Frigate birds (that sleep on the wing, and cannot take off from water), various Terns, Boobys, Egrets, Ruddy Turnstones, Oyster Pickers, etc.
Geo: -16.73, 122.316
This was the bird watchers' paradise, with an abundance of birds of many species in the rookery. The islands had been used for guano collection and pearling, and years ago introduced rats laid waste the nests. Many bird species stopped visiting the islands but the WA Govt succeeded in eliminating the rats in the 1980s and the birds are now back. The problem is now Silver Gulls, who also raid the nests of eggs and baby birds. Seagulls don't normally venture this far offshore but they followed the boats out and are now nesting on the islands. There has been one seagull cull (by poisoning) and it seems another will be needed soon. Seagulls are scavengers but the other birds don't eat the baits.
We motor down to Broome's Cable Beach this evening, and disembark at 8am (WA time) tomorrow.
Shore LineThe islands are a Reserve and tourists are only allowed six at a time ashore, and only below the high water mark. The Brown Boobys nest on the ground, in and among the tussocks. If you disturb them off their nest the gulls quickly dart in and take the eggs or young.
TurtleWe saw many turtles in the shallows, and two massive loggerhead (?) turtles higher up in the low dunes. They seemed unmoving but we were unable to investigate their condition.
RayAlso many Shovel Nose Rays in the shallows, hiding from predators (mainly sharks) in the deeper waters.