Montague Island Day Four

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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This was the last morning and the boat was due to leave around midday.  The previous afternoon I had photographed crested terns flying in to the colony.  I decided to spend some of my remaining time photographing their interactions on the ground.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were many eggs but only a few hatched chicks.  Parents kept them close to protect them not merely from silver gulls but also from other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

On the edge of the colony there is danger from silver terns so this mother tried to move with her chick into the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The terns pack in much closer than silver gulls but they still defend territory so contention arises.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Making a point…

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is where she wants to be but there is a certain amount of opposition.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

… including some pinching of the tail….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

At least the chick is not being attacked which can happen.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

And the mother, though under siege, does her best to protect the chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby there was a silver gull hidden under a bush on an egg in the middle of the tern colony.  It must have been there before the terns arrived.  I didn’t photograph it because the shadow was too deep to show it in context.  What was going to happen when it tried to leave was an interesting question.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while, she pulled out of the area of contention back more to the edge of the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Her mate is with her here.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

She is now protecting the chick from silver gulls as well as other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby, a pair of welcome swallows had made their nest in walls of one of the cottage’s toilets, entering the wall through the ventilation holes.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Just outside the colony, a bit of mating display was going on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two’s company….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

A last view of the terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now we’re on the boat and the lighthouse and cottages are receding away.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wharf is down below the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back in Narooma harbour, this pelican seemed confused by the direction instructions of the sign.

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