Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quibray Bay Viewing Platform, Boat Harbour and Botany Bay National Park

Yet again we pointed the shiny bonnet of the Magna south and drove towards the south end of Botany Bay National park. Despite being only something like 10 kilometers south of Coogee (in a straight line) the habitat is apparently still sufficiently non-Coogee-like to ensure a very different selection of wildlife.

Made the usual stop at Quibray Bay viewing platform where we finally got decent views of a Whimbrel, - I have not seen that one before - accompanied by some Godwits and a Eastern Curlew. After a few seconds of celebration we got our act together and headed towards Boat Harbour. The walk out towards the rock platform was as always super good for spotting various reptiles.

But bird-wise it was very disappointing .. apart from a wind blown crowd of Crested Terns and some Cormorants we saw no feathered wildlife at all.

Instead we decided to push towards the Eastern end of the park, towards the Cape Baily Lighthouse. During my previous walks in the park this area has often given some great sightings and we were also in for a little treat this time. Sitting overlooking the ocean we suddenly noticed a White-bellied Sea-eagle approaching. WBSEs are normally quite good at keeping a distance, humans have not always treated the big predators of the sky with the respect they deserve and hence it is not straight forward to get a good close-up photo of a flying eagle.

This time, however, luck was on our side: An angry raven decided to try to scare the high cruising eagle away. The surprised WBSE desperately needing speed to outrun the aggressive attack did the only think possible and went into a steep dive, taking it straight above our heads and well and truly into range of the Bigma :-) Not bad at all, managed to get a few good ones of some quite spectacular nature.

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