All posts filed under: Australian Fish

Rainbow bee-eater Roebuck Bay Broome Western Australia

Life in the mangroves

When descending the red Pindan cliffs towards the beach and benthic flats of Roebuck Bay, one comes across several mangals and tidal creeks. The tropical mangrove forests near Broome consist of several species, such as the common grey mangrove (Avicennia marina), stilt-rooted mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa) and the red mangrove (Ceriops tagal) or lanyi-lanyi. Those forests are complex and rich habitats that require much specialization to live in, and many animals found in the mangroves are therefore absent or rare in other places. With their bright red colour, flame fiddler crabs (Uca flammula) are the most beautiful crabs of the mangroves by far. The typical big and oversized claw of this mostly vegetarian crustacean is waved to defend their territory rather than to crush food, while their remarkable appearance is further enhanced by eyes positioned on tall stalks, enabling them to detect threats from afar so they can disappear in their burrow quickly. The Mangrove mudskipper is another conspicuous creature that can be found in Roebuck’s mangroves. Because they are able to breath through their skin …

Tiger Shark Shark Bay Western Australia

Tiger Shark Feeding Frenzy

Last October we were privy to see some fascinating Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) when sailing with the awesome crew of Monkey Mia’s Shotover. This seems a redundant comment to make when Shark Bay is renowned for it’s big population of those undiscerning predators, but whenever they got close to the boat shivers of excitement ran through the crowd. Imagine how the plethora of sharks feeding on the carcass of a humpback whale off Steep Point last Friday must have left the people on those two boats in awe! The shared footage is filmed with a drone by Eco Albrolhos  – please watch the final part of the clip and be convinced that a GoPro is a handy tool in those situations.

Smooth stingray Dasyatis brevicaudata Hamelin Bay Western Australia

Smooth Stingray – Giants of Hamelin Bay

Western Australia’s South West region is one of the country’s most beautiful destinations. It’s not only home of the renown wine-region of Margaret River, it also counts numerous natural wonders within the confines of Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park and the Ngari Capes Marine Park. The latter has only been established in 2012, and this relatively new addition to WA’s protected marine environments harbours many intertidal and subtidal reef habitats with an array of marine plants and animals. In winter this region is the scene of the annual migration of Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis), while Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are regular visitors in November. Although our visit didn’t coincide with this spectacle, we had a thrilling encounter with another giant of Ngari: the Smooth stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata)- the biggest ray on earth! Nestled along a rugged coastline shaped by big swells and strong winds, Hamelin Bay is a quiet and protected pocket out of which timber from the nearby Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) forests was exported to India, England and South …