Raine Island - Nature's Cradle on the Edge of the Coral Sea
Satellite Web Cast From Turtle Heaven and Hell
Journal Entry - 01- 28 - 03
Fickle Mother Nature.

Tiger attack.
A heavy rain storm at 6:00 a.m. kept us all in bed in until the sun broke through an hour later. Then there was a mad rush to work. Some to the island, in search of the wary night heron and others off to find turtles on the reef.

Tiger attack.
Down at the east end of the island, near the tower, a tawny nurse shark was feeding in the surf on eggs washed off the beach while a necklace of brown boobies preened from the top of the tower . The eggs had been dug up the night before by a turtle digging her own body pit. Most of the eggs would have been fed on by gulls but the sharks will still check them out and eat those they can. The sharks swim up and take the eggs in their mouths and decide if they want to keep them or not. In many cases they spit them out and turn away.

This is the basket shaped nest I found so interesting.
While walking back towards the boat I found an elegant herons nest which appeared to hang on the side of the stone ridge which rings the island. What is so interesting about the nest is its deep basket shape rather than the flat platter like shape of most herons nests. The whole heron drops in to the basket with only its head showing out the top. An interesting difference. It made me wonder what the advantage if any was?

Brown Booby & Chick - I wanted to show you how much larger the brown booby chick appear than their parents. This is mostly their white downy feathers though. Try and tell this kid he's grounded for the evening.
In the late afternoon we noticed another turtle floating around the point with activity pushing it along. Once again, there is a mad rush to gather equipment and get the boats into position. It turns out to be a tiger shark with two tawny nurse sharks looking for a bit of food on the side. We managed to successfully film four separate attacks on the dead floating turtle before it had drifted too far to work and the light had faded too much.

Homeward bound - This brown booby came in over the boats as were filming the tiger sharks attacks on the turtle.
All in all a quiet day. Not many to be had like this one!!

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