The humidity ramped up to 96% this week and although the temp is still in the low 30’s it feels much hotter. Good rain in the hinterland has sent a flush down all the rivers and the Tully had a flood warning on Tuesday.
The first of this season’s king-tides occurred on Friday. The tides went from .15m at 2am Friday to a 3.16 at 9am. A good ‘enema’ for the rivers.
My Brisbane- twitcher- friend Louis arrived on Thursday so we took advantage of the .89 tide on Thursday afternoon and walked to the long beach. We heard a trail bike on the beach and were apprehensive as to the outcome.
We saw bike tracks across cassowary footprints but no cassowary. Then we saw the rider, he was bogged just before the sand spit-rookery. Louis and I were debating how best to approach the lad and ask him not to ride on the spit- in as polite a way as we could. He got out of the bog and took off in the opposite direction only to get bogged again. With that he gave up and left. One of us said “ I hope he got salt in his bike and it rusts”. The outcome could have been tragic for the birds nesting on the spit.
The soldier crabs were not above ground, however their feeding mound residues covered the beach.
On the outer-most sandbar we found about 100 crested terns in full breeding plumage. Their crests stood up like crew-cuts. No other waders were with them. On another sandbar there were more crested terns. As we turned to head back the racing tide covered the tern’s sandbar and they flew into the beach at the very corner where a little fresh water spring comes out from the mountain. I do not know if they are nesting. It was almost four o’clock when we headed for home.
We stopped a little way past the sand spit rookery and saw small crabs active everywhere. Above us on the sand spit two crabs were preoccupied in a courtship dance.
The beach is an amazing place and the sand is home to countless creatures. (Great reading about beach critters on Russell Constable's blog)
I will finish off with some bad news from East Innisfail. I received an email this week from Pam Birchely, the two year old sub adult cassowary that has been visiting her yard for the last seven months, since Yasi, was killed by a pack of dogs this week. Pam backs onto the Ninds Creek wetlands and apparently lads, with pig dogs running free, hunt the area regularly. DERM have been notified. Pam sent me a photo of the cassowary.