Another 4.00 am start, followed by a three hour drive, got us to the quayside at Town of 1770 ready for our holiday highlight – a day cruise to Lady Musgrave Island, the most accessible point of the Great Barrier Reef to this part of Queensland. Although we were advised by the ship’s captain that sea-sick pills were a ‘must’ for the mornings voyage, and OK it was a bit choppy in places (well most of the places actually!) the two hour crossing and occasional sea watch passed quickly and without gastric incident!. Whilst a good number of our fellow passengers were recovering on board or on the pontoon, moored in the coral cay lagoon, we were part of the first group to visit the 35 acre Lady Musgrave Island – breeding ground of a huge number and variety of sea birds. After a truly ample lunch, snorkelling was the main activity – along with more bird watching. We were back on the mainland by five and home for supper and bed by 9.00pm. Not surprisingly the day list was pretty short, but made up for by the sheer volume of birds and their close proximity. A handsome total of five ‘lifers’ and seven Australia ticks.
Brown Booby, seen on the approach to Lady Musgrave Island and fishing in the Cay lagoon
Black Noddy, nesting in their thousands on LMI
Not surprisingly tern species were much in evidence – in this small group, Crested, Bridled, Black-naped and Roseate
Bridled Tern – having seen the UK, Farne Islands, bird last year it was good to catch up again with this species breeding the other side of the world
A new species for me – Black-naped Tern
Flight shot of Crested Tern – but I’m still searching for Lesser Crested!
Amongst the non-tern species, this Eastern Reef Heron
Greater Frigate Bird
and Wandering Tattler
After lunch, a spot of snorkelling. Preparing to take the plunge
Dan with a slightly reluctant Solomon, Morgan with Jonah and ‘Grandma’ watching over Samuel
Farewell to Lady Musgrave, a most generous host, providing a really enjoyable day out for all the family with a handful of new birds thrown in – how good is that?