This post is for World Bird WednesdaySnapper Creek is the port and marina for Tin Can Bay and the southern end of the Great Sandy Strait. There is a small fishing fleet moored here and of course lots of individually owned boats of all sizes.
It is also at Snapper Creek - close to Barnacles Cafe - that a pod of wild Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins comes in regularly to interact with any people that want to enjoy them. This interaction goes back many years to when a dolphin was injured and local fishermen fed it until it was able to return to the wild and feed itself. The present dolphins are the third and fourth generation descendents of this first dolphin. Read more details of this story here. The present dolphins may or may not come in sometime between 7 and 8 or 9 in the morning - it depends on what else they are doing and what they want to do! Visitors are allowed to feed them some fish - a carefully regulated amount! As one of the volunteer helpers told me years ago it's about the equivalent of a morning tea snack only! I went down to see the dolphins yesterday and again this morning because one of the females has a young one just over 2 months of age and she is bringing it in to get it used to the people and the feeding. It is so cute! The dolphin volunteer helpers are calling this bub "Squirt"! Yesterday mum and bub were there before 7am and the early morning colors of the water were beautiful. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)
However, I was not satisfied with most of my photos so went back again this morning and four dolphins came in! It is unusual to see this many in together. The leader of the pod is a male that has been called Mystique. He can be recognized by all the scars on his back gained from fighting other dolphins and also from some fights with Bull Sharks!
The dolphins don't just snatch a fish and go! They splash and play close to the shore and the people. I wonder if they can hear the delighted "oohs" and "aahs" and react to these by showing off a bit more? It certainly looks like it!
The mum and baby were there again this morning and when the mum nudged in close to the shore the baby took the opportunity to rest its head on top of the mum's back. When she sank underwater again the bub splashed and snorted and swam off with her.
Because all people interactions are so carefully controlled the birds are also very tame around the area. I amused myself by getting close photos showing the eye color in a Pelican... (Definitely enlarge the photos to see the eye color more clearly!)
... Little Black Cormorants...
...and a Silver Gull.