Lady Elliot Island

To: Robert Hamilton <>
Subject: Lady Elliot Island
From: Marie Tarrant <>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 22:02:23 +0000
Thanks Robert for the update.  It's an incredible place this time of year
for birds.  Being able to get so close is a great drawcard and the
snorkelling is always fantastic!

On 31 October 2015 at 07:43, Robert Hamilton <>

> Hi Everyone,
> I had a wonderful week on Lady Elliot Island with my family from 3rd to
> 10th October. Once almost completely defoliated by guano miners, and goats
> left for marooned sailors, it has returned to a "tropical paradise" with an
> abundance of breeding seabirds. Propogation of Pissonia and replanting is
> continuing.
> While Black Noddies are all around, roosting and nesting in the shrubs and
> trees the real "in you face" birds are Bridled Tern, with a pair every
> couple of metres, lining the paths throughout the resort. We had to be
> careful not to tread on them, when returning from dinner to our units in
> the dark. Our son discovered the first one sitting on an egg, under a piece
> of playground equipment. Common Noddies chose to nest at both ends of the
> airstrip, seeming not worried by the landing of small planes throughout the
> day. There were plenty of Greater Crester and Roseate Tern with a few
> Black-naped arriving later in our stay.
> Two pairs of Red-tailed Tropicbird had huge chicks under the small shrubs
> in front of one of the family units, and were not in the least worried by a
> constant stream of human admirers. They did however get quite upset one day
> when a fifth adult turned up for a look. There was an almost constant
> presence of Frigatebird, mostly of the Greater type, with a total of eleven
> the most seen at one time. We developed a ritual of watching the sunsets
> and the Brown Boobies coming in to roost on the anchored dive boats. One
> evening we saw the only Wedge-tailed Shearwater of our visit. They would be
> there in good numbers by now.
> There was a nice selection of migratory waders mostly in small numbers.
> Godwits seemed to prefer to graze in the fairly short grass beside the
> runway. The runway and broad grassy area which led to the west of the
> island, was generally fairly well covered by good numbers of Buff-banded
> Rail, Ruddy Turnstone and Pacific Golden Plover. In the evenings many other
> birds moved there as well. On our last evening there was a group of 8 mixed
> Sand Plover, which we had only seen in one or twos around the island.
> Wandering were the most common Tattler seemed although I also identified
> Grey-tailed, hearing both types call. Mostly seen in ones and twos, I saw a
> group of a dozen or so one evening, too far away for positive
> identification. I also saw and photographed a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a
> rare sighting on the island.
> A Rock Dove 80km offshore was a very odd sighting.
> The snorkelling was excellent and I saw two Manta Ray this way. My wife,
> who dives, saw many more including one dive where six were encountered.
> Here are my photos from our visit.
> Cheers,
> Rob Hamilton
> Margate, Tasmania
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Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek,  Qld
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