my second favorite bird in shark bay is the gannet (second to the chiming wedgebills that have the best song).  they are bigger than all of the other birds, except the pelicans and the emus, making them look like jumbo jets when they fly over.  i was going to write lots of cool and interesting facts about them to spice up their story, but the plain wikipedia article is interesting enough on its own!  i've pasted a highlight below.

Gannets hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Gannets have a number of adaptations which enable them to do this:
  • they have no external nostrils, they are located inside the mouth instead;
  • they have air sacs in their face and chest under their skin which act like bubble wrapping, cushioning the impact with the water;
  • their eyes are positioned far enough forward on their face to give them binocular vision, allowing them to judge distances accurately.
Gannets can dive from a height of 30 metres, achieving speeds of 100 km/h as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.
The gannet's supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to "gannet" becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively, similar to "glutton".

pretty ridiculous bird, right?! and watching them dive bomb the water is really cool.  you can see their splash from over a kilometer away!
shark bay
western australia
shark bay western australia
^^if the gannets can dive into the dolphin's world then the dolphins can leap into the gannet's, right?^^

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