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Halloween? Nature rules above superstition for me on the 31st October

October 31, 2013

Humpback Whales, Queensland Guest blog and images courtesy Danielle Lancaster
For some the 31st October means Halloween. For me a Queenslander, it marks when I say good bye to the humpback whales for another season. There’ll still be the odd late swimmer; however the majority have passed south to the Antarctic waters after their yearly Whitsunday rendezvous for birthing and mating.

They’ll return again next year in greater numbers. It’s estimated 17,000 humpbacks migrate along Australia’s Eastern Coast each year. They travel around 10,000 km on the longest whale migration on the planet from June to November.

Each year I mark in my diary a whale watching tour along Australia’s eastern coast and I have not yet, touch wood, been disappointed. As an avid photographer there are many times I put my camera down simply to enjoy the close encounters with these amazing gentle yet powerful animals I am year after year afforded.

As we say goodbye to the whales we say hello to the turtles. Another mariner fighting for survival and early season reports are encouraging!

Image above: Humpback Whale, Platypus Bay, Queensland
Image by Danielle Lancaster

Loggerhead Turtles mating - Fraser IslandOne of my favourite places for seeing the turtles and work being done by scientists and rangers is at Mon Repos near Bundaberg. Islands such as Lady Elliott, any in the Capricorn Cays National Park and dotted along the Queensland’s Central Coast are also offering prime viewing.

How lucky are we? One leaves and another arrives! With the end of spring looming Mother Nature has much more in store for us to enjoy.

Image above: Loggerhead turtles mating on 75 Mile Beach Fraser Island
Image by Danielle Lancaster

A couple of quick tips from me:

When visiting Queensland’s beaches and islands avoid driving on the beach at night. This is when turtles come ashore to lay and hatchlings will soon be emerging from those eggs. It’s also harder to see hazards like rocks, washouts and creeks.

The sea turtles cycle is all timed around the moon, tides and nature and something as simple as a torch or vehicle light can distract this ancient ritual.

A cool link on the humpbacks:
http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/experiences/harvey-and-the-humpbacks/

If you ever find a native animal that is injured (including marine animals), contact RSPCA on 1300 264 625.

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Image above: The rotting skeleton of an old loggerhead turtle
Image by Danielle Lancaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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