Thursday, June 08, 2006

Green Island

Green Island, our first stop on the cruise. A true coral cay, Green Island is around 6000 years old and was formed by a build up of sand sediments, animal and coral deposits to above sea level.

On Green Island, Michael & I went on a guided walk with our Marine Naturalist.

The Buff Banded Rail is a ground dwelling bird that thrives on Green Island due to a lack of predators. Here are pictures of an adult and a chick.

The final bird was also on Green Island, but this is a regular sea bird that could be seen all over, I am not sure what kind of bird it is. But the rock that he is standing on was interesting. According to the naturalist, it is formed quickly when the nutrient rich run-off mixes with the salt water. It is a lot like an instant fossil as it traps shells and coral fragments. Here it is rough, but in other spots it was quite smooth.


Gina E. said...

I think this might be a cormorant, Amy. I'll ask Ken when he wakes up - he is the Aussie bird expert in our house.

Jeanne said...

How neat to have your own guide! I'd have loved that kind of hike/tour ... birds, plants, water -- wow!

Gina E. said...

I wuz wrong, Amy - sorry! Ken has just had a look at this pic and said No, it is not a Cormorant - it is a Heron of some kind. I looked it up in one of his bird books and it looks like a "Great Billed Heron" which is a fairly rare bird, found only along the northern coastlines of Australia, as well as parts of South East Asia. Don't take this as gospel though - I am only guessing, after seeing one photo in the book to compare to your photo.