A video of whitespotted eagle rays mating off the coast of Woodgate has been captured by a local drone operator.
Justin Woodgate was on a day out with his Dad last weekend when they decided to pay the coastal town a visit.
It was when they had stopped for a break along the foreshore of the beach that the pair saw something in the water.
“I was getting a coffee with my dad down at the Esplanade at Woodgate Beach, we’d picked a seat and we about to sit down and my dad saw their fins breaking the surface,” he said.
“I decided to put my drone in the air and ended up filming them doing laps of the beach.
“I’m not an expert but I compared the footage with other videos on YouTube and am pretty sure they were mating.”
According to Fishes of Australia, female whitespotted eagle rays produce one to four pups per litter following a long gestation period of 12 months.
Individuals do not mature until five years of age and females are thought to produce litters every two to three years.
Justin said while he often captured footage of whitespotted eagle rays, each time was as breathtaking as the last.
“I tend to usually see two or three whenever I launch my drone off our coastline,” he said.
“These particular rays in the video came within two meters from the beach.
“It was pretty cool to see.”
Ocean drone footage shows amazing sea life
Justin said he often used his drone to document the region's sea life and had captured some interesting animal encounters.
“I’ve seen quite few different types of fish that I’d never have seen without the drone,” he said.
“I’ve filmed giant trevally cruising along the coast in the shallows, big schools of tuna, turtles, dolphins, a dugong eating seaweed at Coonarr Beach and more.
“I like that when using the drone you see the ocean from a different perspective, without it you’d be sitting there wondering what was out there.”
- Other news: Dolphins playing with calf captured at Bargara