Thursday 2 May 2019

Australia Part 4 -Kangaroo Island

The final leg of our Australian adventure was via a two night stop-over in Adelaide before boarding an early morning coach to the place we had been so looking forward to - Kangaroo Island! After a forty minute ferry crossing, we arrived on the island mid-morning and had our first new birds - a colony of Black-faced Cormorant in the small harbour at Penneshaw. After picking up our hire car and checking into our hotel some 400 yds away (The Seafront Sorrento) we set out to explore, having decided to go to the furthest point first - Flinders Chase and Admirals Cove areas, about 150km away. Flinders Chase area gave us Cape Baron Goose, Red Wattlebird, Silvereye and Eurasian Goldfinch

 Cape Baron Goose

Flinders Chase visitors centre gave us confiding views of Superb Fairywren and a few other species we had already seen on the mainland.
We then moved on to Admirals Cove where we saw a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and our first views of Pacific Gull - and what a beak it has!!

 Female Superb Fairywren

 Pacific Gull

We had been given a site which we would pass on our way back - Hensons Bay Wildlife Sanctuary - which normally had Koalas in the trees so we diverted in - and guess what? - we had our first views of a Koala - at last! ..... and it had a joey too! We also had a really good view of a large male Red Kangaroo

 Koala with joey
New Zealand Fur Seal

 Red Kangaroo (male)

Day two saw us at Kelly Hills Caves where we enjoyed a couple of hours walking around the hills. Birds of note were Scarlet Robin, White-eared Honeyeater, Striated Thornbill and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. We decided to go and try to find Murray Lagoon but we never did find it - I think it had dried up. We did, however find ants.... millions of them and if you stopped moving at all, they swarmed all over your feet. Poor Sue had them running up the inside of her trouser legs which absolutely freaked her out! On the way there though, we did have another fantastic experience - a male Koala was just walking along the roadside; he sat down, had a good look around and then disappeared back into  the bush. Brilliant! We also had a near miss with a large Tiger Snake that was just laying across the road.... fortunately, I managed to avoid running it over.

 Koala walking along the roadside

 Red Wattlebird

 Scarlet Robin

 Striated Thornbill

On the back roads coming away from Murrays Lagoon we saw Wild Turkey and an elusive Echidna. Not a very good image, but you'll get the idea....


 Male Superb Fairywren

 Wild Turkey

 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Our penultimate day on the island and we went to Duck Lagoon which is a good area for birds. On the way we had a flock of Little Raven flying overhead. At the lagoon we had Hoary Grebe, Freckled Duck, Australian Shoveler and a great view of an Australian Oystercatcher.  

 Hoary Grebe

 Australian Oystercatcher

We meandered our way back towards the hotel, stopping at Emu Bay where we saw Sooty Oystercatcher (no image) and not far from our hotel, Sue pointed out a big bird perched. Reversing quickly down the road, I managed to get a couple of images of a Wedge Tailed Eagle as it took off...

 Wedge Tailed Eagle
 Wedge Tailed Eagle 

We saw the Wedge Tailed Eagle again on a couple of occasions - but distant. In the evening we went to the local cove where Little Penguin (Fairy Penguin) where they frequent but we weren't fortunate enough to see any - we did add Tamar Wallaby to our mammal list though.

Our final day and we stayed quite local as we were sailing back to the mainland mid-afternoon. We had been told of a site just outside Penneshaw for the only Cockatoo we hadn't seen - the Glossy Black Cockatoo, so we set off in search of them. We managed to locate them as although initially we couldn't see them, Sue heard them cracking open the pine cones. We saw the female first and then a few flying away. As we went back into town a local caught our attention saying he thought he'd seen a whale in the bay so we stood and watched with him. Sure enough, he had - it was a lone Humpback, about 500 mtrs or so off the harbour and this was the last image I took on Kangaroo Island.

Humpback Whale

After having a drive around locally, we found a lagoon (Salt Lagoon) which had over a hundred Banded Stilts and also a Greenshank. My last two birds were Common Bronzewing and White-fronted Chat.  Love Kangaroo Island and what a great adventure we had down-under!  We drove over four thousand km, saw some amazing things and bumped into some really nice people too. I'd go back in a heartbeat and would seriously recommend Australia to anyone!  
Sorry this Blog has been a long time in compiling but I've had a few other things to attend to. 

As always, Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed reading about our trip. Hopefully not too long before another adventure!