For the benefit of Mr Kite

Brahminy Kite
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

Point Perry Lookout at Coolum, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is a great spot to watch the migration of humpback whales.  Especially in the September/October period as they move south to Antarctica.  But there’s also a lot of resident wildlife that can be seen there all year round.

kite2

Most striking of all is a pair of Brahminy Kites, which are also known as Red-Backed Sea-Eagles.  These stunningly beautiful birds can be seen early morning and late afternoon, gliding along their coastal territory.

kite3

Watching the kites’ apparently effortless flight is mesmerising.  They cruise long distances, at great speed, with hardly a flap of their wings.  The sea-breeze that travels up the cliff face supports them as they search for prey and carrion.

kite5

Nestled among the shrubs around the lookout was another pair of birds, much smaller but just as delightful.  These were two red-backed fairy wrens.  The male is pictured below.

wren2
Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus)

He is not quite fully grown, and is going through a moulting phase.  When he reaches the adult stage, he will be a sleek black, but still with his splash of crimson on his back.

wren1

At the water’s edge was a reef egret.  These birds have a white and a dark grey variety.  I initially thought that this one had caught its lunch, but on closer inspection it turned out to just be a leaf.

reef egret1
Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra)

And a very relaxed and approachable kookaburra let me get up close for this pic!kookaburra1

Not to be outdone, reptiles can also be seen on or around the lookout.  Swimming just off the rocks at the foot of the cliff was a loggerhead turtle, and in the trees nearby, a water-dragon.

Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta)
lizard1
Eastern Water Dragon ((Physignathus lesueurii))

And the last flying animal I saw was the smallest of all.  A tint white butterfly feeding on the flowers of the coastal heath.

butterfly
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java)

Also seen from the lookout on the same day, but sadly not caught on camera, was a manta-ray swimming northwards towards Noosa, and the larger cousin of the brahminy kite, the whistling kite, flying overhead.

It’s wonderful to see such a diversity of life all from this one location, so near to a busy coastal tourist patch.

 

Advertisements

Renoir’s Cat now on SoundCloud

cat at jazz club

Hi everyone.  Brisbane jazz quartet Renoir’s Cat is now on SoundCloud!!  Take a listen to our new track – a cover of John Scofield’s very funky ‘I’ll Take Les’.  Hope you enjoy.

Cheers    Michael

New videos for ‘Renoir’s Cat’!

Hi everyone.  My good buddies from Renoir’s Cat and I recently headed to the Brisbane Jazz Club to record a bunch of videos for our YouTube channel.  I thought I’d add a couple to my blog for your listening pleasure.  If you like the sound of these, you may like to keep an eye on our  Facebook page for more video, audio and news.

 

Urban Wildlife – the Bush Stone-curlew

Curlews b
Bush Stone-curlew, with chick just visible on the right.
The Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) is an Australian bird which is often heard before it is seen.  Their camouflage, along with their ability to be perfectly motionless, helps them blend almost invisibly into their surroundings.  But their loud, eerie call is unmissable.    They also seem to manage well in urban environments.  This breeding pair was found in a narrow garden right beside a busy shopping centre carpark in Brisbane.
Curlews d
Curlews e
Curlews c
Having claimed their site, these parents fiercely guard their chick.
Curlews are a large bird, standing 510–590 mm tall.  And when it comes to protecting their chicks, they are virtually fearless.  Camouflage and stillness are their main protection, but they will aggressively attack anything that comes beyond their comfort zone.
Curlews f
I am perplexed as to why they would chose this particular location as a breeding site, given the hundreds of cars and people that would pass by, quite closely, each day.  And the fact that fairly close to this shopping centre is a bushy, creekside area where they would be undisturbed.  But whatever the reason, it seems a success.  Their chick looks healthy and well-fed.  Another example of the adaptability of native fauna to urban environments.

Jazz in black and white

From time to time, I am lucky enough to play a gig with Brisbane vocalist Trina Lincoln and her band Held To Ransom. These pics are from a 2015 gig we did, and I’ve been meaning to share them on the blog for some time now.  I think the black and white pics capture the feel of the gig best.  I’ve left them untitled as they pretty much speak for themselves.  I hope you like them.

DSC_0033_2-3

DSC_0107-3

DSC_0099_2-3

DSC_0325-3

_JPG1779_2-3

DSC_0352-3

DSC_0430-3