Monday, February 23, 2015

Extremes

My last blog post was written about a kayak trip I took on the Monday of last week. Tuesday and Wednesday of the week the wind picked up. By Thursday the wind was even more extreme and it was raining. The weather forecasters were tracking a tropical cyclone as it came down the coast. (I think these are called typhoons or hurricanes in the northern hemisphere.) At that stage it was still predicted to be only about a category one and to cross the coast somewhere north of Rockhampton. Thursday was also predicted to be the largest king tide for the season. I really wanted to get out and take photos of the height the water reached - as I have done for a number of years past. However, with the wind gusting as high as it was I was not comfortable driving in exposed places. I am lucky to have friends with a big heavy 4 wheel drive that is not likely to be thrown around by a few wind gusts - and they offered to take me out with them. Many thanks to Sarah and Graham!
We drove out to the sea coast. The wind was very strong and the water was really stirred up and dangerous looking.

The water right out at Inskip Point was not as high as I have seen it in other years. I wonder if the cyclone north of us was making a difference to the height of the tide. No barges were working - of course! I later heard that rangers moved campers away from the area the next day. Tracks from earlier vehicles were fast filling up with the wash of the waves.

The sand island out in the middle of the bay was completely covered and all that showed was rough water breaking over the area.

Because there were no people and no vehicles on the point the birds were roosting there in numbers I have not seen for some time.  You will need to enlarge this photo (by clicking on it) to see that those black smudges out at the end are all birds!)

The birds were right out at the end of the point and were moving around as the waves came over and disturbed them. Pelicans were easy to see but the other shorebirds were not. I did not go anywhere near. It was hard enough for me to stay still and take photos so I can imagine the amount of energy the birds would have had to burn up to manage the wind gusts. I could see bright red on some of the Godwits that had already changed into breeding plumage.

By Friday - the next day - the cyclone had picked up to a category 5 - the strongest! It came in north of Rockhampton and then tracked very slowly south. When it finally got down here (Saturday) it had lost strength and was only classed as a heavy storm. There was still lots of rain with it and the main roads are only now (Monday) opening to traffic. I was lucky out here as we were on the edge of the storm and didn't get the rainfall that fell a little way inland. Friends in Gympie got about 3 times as much as I did. Further north from here it is a disaster. Some small towns have been almost obliterated! Power is out to thousands of homes and businesses and the radio news said that emergency power vehicles were stuck south of Gympie (last night) because of the flooded highway.

For more photos of our world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday



26 comments:

  1. oh, no! so sorry to hear of the destruction and flooding! i am glad you remained safe, though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to hear you kept safe from the devastating storm floods.

    Great to see so many Godwit together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are glad we did not go camping at Rainbow that weekend. Great photos maybe next time the king tide won't have a cyclone with it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad you were able to get out to check the water levels since that's something you like to do every year. How sad that so much destruction north of you, though!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry about the damage from the storm, I am glad you were safe.. Love the last shot, lot of birds there..Great photos.. Have a happy week!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That storm (cyclone) made it to the UK TV news although at the time I didn't of course realise that you might be close to it.

    You did right to keep as far away as possible but storms are always tempting from a photography point of view.

    By the way - Rhododendron - from Wiki. Some species (e.g. Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland and the United Kingdom) are invasive as introduced plants (from Asia), spreading in woodland areas replacing the natural understory. R. ponticum is difficult to eradicate, as its roots can make new shoots.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We escaped damaging rains here, thankfully. Love all the birds in your last two shots.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I had never heard of a king tide before so I learned something new. Very interesting that the birds could stand even when you felt that you couldn't. The smudges of red are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What beautiful photography and great friends to take you out ~ Glad you are safe and sad to hear about small towns being devastated by the storm ~ The weather around the world this year has been something for the history books!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad you are ok. Sorry about the big storm. The water looks dangerous. I am sure it would be hard to get photos in that wind. You did get some great photos. Hope all is well with you Mick.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow - that sure is a storm! Dramatic shots though.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So many beautiful birds!! I love Pelicans :) Gorgeous photos.

    Batemans Bay

    ReplyDelete
  13. The birds are beautiful. The sea seem to be upset and the waves don't seem to be calm. Category 5 is something that scares me. I know what is it lime until category 3. Keep safe.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Weather dont look good but photo looked so excellent .

    ReplyDelete
  15. How great to see so many birds on shore. Never seen so many pelicans in one place. I am glad you weathered the storm well. I know some people in NT that made it through unharmed, but what a mess!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, brave of you to stay in that wind/weather to get those shots.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The seascape shots re wonderful and you managed to capture a lot of birds in those last few shots

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hope it has all calmed down now. Not sure I would want to be out near the sea in that weather even though you did manage to get some great shots. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful seascapes..water looked pretty choppy in those last shots..Lots of whitecaps too..Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos..

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful shots of the place. It is good to see so many birds all in one place.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ouch, beautiful with wild waters but not good for either birds or people. Hope it is all over by now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am always in awe of how nature acts and reacts. Your photos are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So many birds. Maybe they were glad of the lack of people, giving them a place to rest from the winds. Those pics of the birds are amazing and I love the look of the whipped up water.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Some real drama with that wind!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That was a hell of a storm - it makes me wonder how birds cope in these conditions. I wonder how the people further north are join - of course its disappeared from the new down here.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete