Having a ‘Whale of a Time’ at the Abrolhos

It was an early start for the dedicated bunch of adventurers who headed-out to the Abrolhos islands after the recent WA Threatened Species Forum.

The Abrolhos islands comprise 122 islands of all shapes and sizes about 60 kilometres west of Geraldton.

The day was simply gorgeous, and the water visibility was phenomenal. Everyone on board the tour vessel got to see all sorts of coral and fish through the turquoise, crystal-clear water even without having to get into the water.

Over 90 species of seabird have been identified on the islands, but the group were more interested in one particular, threatened species … the Lesser Noddy.

The Lesser Noddy is an extraordinary bird with a lovely nature. With a white head fading to a dark grey body, they look very chic – especially with the white markings under their eyes, somewhat resembling eyeliner.

The adventurous attendees were eager to get a closer look at the Lesser Noddy in its natural habitat, so they headed for one of the islands known to be a popular roosting site. As the group approached their nesting ground, they couldn’t believe how relaxed the birds were to have humans so close to them. They flew up and around in flocks, making majestic patterns in the air before perching in their mangrove nests.

The Threatened Species Forum adventurers also had an opportunity to go snorkelling during the day, and as a result, saw plenty of spectacular sea species – from gropers to parrot fish, humpback whales to sperm whales, and even Australian Sea lions. There was no lack of wildlife on this trip.

The whales in particular were very friendly on the journey back to Geraldton, often breaching and flapping their fins in the air, in front of or alongside the tour boat, as if to say hello. In all, about 30 whales were spotted throughout the day, possibly more. Many were mothers with their calves.

NACC Communications Officer Kirsty Kipling said “this trip was a ‘once-in-a-life-time’ opportunity, and I feel we were so lucky to get up-close and personal with some amazing, native species. I won’t be forgetting this experience in a hurry.”

 

To find out more about the WA Threatened Species Forum 2017, please contact NACC Biodiversity Program Coordinator Jessica Stingemore (E) [email protected] (P) 9938 0106

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