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The Wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey with a wing span of up to 2.5 metres; standing up to and sometimes over a metre tall! This one below was seen in the morning on the way out to camp, as you can see we have rudely interrupted breakfast time!
The young eagles are brown in colour, darkening as they grow. The female is a larger bird than the male, and are quite often sighted in pairs. Unfortunately the amount of road kill (dead Euro’s especially) in the Cape Range National Park is quite high. This is good news for the wedgies as it provides plenty of food to eat. But if you look a little closer at the picture you can see the Euro has been hit by a car and left very close to the edge of the road. As the wedge-tailed eagle is a large & quite heavy bird, it takes them a little time to get up in the air and out of harms (cars) way. No damage was done here as we watched it fly to a tree close by where it waited for us to leave before getting back to the business of breakfast!
Care should always be taken when driving through areas renowned for its wildlife. Wildlife is very active throughout the national park during the day and night. Please adhere to speed limits and keep a vigilant watch for birds and animals.
Whether it is a Green turtle, Loggerhead or Hawksbill cruising around the waters during the day or females emerging from the ocean to nest in the dunes at night, the Ningaloo coast is currently abundant with these beautiful reptiles.
It’s not uncommon for our guests to enjoy an underwater encounter as seen above.
Or to see them from the shore coming up for a breath of fresh air as seen below.
Turtles began mating at the end of October and are currently still mating. Once the female has been fertilised it takes a few short weeks before she makes her way to the dunes to begin the nesting process. As you can imagine a turtle out of water moves like a sloth. Super slow! This in turn allows curious humans a better chance at watching these amazing creatures. Turtles have what we call a magnetic foot, meaning that they will inevitably return to the same beach they were hatched on to lay their eggs. To put things into perspective, only 1 in 1000 turtles survive to sexual maturity which is a whopping 40 years old!
In general, nesting female turtles don’t like to be disturbed. If they sense danger or feel uncomfortable with the surrounding area, they will retreat back to the safety of the water and abort their nesting mission. So there is quite a strict process of how to observe these incredible turtles nesting so that humans have little or no effect on the nesting process.
In the last week we have had four Loggerhead turtles nest along the shores of South Mandu, the beach right in front of camp. The Loggerhead is currently one of the turtle species that is considered endangered, so this is great news, very exciting indeed! Fingers crossed in six to eight weeks we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the hatchlings fleeing to the water.
Blog by EJ- Sal Salis guide.
Cobia are the only member in their family species: the Rachycentridae. Other names they are known by are black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeaters and aruan tasek.
Fast, agressive and full of power, Brassy Trevally are first cousins with the Giant Trevally. Defined by yellow tips to their dorsal and tail fins plus scattered black speckles along their backs. Brassy Trevally are considered excellent table fish.
Mackerel tuna are stubborn fighters when hooked, and can be recognised by a distinct and striking pattern of broken zig-zaggy lines on the upper sides of their bodies, and two or five dark spots above the pelvic fin.
They are in the Scombridae family which includes all mackerel, tuna and bonito.
One of the most prized catches for any fly fisherman is the Blue Bone, correctly known as the blackspot tuskfish or commonly known as bluebone. These fish live in the beautiful northern waters of Western Australia.
They are found along coral reefs and reefy flats hunting for food which include different varieties of crustaceans and sea urchins including crabs, shells and sea critters.
This bluebone was caught on the flats in only 1.5 metres of water with a crab on the end of a fly.
This technique is lots of fun as is challenges the angler as they have to land the cast precisely on top of the fish. Once you are hooked, hold on tight because these fish will go for every hole they can find to try and snap your line and break loose.
Words & Photos by Nicholas Janzen www.nicholasjanzen.com
Coral trout are generally caught near reef areas and taken in deep water (upto 100m), however this nice catch was caught in water just 31m deep!
Below is an impressive 81cm Coral trout caught on our boat Sal Canis.