Wallum Rocket Frogs and Striped Rocket Frog – which are often spotted from the boardwalks. Large Green Tree Frogs and the comparatively smaller Cooloola Sedge Frog were also heard within the chorus.

Spotting our nocturnal flighty friends - the Tawny Frogmouths - requires keen eyes. These gorgeous non-raptorial birds are masters of disguise and are able to perfectly mimic a part of a tree branch.

Birdy Fact:
Did you know that many Aussies refer to the Tawny Frogmouth by the colloquial name of Mopoke?

While Tawny Frogmouths are often confused with Owls, they are actually more closely related to the Nightjars. Their feet are quite weak, mostly used for perching and they lack the curved talons of Owls.

Keep your eyes peeled for Ranger Kelly’s December bird wrap up – it’s coming soon.