Lady Elliot Island

Subject: Lady Elliot Island
From: Joanne Chadwick <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 08:34:03 +1000
Hi all, 

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 
-white-capped noddy
-bridled tern
-brown booby
-common noddy
-crested tern
-eastern reef egret
-greater frigatebird
-lesser frigatebird
-pied oystercatcher
-red-tailed tropicbird
-roseate tern
-silver gull
-wedge-tailed shearwater
-buff-banded rail
-bar-tailed godwit
-great knot
-grey plover
-grey-breasted silvereye
-grey-tailed tattler
-wandering tattler
-house sparrow
-golden plover
-large sand plover
-mongolian plover
-red necked stint
-ruddy turnstone
-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

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