beach

who goes there

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P1190460.jpgI am fortunate to live on the edge of a coastal Nature Reserve with an endlessly long beach walk at my doorstep. The place teams with life and I always find something fascinating to study, like this crab, who unlike his fellow crabs that scuttled away as soon as they felt the vibration of my approach, stood very still in the age old attitude of an emu with its head in the sand. He made a very considerate model.

West Point

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sunset light sends the  light brown sand a ruddy ruby red
sunset light sends the light brown sand a ruddy ruby red

A long drive through sandy, sometimes rutted bush roads, leads to the western tip of Magnetic Island, a small island off the Queensland north coast.

the author, waiting for sunset
the author, waiting for sunset

West Point is a sought after location on the island in which to watch the sun set over the strip of water between the island and the Australian mainland.

West Point, Magnetic Island, Queensland
West Point, Magnetic Island, Queensland

We gathered with backpackers and locals keen to bask in the last light of the day and watch it sink out of sight. One of the delightful additions was the spectacular light that lit up the sand making it gleam a ruby red. The sand rivulets are actually made by what appeared to be fresh water bubbling up through the sand from inland and seeping back into the ocean.

unusual beach birds

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While beach walking a saw this pair of Galahs feeding along the edge of the sand dunes, the female has red eyes and the male has brown eyes. Normally favouring large flocks, this pair seem to like their own company as I often see them together feeding on the weeds along the edge of the nature reserve near my house. The Galah is really a small cockatoo, a ground feeding bird around 36 cm they are a common and widespread sight throughout Australia.

storm brewing

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Valla Beach on the New South Wales north coast is the perfect escape for a spot of birdwatching and a long stroll at the beach. Australia’s coastline is nearly one long continuum of beaches fit for swimming, fishing, surfing and beach-combing and many are fringed by great birding locations.