Tag Archives: Koala

Beware the Drop Bear!

On the weekend I was nearing the end of my usual Greens Bush circuit, when I heard a Crescent Honeyeater and stopped to find the bird in the high trees. Straight away I noticed a large grey shape in an Acacia tree. It is only the second Koala I have found on this circuit and like the other Koala this one was also in a non-eucalyptus tree. As I walked towards him to get a closer view he watched me, becoming quite alert, not the usual dopey, sleepy animal, and then assumed this odd position, leaning back out of the fork. I am not sure what it was going to do, drop, climb, stretch. I have not seen this behaviour or position before – (well obviously it is the drop position for the drop-bear). After a few photographs I backed away and let him get back to his nap  – I was not going to fall for his trap.

 

Koala, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Drop bear in position.

Koala, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Koala, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Koala, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

II

Koalas of Cape Otway and an old Coach Trail

On the recent trip to Apollo Bay we explored a few spots along Cape Otway including the Cape and Lighthouse area. The road leading into the lighthouse park passed through a Manna Gum forest full of Koalas. Of course we had to stop and take a few shots. Never pass up a chance to photograph an animal that barely moves…

Koala, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

Koala, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

Koala, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

A large male Koala reaching for a snack

Koala and joey, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

Koala and joey

Koala and joey, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

II

Koala and joey, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

It has been a hard day…

Koala and joey, Cape Otway, Great Otway National Park

III

One of the sites I visited a few times was the Old Hordern Vale Road, a dirt road winding up into the local hills behind the Apollo Bay township. It is a good spot  to find the white morph Grey Goshawk (which I did get to see – lifer!). At the end of the road amongst a few empty weekenders and a forest of very tall Mountain Ash Gums I found the old Cobb and Co coach road. The old track  winds around the Mountain Ash ridges and rainforest gullies and finally comes out several kilometres away, re-connecting to a weekender road and back onto the main highway. Along the way I found a good variety of bird species, more Koalas, and some pretty spectacular trees. Definitely a spot I will return to on future trips to the region.

Koala, Old Hordern Vale Rd, Apollo Bay

Koala, Old Hordern Vale Rd, Apollo Bay

Old Hordern Vale Rd, Apollo Bay

The old Cobb and Co coach road – now a nice wide trail leading into and around the local hills. 

A large gum tree, Old Hordern Vale Rd, Apollo Bay

A large gum tree, Old Hordern Vale Rd, Apollo Bay

The You Yangs in Winter

The You Yangs Regional Park (about 45 min SW of Melbourne) is a great place to visit and to photograph birds and wildlife in general. There is a variety of vegetation and terrain that brings in a good selection of birds at various times of the year. At the moment several of the gum tree species are flowering and many Parrots, Lorikeets and Honeyeaters are visiting.  Recently I drove with a few local birder friends and we explored the usual spots and then onto a few new ones that I had not been to before. For the middle of winter there were quite a few birds and animals around.  The Koala of course was safe up his tree and just ignored us. The Grey Kangaroos we came across along one of the walking tracks were wary but generally unconcerned – the larger ones took off first into deeper less exposed scrub followed by the younger ones and a few remaining females with Joeys in the pouch just stood up and watched us walk by. Enjoying the early morning sun on a cold winter’s morning was more important than panicking about a few walkers passing.   We even had enough time to take a nice series of images. The local sounds were made up of Wattlebirds, Magpies, Kookaburras and several large family tribes of White Winged Choughs. In amongst these usual sounds we kept our ears open for the various Thornbills, Robins and Weebills. At one section that I have not explored that much we found a small group of White Throated Treecreepers. They move around a tree very quickly and are often defy gravity working their way along the bark upside down looking for hidden insects.

Scarlet Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

Scarlet Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

Musk Lorikeet, You Yangs Regional Park

Musk Lorikeet

Large Gum Tree, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

Large Gum Tree

Koala, You Yangs Regional Park

A napping Koala, You Yangs Regional Park

Young Grey Roo, You Yangs Regional Park

Young Grey Roo

Mum Grey Roo and Joey, You Yangs Regional Park

Mum Grey Roo and Joey

White Throated Treecreeper, You Yangs Regional Park

White Throated Treecreeper

White Throated Treecreeper, You Yangs Regional Park

II

 

1st Jan 2015: a quiet start at Greens Bush

My birding related goals this year are to improve my photography and fieldcraft. To get off to a flying start I hit one of my favourite spots in the Mornington Peninsula National Park – Greens Bush. I visited twice over two days – midday on the first day and 9 am on the second. On the first visit it was full of families and groups  bushwalking and making a racket. Strangely there were quite a few birds around and lots of opportunities to take shots. The second day while it was earlier and I only saw two guys going for a cross run, it was very much quieter – not many birds around at all. This may have been because the forecast was for a hot day and the birds had found cooler patches to wait out the pending two day heatwave.

White Browed Scrubwren , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014_

White Browed Scrubwren , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

White Browed Scrubwren II

White Browed Scrubwren II

Grey Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Grey Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

 always a favourite to try and photograph  - Superb Fairy Wren, Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Always a favourite to try and photograph – Superb Fairy Wren, Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

This bird took me a while and a lot of effort to find as a lifer in 2013 and I am still excited to see it whenever it pops up – they  are summer migrants to Greens Bush . They are hard to photograph and never sit still for very long and always seem to use a bit cover when having a look at something….

Rufous Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Rufous Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Rufous Fantail II

Rufous Fantail II

Rufous Fantail III

Rufous Fantail III

Rufous Fantail IV - showing the beautiful colouring on the back

Rufous Fantail IV – showing the beautiful colouring on the back

Rufous Fantail V

Rufous Fantail V

Rufous Fantail VI

Rufous Fantail VI

Rufous Fantail VII

Rufous Fantail VII

For the first time at this site I also found a large Koala up an unusual tree  – he was facing away and happy to glance at me and then ignore my presence.

Koala , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014_

Koala , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

I knew I would find these guys soon enough as I could hear them from the car park – they are fun to watch as they preen, squabble and harass each other.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos II

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos II

The Grey Kangaroos were also out and feeding, getting a quick top-up from mum, and resting. The female Roo feeding her young was very alert and had spotted me from the other side of the creek through the trees even though I was moving quietly and very carefully….

Grey Roo mum and joey , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014_

Grey Roo mum and joey , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Grey Roo , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Grey Roo , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014