Saturday, December 09, 2006

Broughton Island

Looking South-east from Pinker Top.

Broughton Island, sized a couple of kilometres across, sticks out of the ocean north-east of Nelson Bay. I recently paid it a visit to do some volunteer work for an ongoing frog project that's being conducted on the island. It was a great place to visit, truly the location made the work much more pleasant.

Esmeralda cove

The island is part of the Myall Lakes National park, but there are several shacks looking out over Esmeralda cove, owned by fishing clubs and leased from the park. No-one's supposed to live there permanently, but some of the blokes seem to spend a good part of the year on the island.

Flat rock

Believe it or not, this photo above is of the best frog site on the island, and it's home to several hundred Green and Golden Bell Frogs (Litoria aurea), the endangered frog that caused venue headaches during the planning of the Sydney Olympics after it turned up in the Homebush Brickpit. There are numerous small ponds on that rock platform, fed by seeps of fresh water. Every now and then a big wave inundates the ponds, killing any tadpoles and other aquatic life. It's a crazy place for frogs to survive, but bell frogs are notorious for doing well in habitats with regimes of regular disturbance, in fact they often seem to be out-competed in static ponds.

Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) on prickly pear

Bell frog on algal mat

Apart from bell frogs, the other species of frog that's on the island is the Striped Marsh Frog. Stripeys are a very common species in suburban Sydney, but are in lower numbers than the bell frogs on this island. There's a handful of reptiles on the island, introduced rats and rabbits, and a nice array of sea-birds. The little penguin colony that exists there is the northern-most population of the species. Numerous Mutton-birds call from their burrows at night, and seem very confused when encountered on the paths that cross the top of the island.

Little (fairy) penguin

Sooty Oystercatcher

Looking back towards Esmeralda cove

One final bell frog

Panoramas compiled using Autostitch v.2.186

1 comment:

josiestyles said...

Hey dave
Those photos turned out really well! next time we'll get a heap more in february, and we shud have all the metamorphs out too.. yippee for us..thanks again for all your help.. tremendous!
be good jose xoxox