Sacred kingfisher

The Ballina Bar can produce some mighty waves – that’s why there are so many signs for boaties on their way out and way back, and where Marine Rescue is situated. Sunday was no exception – blustery, rainy and the waves giving a real sense of their tonnes of weight and force as they heaved into the mouth of the Richmond River between the breakwaters.

The big pod of dolphins, however, were having a whale of a time (so to speak) – surfing under and over the waves, leaping and twisting. I’d never seen three together with the middle one upside-down as they surfed together. Then the middle one did an almighty leap and jumped right out of the water and over its buddy on the right. Amazing and exhilarating!

On Lighthouse Beach it was pretty blowy, too, but this little bird was making the best of it, flying from one washed-up tree trunk or branch to another.

Sacred kingfisher

It was a sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus), looking for crustaceans, insects and other small prey like lizards. Despite its name, it seldom eats fish.

They are solitary birds except for the breeding season (September to December). The nest is in a hollow branch, termite mound or river bank. Both male and female incubate the eggs and feed the young, in two clutches a season.

The beach was pretty clean of weed and there didn’t seem to be many insects available, but maybe this little bird was lucky.

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