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Weird and Wonderful

Australia hosts many unique and unusual creatures that I feel deserves this special category of Weird and Wonderful.

Freediving with Grey Nurse Sharks

I was fortunate enough to free dive with these beautiful creatures today. The Grey Nurse Shark, also known as the sand tiger shark or spotted ragged-tooth shark are found along Australia's east coast at a number of popular dive sites. These sharks are predominantly found in inshore coastal waters and are likely to be seen cruising around sandy bottoms and rocky caves, and close to reefs and islands. Hook and line fishing in areas important for the survival of threatened species has been identified as a key threatening process affecting Grey nurse Sharks. * Grey nurse sharks are now protected

Australian Brushturkey

This Australian Brushturkey is native to Australia and belongs to the family of birds known as megapodes because of their large feet. This bird is not related to the North American Wild Turkey

under fisheries legislation in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia.

Long-finned Eel

I decided to take a mask, snorkel and GoPro with me today for my walk along Kangaroo Creek in the Royal National Park. I was pretty excited to get to swim with this Long-fin eel for some time giving me a great opportunity to get some cool footage. The walk was from Heathcote to Audley via Kangaroo Creek including swims at Karloo and Olympic Pool The Long-finned Eel is found in freshwater rivers, streams, dams, lagoons and lakes on the coastal side of the Great Dividing Range, from Cape York in northern Queensland southwards through NSW into Victoria and Tasmania.

Channel-billed Cuckoo

If you are wondering what those chilling screams during the day or in the middle of the night are, or maybe you’re hearing the ruckus of other birds going crazy, swooping and seemingly attacking a tree, then more than likely this prehistoric looking bird is the culprit. The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the largest parasitic cuckoo in the world and is back on it's annual migration to northern and eastern Australia from New Guinea and Indonesia. Channel-billed cuckoo’s lay their eggs in the nests of the Australian Magpie, the Pied Currawong and members of the crow family. Unlike many other cuckoos, the young birds do not evict the host's young or eggs from the nest, but simply grow faster and demand all the food, thus starving the others. Often the adult female will damage the existing eggs in the nest when she lays her own and she may even lay more than one egg in a single nest.

Lace Monitor - King of the Aussie Bush

Australia's Lace Monitor has adapted to both climb trees and swim large distances in search of prey. I have been fortunate to film this unique predator in its natural habitat doing what it does best.

Jelly Blubbers

The fishing in St Georges Basin today may have been a bit uneventful, however conditions were perfect on the water to film the many thousands of Jellyfish/Jelly Blubbers that were inhabiting the bay. Jelly Blubbers are one of the most commonly encountered jellyfish along the east coast of Australia. They often aggregate in large numbers particularly in harbours or estuaries but they also occur in open water. They have a hemispherical or mushroom shaped bell that can reach 30 cm in diameter and their colour ranges from bright blue to creamy white, or even brownish-yellow. They have eight textured oral arms that hang underneath the bell. They capture larvae and small crustaceans using stinging cells (nematocysts), located in their oral arms. They then pass this food through to their multiple mouths, which are spread along their arms. Jelly Blubbers are able to swim by pulsing their bell, which propels them forward in the water column. The nematocysts can cause mild irritation to the skin however, they are not considered to be a significant risk to humans.

Coffin Ray

The Coffin ray or Australian Numbfish, is a species of electric ray endemic to Australia. It can produce a powerful electric shock reaching 200 volts for attack and defence. Although not fatal to humans, the coffin ray can deliver a severe, shock.

Echidnas-The Spiny Anteater

aEchidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, are monotremes which are egg-laying mammals. Together with the platypus, they are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata and are the only living mammals that lay eggs.

Superb Lyrebird

The Superb Lyrebird is one of the world's largest songbirds, and is renowned for its elaborate tail and courtship displays, and its excellent mimicryIt is capable of mimicking both natural and mechanical sounds imitated and joined together in a rousing medley.Listen to this male bird belting out dozens of different sounds including a whipbird, currawong, cockatoo, lorikeet, kookaburra, wattlebird, rosella, robin, rock-warbler, thornbill and many more as well as mechanical sounds that I could only guess.

Blue-Ringed Octopus

The highly venomous Blue-ringed octopus can be found in tide pools and coral reefs all around Australia. Despite their small size they are recognised as one of the world's most venomous marine animals and potentially fatal. Their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realising they have been envenomated until respiratory depression and paralysis start to set in.

All bites should be treated seriously and immediate medical attention sought.. * Note. Blue-ringed octopus are generally very shy and will not attack. Bites usually occur from people handling them, being totally unaware of their potential danger If you do come across one of these beautiful creatures OBSERVE, ENJOY AND PLEASE DO NOT HARM

Satin Bower Bird

Satin Bowerbirds, specifically the males are notorious for their love of blue things.The adult male has that striking glossy blue-black plumage, and a violet-blue eye.Males construct their bower, not as a nest, but as a bachelor pad – a place to impress the ladies!There are usually multiple bowers found in an area (called a lek) and the competing males all try to attract the attention of visiting females.Their bowers are always constructed on the ground in a north-south direction and they use interlaced sticks.Blue flowers, berries, bottle tops, pens, pegs and basically anything blue they can find are laid carefully around the bower.Once he attracts a female with his decorating skills, he also performs a ritualistic dance.If she is impressed, she will mate with him but that is where their relationship ends.He waits for the next female to come along, she goes off and builds a nest and raises her young (usually a clutch of 2 or 3), alone.

Monitor Swims Like Fish

Mertens' Water monitors are a member of the monitor lizard family found in the Top End of Australia. They are strong swimmers and feed both on land and in the water, mainly on fish, crabs, frogs and small mammals. These monitors have had a substantial decline in their populations attributable to the arrival of cane toads however their numbers are slowly coming back. I was fortunate to follow and film this unique creature around Kakadu National park and Katherine Gorge.

Wildlife Drops in for a Drink

Check out what happens when a motion activated camera is placed at a waterhole in Wombeyan-NSW. This waterhole was visited by, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Red Necked Wallabies, Wombat, Dingos, Wild Boars, Cattle, Kookaburra, Bowerbird (female), Lyrebird (male and female), Fox, Dove, Water Dragons, Currawong, Rosellas and Noisy Friarbird.

Red Jelly Black Snake Attacks

Satin Bower Bird (male)

Bower Bird (female)

Superb Lyrebird (pair)

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