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Bluebottles a blight but they're mostly staying away

WATCH OUT: Alana Reid has a close look at a bluebottle.
WATCH OUT: Alana Reid has a close look at a bluebottle. Emma Reid BUNBLUE

THEY'RE a blight on your summer day out but for the most part, bluebottles are staying away from our beaches.

A few blew into the area at the weekend, thanks to a northerly wind, but overall numbers are well below average, according to Surf Life Saving Queensland regional manager Craig Holden.

"Bluebottles are normally present when there's a northerly wind blowing - any north-easterly or north-westerly you have an increased likelihood,'' Mr Holland said.

"But it's been weird this year - they haven't arrived in the numbers we expected."

Agnes Water was worst affected last week and yesterday was the most significant day for Bundy beaches this year so far, "but there weren't huge numbers," Mr Holland said.

"With the incoming tide on Sunday afternoon they really arrived in force.

"I expect them to hang around the next day or two until we see a change."

While tides and winds are a factor, exactly where bluebottles come from is a mystery.

"We have had some warmer water this weekend, but we don't really know (if that's attracted them)," Mr Holland said.

"We've had some seasons where we've had closed beaches because there's been hundreds turn up.

"The last couple of years have been relatively quiet."

Bundy beaches have been free of the dangerous irukandji jellyfish, but a marine researcher said they could become common place on southern Queensland beaches within a decade.

James Cook University Associate Professor Jamie Seymour said as water temperatures rose, the stingers drifted further south, and could become a staple of beaches as far south as the Sunshine Coast, the ABC reported.

Irukandji have been found in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Fraser Island, 80km from the Bundaberg coast.

Topics:  beaches bluebottles jellyfish outdoor-living



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