Hello from windy and wet Coquette Point,
What a difference a week makes! From warm balmy days under cloudless skies the weather has turned into windy, wet misery. Or at least miserable for sun lovers like me.
The strong wind warning sent Martin in the ‘Sig’ running for port and he came in Monday night and is now waiting for the wind to ease.
The buff-banded rails are active at the moment and I have seen several birds scurrying through the melaleuca swamp and around the sediment pond.
I was sitting on my favourite seat near the sediment pond watching out of the rails when Little Kingfisher arrived and sat down on an old log directly in front of me. I watched him fish in the pond for 40 minutes until he left satisfied with his fishing effort. What a privilege to be able to watch this normally elusive little bird in close proximity and for such a long time.
The Buff-banded rail scurrying around the pond was, I think, what disturbed little kingfisher however, the rail was very wary and quickly ran around the pond and disappeared into thick reeds.
The next afternoon I went back to the seat looking for little kingfisher his was nowhere to be seen. I was about to leave when to my amazement a broad-billed flycatcher arrived and started fishing in the pond.
The flycatcher flew into the water catching insects from on top and underneath the water. This little bird had all the fishing skills of the kingfisher and never stopped quivering his tail as he perched on branches of the pond. Like kingfisher he seemed unaware of my presence.
White-faced heron told him to shut up so he moved over to little egret however she chased him away and he walked out into the river and nosily voiced his disapproval of his selfish friends.
The Coquette Point resident pied oyster catchers enjoyed the greater expanse of exposed sand to extract crustaceans. Red capped plovers scurried across the sand and close by sanderlings feasted on the tide line.
I inquired what was the matter and she asked my assistance to remove the tick. Fortunately I had one of Richard Piper’s illuminated magnifying glasses at hand. I looked at the tick and I explained to the grandmother that I believed it was a paralysis tick and that is was deeply embedded in the ear and there was inflammation around the site. I strongly urged her to take the child to the hospital immediately to have the tick removed surgically. The child remarked that her ear had been itchy for several days.
Although ticks can be found all year in the rainforest they are mostly active in Spring and early summer. This year they are active early and I noticed that the Innisfail vet on Mourilyan Road had a sign warning that tick season had begun. I have attached a Queensland Museum file on the Australian Paralysis Tick fyi.
Cheers for now,