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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)
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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.

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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.

 

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