Ooncooncoon Bay Russell Island

Russell Island in Redland City is the biggest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, situated between the mainland and North Stradbroke Island. The island is eight kilometres long (north-to-south) and nearly three kilometres wide. The channel separating it from the mainland is known as Main Channel and the channel separating it from North Stradbroke Island is known as Canaipa Passage. The Bay between Russell Island, Lamb Island and North Stradbroke Island was named Ooncooncoon Bay..the Bay of Swans

Ooncooncoon Bay Russell Island

The geological origin of these islands is shared with the Redland Peninsula: all have the characteristic fertile red soil which enabled the peninsula to be the market garden for Brisbane. Overlain on parts of the island’s red soil are more recent sediments, chiefly sand and mud from the mainland river deltas.

The middle of Russell Island contains Turtle Swamp, mainly heath land, and the southern part has sandy soil with a trace of wallum country. https://queenslandplaces.com.au/russell-and-macleay-islands

Ooncooncoon Bay..looking towards Lamb Island

This Bay was called Ooncooncoon Bay because of the Black Swans. Black Swans are herbivores. They eat aquatic and marshland plants and algae. These birds also eat vegetation along the shoreline. Currently there is lots of green sea grass in the water. In shallow water, the bird dips its head and neck underwater in search of food. Because the Bay is shallow and at low tide, just mud flats, it is rich in food for the Swans who come here Autumn and Winter

Black Swans on Ooncooncoon Bay

Black swans are nomadic, not migratory. This means they travel for food and come to the islands when the bay is rich in food. Black Swans prefer larger salt, brackish or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands, requiring 40 m or more of clear water to take off. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans.

Black Swans form isolated pairs or small colonies in shallow wetlands. They pair for life, with both adults raising one brood per season. Eggs are laid in an untidy nest made of reeds and grasses. The nest is placed either on a small island or floated in deeper water. The chicks (cygnets) are covered in grey down and are able to swim and feed themselves as soon as they hatch.

The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions. Black swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders, with both partners sharing incubation and cygnet rearing duties. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan

Like other swans, the black swan is largely monogamous, pairing for life (about 6% divorce rate).  Recent studies have shown that around a third of all broods exhibit extra-pair paternity.[22] An estimated one-quarter of all pairings are homosexual, mostly between males.[23] They steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs.[24][25][26] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan

Generally, black swans in the Southern hemisphere nest in the wetter winter months (February to September), occasionally in large colonies. A black swan nest is essentially a large heap or mound of reeds, grasses and weeds between 1 and 1.5 metres (3–4½ feet) in diameter and up to 1 metre high, in shallow water or on islands.[3][9] A nest is reused every year, restored or rebuilt as needed. Both parents share the care of the nest. A typical clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish-white eggs that are incubated for about 35–40 days

Ooncooncoon Bay looking to Stradbroke Island

This Bay in Russell Island is called Ooncooncoon Bay, which means ‘The Bay of Swans‘ In the past I was told by an indigenous lady the bay was black with Swans. I have also been told that sometimes there are over 200 swans in the bay but I have lived here 3 months and am still waiting to see hordes. The largest group so far have been around 30 swans…

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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