Monday, 26 October 2015

Spring low tide on Four Mile Beach

I spent the low tide this afternoon on the southern end of Four Mile Beach, just at the point where the mangroves begin. It's a great spot for waders, many times better than the dull Cairns esplanade. Today I saw about 20 red-necked stints, 3 beach thick-knees, Terek sandpiper,  30 red-capped plovers, 10 Pacific golden plover,   greater and lesser sand plovers, whimbrels, far eastern curlew and best of all, my first little curlew of the holiday. Also osprey, whistling kite and great egret.

Just like buses.... I tried so many times in this very spot and failed, yet today there were three on the beach!

Black-necked stork, not on Four Mile Beach.

Spring tides of course bring not only the highest tides of the year, but also the lowest, and at such times parts of the beach are revealed which would otherwise be under water. Right by the waters edge today I found lots of these honeycombed coral like formations, and then a few of the branched structures below. They were all hard and looked like coral, which is probably what they are. It was a little nerve wracking walking through the rock pools since we are now only a week or two away from box jellyfish season,  and that's a marine animal I was not keen to encounter!

This pufferfish was splashing around in the shallows and was able to propel itself quite well if approached too close, despite the lack of water and didn't seem too bothered if it ended up almost out of the water. I don't know anything about fish, but this looks like Manila or narrow-lined pufferfish (Arothron manilensis) to me.

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