On Nov. 30 - Dec. 2 we spent a long weekend on Lady Elliot Island, a
coral cay approximately 80 kms north-west of Bundaberg. It was our
first trip there. Weather was fine for the weekend although windy on
the windward side and calm in the lagoon area on the leeward side.
There were a number of nesting bird species all over the island, the
most predominant being the white capped noddies who occupied almost
every casuarina on the island with their leaf and excrement type
nests. Many were still courting, but most had nests already with
chicks of differing sizes. We enjoyed watching them from outside our
unit gathering leaves, courtship feeding, and feeding their young.
Other nesting birds included common noddies, bridled terns, and a
real highlight were 5 pairs of red-tailed tropicbirds nesting on the
ground in little deprressions near the reef suites. Each pair had a chick
and varying degrees of development were observed - one looked almost ready to
fledge, while others were balls of grey fluff.
Bird species we saw on the island, in no particular order included:
-black naped tern
-eastern reef egret
-large sand plover
-red necked stint
-horsefields bronze cuckoo
a total of 29 bird species, most of which were encountered on our
first lap around the island.
A wonderful island to visit, not only for the birds, but the scenery
is fantastic, the snorkelling is great, and the small resort is very
low key and in tune with the natural environment.
Jo Chadwick and Anthony Mitchell