Friday, June 05, 2015

WINTERY VIEWS FROM MY ISLAND

We live on a narrow strip of land between the Indian Ocean and the Peel Estuary. It's called (tongue in cheek) The Island, or Mandurah Island, because to get here by land is only possible if you cross a substantial bridge. There are three bridges, the third of which, to the south, spans an artificial cut made between the sea and the estuary, allowing more flow through the area. The estuary is fed by no less than three rivers -- the Murray, the Serpentine, the Harvey, plus a  number of seasonal streams.
The above photo is taken from "The Island" looking at an island in the estuary, the day before yesterday. A quiet, pleasant afternoon...
There were birds about -- it is a Ramsar Wetlands Area and an IBA (important bird area). We saw cormorants, duck, terns, gulls, pelicans, egrets, herons, darters, Black Swans, a Whistling Kite (which you can see against the white of the puffy cloud over the trees...)
And then all of a sudden, came a change. Cormorants and gulls and terns began streaming past...

More and more of them arriving by the minute, all heading in the same direction...
To this area above, where pelicans and cormorants were diving like maniacs and other birds gathered to glean the remains of a fish feast.


Until, below, the pelicans and other birds were so thick on the surface, we couldn't see the water.
Interestingly, the cormorants were behaving in a remarkable way when they were on the surface, thrashing the surface with their wings, ploughing and churning up the water. The only reason we could think of was that they were actually trying to herd the fish or confuse them in a way that benefited other birds.  
The schooling fish vanished, the birds disappeared, and the rainbow arced into the sky...
I love my island.

2 comments:

Jo said...

Nature provides some fascinating things to watch doesn't it? I remember one time in NC in the evening with the mullet jumping and some of them even landing in our boats. Bit dangerous actually but fascinating just the same.

Satima Flavell said...

I didn't realise that your place in on a quasi-island, Glenda. I must go down to the sea and see!