Lady Musgrave Island, in the Bunker Island Group, has a unique relationship between the Forest and the birds nesting in them, the birds are known as "Black Noddy Terns" and the trees, "Pisonia Trees".
The Noddy's migrate from PNG and fly non-stop and direct to the bunker group because of the Pisonia trees. Over 70% of Australia’s population of Pisonia trees are on the Bunker group island.
A colony of some 40.000 visit, nest and fish around this area. The birds arrive late August until May.
Usually coinciding with the nesting of the birds the trees grow to seed. The seed pods grow in clusters, with black sticky sappy seeds. When the birds are nesting they get stuck up with the sticky seed pods. They cannot get them off at this stage they can’t fly or fish for food and in turn die. Their remains fertilize the soil. In turn the broad leaves of the Pisonia make excellent nesting sites for the birds. So there is a delicate balance between the life of the birds and the life of the trees. One needs the other to survive. The birds return every year for the leaves, even though many die from the seeds.
Research indicates that over 50 varieties of bird visit lady Musgrave Island. Along with the black Noddy terns there is also the Wedge tail Shearwater, or commonly known as the Mutton Bird it migrates and breeds on the island.
On a typical day you could see up to 22 different species of birds.
These include the Sooty and Pied Oyster Catchers, Silver Gulls, Silver Eyes, South Eastern Egrets in grey and white, Ruddy terns, Sooty terns, Crested terns, Bridled terns, Little terns, Black Napped terns, Rosette terns, Bar Tailed Godwits, Frigate Birds, Wandering Tattlers, Brown Boobies, White Bellied Sea Eagles and Buff Branded Rails.
There are other rare sightings for the avid bird watcher, such as the colourful Azure Kingfishers. Even Ducks, The common Willy Wagtail, sparrows and Cuckoo Shrikes have been spotted.
They bring to the island seeds and fertilizer that attract a host of insects. So if you are into nature, Lady Musgrave Island is an opportunity to seek out living nature and take some extraordinary photos.
The reef offers a home to an astronomical number of fish across 1,600 species. Included among the lot are species of damselfish, tuskfish, and wrasses (the most common inhabitants), as well as species of angelfish, blennies, butterfly fish, chimeras, clownfish, coral trout, cowfish, gobies, hawkfish, pipefish, potato cod, pufferfish, rays, scorpion fish, seahorses, sea perch, sharks, snapper, surgeonfish, and triggerfish. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of the world’s fish species live within the Great Barrier Reef
Fish aren’t the only critters to occupy the reef in huge numbers. The realm features approximately 400 species of corals, 300 species of ascidians, and nearly 5,000 species of mollusks. Occupying the coastline are 22 species of seabirds, 32 species of shorebirds, and more than 150 additional bird species. Along with six species of sea turtles, the reef houses 17 species of sea snake, seven species of frogs, and the occasional saltwater crocodile. What’s more, the Great Barrier Reef boasts 30 species of Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), the subantarctic fur seal, and one of the largest populations of dugongs on Earth.
By spanning over 134,000 square miles, the Great Barrier Reef eclipses the sizes of over 100 countries. Ranked among the world’s nations, the reef system would place 63rd, just between Germany (boasting an area of 138,000 square miles) and the Republic of the Congo (132,000 square miles). Furthermore, the Great Barrier Reef is larger than most American states, outdone only by Alaska, Texas, California, and Montana.