Fellow Baffled Ones and Gentlebears, We hope you are enjoying our tales of Lady Elliot Island. BeeBear went along on behalf of all of Mawson’s friends because she was small in the luggage (Mawson’s own generous proportions were WAY too big) and because she is an experienced aviator. She was thrilled to fly out there across the sea. She came home to tell all of Mawson’s household about exploring the island, the corals she saw in the lagoon, and the great day that she saw turtles at dawn.
There are thousands of birds on Lady Elliot Island too, and BeeBear did her best to explain how numerous and noisy they all were.
And now fellow BaffledOnes and Gentlebears, as promised, we are proud to present to you, direct from the dance troupes of Lady Elliot Island, the amazing, the wonderful, courtship dance of the terns.
‘Oh, will you do the courtship dance, will you do the courtship dance,
Will you do the courtship dance, with handsome, hopeful me?’
‘I might I guess, just SMS, I’m making up my mind.
Then again, I like your looks, so lets lose no more time,’
‘Stick your tail feather up,
Drop your right wing down,
Stand on a leg and pirouette round. .’.
‘Its just a waddle to the left – no, to your left, your other left –
And let’s do the wing dip now! Yes, let’s dip the wing dip now!‘
‘.. And a chest boop, And a chest boop,‘
‘And let’s choose a tree, my dear’.
And soon you see couples perched in the trees and making renovations for the nest.
In the nests, on the ground, even right next to the walkways and the buildings there are parents minding fluffy chicks.
‘Will you just stay where I put you, junior.’
‘Don’t want to. It’s boring. I’m bored. Where’s Dad and the food?’
And many chicks are in nests on their own, waiting for their parents, insisting they are famished, that they are fading away, that they need FOOD NOW.
This very new fluffy little fella was right under our veranda! Shy though, understandably, and only peeked out briefly when his parent returned.
If you love birds you will absolutely enjoy visiting Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia – if any of us can ever travel anyway again. (As a travel tip, we suggest not looking at a rerun of Hitchcocks movie The Birds before you go to the island).
And that’s all we have for you from Lady Elliot Island.
Mark is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears.