Pelican at the Marina Surfers Paradise


The pelican sits on the pole adjacent to the Fish Market, his eye on the alert for fish



Rainbow Bee Eater


Merops ornatus     Meropidae

National: Listed as a Migratory species and a Marine species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


The Rainbow Bee-Eater is a spectacular bird. With its green, blue, chestnut and yellow plumage, its slim build, slender curved bill and distinctive streamers that extend from the end of its tail, it is simply beautiful. Bee-Eaters are a familiar sight in many lightly-timbered parts of mainland Australia, where they often perch on fence-posts or overhead wires, then launch after flying insects, flying swiftly, sometimes with rapid twists and turns, before snapping the insect in its bill, and returning to the perch to eat it.


The Rainbow Bee-eater has, in the past, also been known as the Australian, Black-tailed or Pin-tailed Bee-eater; the Rainbow Bird, Rainbow-bird or Rain-bowbird; the Golden Merops or Golden Swallow; the Gold Digger or Gold Miner; the Pintail Sandpiper; or the Kingfisher, Pintail, Spinetail, Needlebeak or Berrin-berrin


The area of occupancy of the Rainbow Bee-eater in Australia has not been estimated. Trends in the area of occupancy have not been quantified, but records indicate that the distribution of the species (and, hence, the area of occupancy) has expanded in south-western Australia (Abbott et al. 1978; Storr & Johnstone 1988).

The number of locations that the Rainbow Bee-eater occurs in is unknown, and has not been estimated. The concept of discrete locations is difficult to apply to the Rainbow Bee-eater because of its widespread distribution and its ability to undertake long-distance movements

Rainbow Lorikeets are back on Russell Island



The Rainbow Lorikeet is unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Both sexes look alike, with a blue (mauve) head and belly, green wings, tail and back, and an orange/yellow breast. They are often seen in loud and fast-moving flocks, or in communal roosts at dusk.

The Rainbow Lorikeet mostly forages on the flowers of shrubs or trees to harvest nectar and pollen, but also eats fruits, seeds and some insects

Migratory Plovers fly to Russia


With the trackers beaming a signal back every couple of days, the Grey Plovers’ migration route—including crucial and previously unknown stop-over sites where the birds pause to ‘refuel’—was soon revealed, and eventually, so were their breeding grounds.

“After weeks of nail-biting as the Grey Plovers migrated northwards from Australia, through the Yellow Sea, we finally have the answers we wanted,” Dr Minton said.

The birds all took different routes after they left Australia in March, as they migrated north along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. The birds from Broome headed straight across South East Asia, while the South Australian birds first had to fly across Australia’s arid centre before reaching Asia. Each bird stopped on the shores of the Yellow Sea, then headed further north for another 3000 kilometres or so to the coast of Yakutia in north-eastern Siberia.


The birds from Broome are now nesting in Yakutia, while the two birds from Adelaide flew even further to nest on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean, leap-frogging the birds from Broome in the process. The two South Australian birds flew 13,000 kilometres in 3 months.

“It is interesting that the South Australian birds, with the most southerly non-breeding area, finished up at the northernmost breeding locations [on Wrangel Island],” said Dr Minton. “These are the first birds of any species from Australia which are known to visit this remote arctic island.”
The findings are particularly satisfying for Dr Minton, who had previously predicted that some Grey Plovers wintering in Australia might originate from Wrangel Island.

With the riddle of their breeding grounds now solved, Dr Minton and his fellow researchers are keen to monitor the plovers’ return flight to Australia in a few weeks’ time, hoping to solve another mystery—the route of their southward migration.

Mangrove Honey Eater…Lichenostomus Fasciogularis



The mangrove honeyeater (Gavicalis fasciogularis) is a species of bird in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae. The species was once considered to be conspecific with the varied honeyeater, but it is now treated as a separate species. These two species form a superspecies with the singing honeyeater.

They love to come to the birdbath and swim in the afternoons.. It is endemic to Australia, where it is restricted to the eastern coast from Townsville in Queensland to northern New South Wales. The species has been expanding its range southward in recent years. The mangrove honeyeater is generally locally common over most of its range, but is rarer in the south.

Mangrove Honeyeaters are small to medium-sized nectar-eating birds. Their most prominent feature are conspicuous black eye stripes above a yellow-grey scalloped throat and a white patch unter the ear coverts. The chest is dark-grey, the belly is grey with some darker brownish-grey streaking. The vent and undertail coverts are grey. The back is dark-grey; only the flight feathers have yellowish-olive leading edges. The tail is grey. The irises are dark blue-grey. The slightly down-curved bill is dark-grey, while the legs and feet are grey.


Curlew in my Garden at Russell Island


A young curlew has taken to visiting me every morning.




If Bush Stone-curlews are nearby you may hear their eerie, high-pitched wailing at night. This ghost-like call is their contact call, and may be given by several birds in a chorus. Rendered as weer-lo, it is repeated four or five times, sometimes culminating in a trilled, screeching crescendo. It is sometimes also heard during the day, when stone-curlews are usually inactive, standing quietly in the shade with their eyes half-closed, or squatting on the ground where their cryptic plumage makes them difficult to see among the leaf litter.

The Bush Stone-curlew, or Bush Thick-knee, is a large, slim, mainly nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird. It is mostly grey-brown above, streaked with black and rufous. It is whitish below with clear, vertical black streaks. The bill is small and black, and the eye is large and yellow, with a prominent white eyebrow. Both sexes are similar. Young Bush Stone-curlews are similar in appearance to the adults, but are paler, and a little browner in colour. Bush Stone-curlews are nocturnal birds (night birds), doing all their feeding and other activities at night.DSCN0155


Oyster catchers on the mud flaps Low tide Russell Island


Oyster Catcher

The oystercatchers are a group of waders forming the family Haematopodidae, which has a single genus, Haematopus. They are found on coasts worldwide apart from the polar regions and some tropical regions of Africa and South East Asia

Oyster Catcher

The plumage of all species is either all-black, or black (or dark brown) on top and white underneath. The variable oystercatcher is slightly exceptional in being either all-black or pied. They are large, obvious, and noisy plover-like birds, with massive long orange or red bills used for smashing or prying open molluscs. The bill shape varies between species, according to the diet. Those birds with blade-like bill tips pry open or smash mollusc shells, and those with pointed bill tips tend to probe for annelid worms.

Oyster Catchers

The diet of oystercatchers varies with location. Species occurring inland feed upon earthworms and insect larvae.[1] The diet of coastal oystercatchers is more varied, although dependent upon coast type; on estuaries bivalves, gastropods and polychaete worms are the most important part of the diet, whereas rocky shore oystercatchers prey upon limpets, mussels, gastropods, and chitons. Other prey items include echinoderms, fish, and crabs.