Saturday 5 December 2015

Hello from Coquette Point,

Summer is well and truly here and we are all feeling the increase in heat and humidity. However,  there was 82 mm of cooling rain in my gauge this week, most of which fell on Wednesday evening. On most days a south-easterly breeze arrives mid morning and compared with the rest of the Country we are very lucky.

Of course as soon as the heat increases the snakes become active. On Tuesday evening I heard a strange noise from my kitchen window, when I looked an unwelcome visitor had found a small nick in the screen and was pushing his way inside, at the very least a full metre of him was already in.

I grabbed the camera, of course, took a quick snap then rushed outside, there was another good metre of him still on the outside sill, a quick snap and I put the camera down. My presence outside seemed to have sent the snake an escape message and by the time I reached out, only a few inches of snake was left. I knew if he slipped through my fingers I would have a hell of a job finding him inside the house. With a vice like grip I grabbed hold of the remaining tiny bit of tail and pulled. Slowly he came back through the window and I dropped him onto the ground. The snake was of course one of the M& M's. They are the off-spring of the Amethystine Pythons, Monty and Monica which I have in my ceiling to control the white-tailed rats. They do a great job in the ceiling but I do not want them in the house.


Gertrude the green tree snake has been very active. I heard Fred, the white-lipped tree frog, screeching out 'help' from the top of a palm tree. At first I could not see why Fred was making so much noise, but by his screeches I knew something was amiss. Then I saw the green tail clinging to the palm trunk, I knew it was Gertrude. I sang out to Fred to jump and with one almighty pull he loosened Gertrude's grip. I saw she now held him by just one leg, I sang out again to pull harder. Fred pulled, then free he jumped onto a palm frond. I sang out jump down to me, I'll catch you. With a great leap he jumped, I missed him and he landed on the stones beside me. As soon as he caught his breath he looked at me in disgust and jumped into the rainforest. I caught a quick glimpse of Gertrude as she slithered away.

The summer heat and humidity has triggered a mass emergence of butterflies. Normally this occurs after Christmas, but who's complaining.

Above Pupa Cairns Birdwing                                                Cairns Birdwing female drying out.

Below Blue Triangle                                                              Below Green-banded blues mating

Below left, lemon migrant.

  The annual mating of the North Queensland day Moth       is underway and it is fascinating to watch these moths with their iridescent wings fluttering through the rainforest canopy as they perform their mating rituals.

Today is cassowary Ky's second birthday, but he is nowhere to be seen. So I thought I would post a couple of old photos of him and if anyone sees a cassowary with his features please put a comment on the blog. Below cassowary Ky walking along the mangrove track which was one of his favourite places.

Let's hope that Ky is growing into a strong young male cassowary. It will be another twelve months before he will reach maturity and be receptive to the interest of a female cassowary. The photos below were taken in September just before he disappeared into the rainforest.

Cassowary chick Kin is growing quickly and has developed a ginger mohawk. They are visiting the run-off pond twice a day now with the hot weather.

Cassowary Jessie is constantly on the lookout for other cassowaries, almost everyday I hear drumming and chasing coming from the hill above the nursery and I know its Jessie maintaining her territory.

However,  it has not stopped July looking for Snout. She seems to think it's a game with Jessie, July knows Jessie hasn't the endurance to chase for long and so she waits for her chance to impress Snout and win his heart.

A good mixture of fruit in the scats this week, calamus, cloud fruits, malstoma, prunus and native olive.

This week the tides were just right for early morning walks on the beach.


At first light the navigation lights were still on an anchored bulk carrier.

As the sky coloured I watched the gull-billed terns leave the estuary for their feeding foray into the hinterland.


As the sun rose I saw the feeding debris of thousands of acorn worms stretched across the sand banks. It is normal to see some but not thousands. There were no signs of the blue soldier crabs.

There were lots of little terns flying above the rookery, coming and going from the beach. While other terns remained settled, sitting on eggs on the warm sand.

I watched as a tern flew in with a fish and offered it to a tern on the rookery. No matter how many times I see this ritual it still amazes me to watch the gift offering of the male little tern and the disdain shown by the female as the male struts his stuff.

He wouldn't take no for an answer and eventually she had enough of his persistence and she flew off leaving him with the fish still in his mouth.

I saw pied oyster catcher walk up from the beach and go into the sand dunes behind the mangroves, there was no sign of his mate nor the chick.

Beach stone curlew made a hell of a racket as I walked into his territory, there was no sign of his mate.

A bar-tailed godwit was pulling up beaks full of water and washing his feathers. The process continued for over ten minutes before he flew off for a day's fishing.

I was walking back along the beach when a crested tern flew around me and landed on the sand ahead. He stopped for a moment looked at me then walked down to the beach, it was Pingu. Another tern was flying with him but it was busy fishing in the river. When Pingu reached the water's edge he flew and joined the other tern. It was my first encounter with Pingu for two weeks and it was so good to see that he was thriving and accepted by the other crested terns.

 Old Coquette Point resident Frank Lee visited this week. Frank makes an annual visit to far north Queensland and always looks up his old mates. It was so good to see him looking as fit as ever. Innisfail's fresh fruit and vegetable supplies have never been as good since Frank and his sister June closed down the On Tai store in Innisfail.

Ian and Jenny Mc Callan sailed back into Coquette Point this week and visited me by dingy. They had been on a sailing trip to the Islands north of Innisfail. At Low Isles they met Dr Julia Hazel who sailed in on her yacht. Julia continues her study into the pied imperial pigeons and was changing batteries on monitoring cameras when Ian and Jenny met up with her. Ian and Jenny were in awe of Julia's seamanship and the work she is doing with the PIP's and other shore birds. Ian told me at nightfall there was barely standing room on the Island as the PIP's were joined by thousands of other shore birds.

Cheers for this week,



  1. So glad to see Pingu and that you don't have a python under your bed!

    Best regards from the Sierra Nevada in California,


  2. Hey thank you yvonne
    A great read written beautifully - of your world, Mother Nature