Dolphins in the morning

Monkey Mia Travel Blog

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Sunrise

The main reason most people come to Monkey Mia is to see the dolphins. The local dolphins have been fed for years just off the coast at Monkey Mia Resort and they come into the coast every day to get a couple of fish. I get up early in the morning to go out and see the morning feeding. But nothing is going on when go down there - and somebody at the visitor center is shouting at the people walking down at the beach that we are not allowed to be down at the beach in that area. Apparently the dolphins will begin to come into the beach the moment they see people gathering down at the shore - hence they don’t want people down at the feeding area between the actual feedings.

Hence instead of looking at the dolphins coming in I have to enjoy the sunrise instead - which isn’t really a bad alternative.

Close up on one of the pelican
The sun is getting up slowly and the coast is facing towards the east so the sun has some nice reflections in the water as it rises.

They seem to delay the feeding until around eight but at least there is other wildlife to look at in the meantime. The area around Shark Bay are home to a wide variety of different birdlife and just down at the water is a few big white pelicans hanging around - apparently they like to hang around for the feeding of the dolphins in an attempt to snatch a fish or two from the dolphins. They seem a bit more natural than the dolphins which appear a bit like a mixture of a circus and a zoo display.

Then it is finally time to feed the dolphins. In the old days they used to feed the dolphins all they could eat so they just tended to hang around all day - just waiting for the next feeding.

Dolphin
This led the males to be somewhat aggressive bullying the smaller dolphins which meant the young dolphins didn’t learn to catch fish for themselves and they didn’t get enough food to live off. Hence today they have changed the way they feed the dolphins - they only give each dolphin a limited amount of fish - which is not enough for them to survive on, hence the dolphins, will still have to go out to the bay and catch some fish themselves.

A couple of dolphins come into the shore and they get a few fish each. When the dolphins have eaten their fish people are told to get out of the water and away from the beach so the dolphins knows they won’t get more fish right now. After a short break the feeding is resumed and three dolphins come back to the shore again. They get there fish and then the show are over. There are one more feeding today but I can’t really bother to wait for it - the show isn’t really all that interesting so I might as well leave the place and go for more interesting things.

gimpel says:
Want to go to monkey mia the next time when i'm in aussieland. Thanks for the info.:-)
Posted on: Aug 19, 2010
Africancrab says:
Nice read. Thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Aug 16, 2010
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Hard to see and very dangerous

After leaving the dolphins behind at Monkey Mia I head down the road back towards through the Shark Bay World Heritage area. I stop at an aquarium at the beach which has got a display of the local fish. Considering I would not try to go to the cold winter water the aquarium is the only way to see the local fish. When I get there they got a tour of the different tanks with some commentary about the different fish.

There are small tanks with many different kinds of fish inside the building. There are also a few turtles in there. The biggest attraction inside is probably the lone sea snake which the guide is taken up and handling by hand without protection.

He goes through the general story of how dangerous sea snakes actually are.

The sharks
If you just compare the venom of sea snakes to land snakes - the sea snakes typically got much more poisonous venom than the land snakes.  Even though the sea snakes venom is so deadly they only cause a very limited number of deaths. The reason is they tend not to inject very much venom into humans when they bite them. Simple because they don’t really want to kill humans - they are way too big to eat - instead they just want to send simple messages of you are too close get away. The low number of human’s fatalities resulting from sea snake bit has created a rumor that the sea snakes cannot bite through human skin - this is not the case at all - they just want to conserve their venom for their prey.

Another interesting display is a small tank with something in it.

Shark feeding
It is actually hard to find the fish - but they are there. Inside the tank is a couple of strange looking fish - they look like an old log with something growing n it. They are actually pretty dangerous to humans if they step on them - and due to the fish limited ability to swim they are unlikely to actually get out of the way for a human walking along in the water.

We head outside and out here in the sun are some really big tanks - they look more like a small lake than a fish tank. In the first one is a display of the bigger fish living in the area around Shark Bay. But it is the other display which really attracts the attention of the spectator - in there are the sharks. The biggest one is a pretty big tiger shark which they have caught just outside in the waters around Shark Bay - oh yeah if anyone wonder where Shark Bay got its name - it got it from the many sharks living in the area. With the feeding of the sharks the tour pretty much come to an end at it is time to head out and away again.

Africancrab says:
I love the photos!
Posted on: Aug 16, 2010
Emus running

I drive along the road towards one of the features which have helped Shark Bay to get its World Heritage status a small pool called the Hamelin Pool. On the way down there I pass one of the unique animals of the country - the emu. It is great to already get to see one of these amazing birds close by early in the trip. It takes away the pressure of - what if I miss out on all the wildlife??

I get to the pool and take the short walk out there. At first there are not a lot to look at. It all looks like rocks in the shallow water. But the rock like features are not rocks at all. Indeed the rocks are stromalites.

The stromalites look pretty insignificant - nothing you would usually take note of. But they have their crucial part in the history of life on planet Earth.

Stromalites
Stromalits is the oldest known life form on earth and they helped pave the way for other life forms. The stromalits helped change the earth atmosphere by creating oxygen. Without this oxygen more advanced life forms would have been unable to develop and spread across the earth.

Previously it was assumed that all stromalits had become extinct millions or even billions of years ago when they had been pushed away by higher developed life forms. But then you found a few stromalits in a couple of secluded areas around the world. The most accessible of them all are indeed the Hamelin Pool. The stromalites like the special conditions found here at the Hamelin Pool with clear water and super high salinity which keep virtually all other life forms away. Hence the stromalites still have one of their last holdouts here. But they have been under pressure previously - back when there were a big sheep industry in the area the wool would be taken out to the boats just of the shore at Hamelin Pool and the carts would drive out through the stromalites - which for the locals appeared to have no significance. The wheels of the carts damaged the stromalites and due to their extremely slow growth you can still see some of the damage done many years ago.

After walking around the stromalites for a while it is time to head back towards the main road. Passing once again the famous Overlander Roadhouse.

Sunrise
Sunrise
Close up on one of the pelican
Close up on one of the pelican
Dolphin
Dolphin
Hard to see and very dangerous
Hard to see and very dangerous
The sharks
The sharks
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Emus running
Emus running
Stromalites
Stromalites
Pelican in front of dolphin
Pelican in front of dolphin
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Pelican and boat
Pelican and boat
Pelican in the water
Pelican in the water
Pelican and boat bridge
Pelican and boat bridge
Still half asleep
Still half asleep
Big spider
Big spider
Here come the dolphins
Here come the dolphins
Both wanting to get a free feed
Both wanting to get a free feed
Both wanting to get a free feed
Both wanting to get a free feed
People getting out in the water to…
People getting out in the water t…
I am hungry
I am hungry
I am hungry
I am hungry
Fishing
Fishing
Landing on the sign
Landing on the sign
Landed
Landed
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Feeding the dolphin
Hard to see and very dangerous
Hard to see and very dangerous
Snake
Snake
Snake
Snake
Shark
Shark
The view from the aquarium
The view from the aquarium
The sharks
The sharks
The sharks
The sharks
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
Shark feeding
the view from the aquarium
the view from the aquarium
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Emus running
Stromalites
Stromalites
Stromalites - partly dead
Stromalites - partly dead
Stromalites - partly dead
Stromalites - partly dead
Stromalites
Stromalites
Stromalites
Stromalites
Stromalites
Stromalites
Rainbow
Rainbow
Rainbow
Rainbow
Lonely roadhouse
Lonely roadhouse
Monkey Mia Sights & Attractions review
Shark Bay World Heritage area
The area around Shark Bay is biological a unique area. This is the reason why the area is one of only 20 areas in the world which fulfil all of the fo… read entire review
Monkey Mia
photo by: rollerblading