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Western Australias south coast and critters


elefromoz

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elefromoz

Summer is here and before it gets too hot I took a couple of short breaks south of Perth, WAs capital city where I live.

 

First stop was Mandurah, a large Estuary/canal tourist town, about an hours drive south.

 

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For me, the drawcard here is Dolphins. There’s a lot of them, some literature says about 100, so you would be unlucky not to see them.

I took a little boat ride out into the Estuary, problem was they were so close it was impossible to fit them into the frame.

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We ventured a little further out to where three rivers converge into the Estuary.

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Osprey towers seem to be going up everywhere now so seeing them is easy too.

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The next morning we had breakfast on the Boardwalk in town, again the Dolphins kept us entertained as we enjoyed our Lattes.

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My next stop was Dunsborough, a gorgeous tourist town about three hours South. The beaches are pristine, clear blue water and white sand, and you can always find a deserted one outside the busy Xmas/Easter holidays. It is also on the path of the “Humpback Highway”, the route the Humpback Whales take on their annual migration to and from their Antarctic feeding grounds. We spent a few hours on a Whale watching Tour.

Geographe Bay

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Whale watching Boat to the right

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Firstup, more Dolphins

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Then we locate a couple of Mother and Calf pairs

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So we didn’t see any exciting breaches, tail slaps etc, but heck, just to see these Mum and bubs relaxing in these resting grounds was great. They did go right under the boat at one point and popped up the other side, they were pretty relaxed.

 

As we left the beach later I noticed and Osprey pair on the nest with a pair of chicks. Our Osprey sure are doing well.

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Dunsborough as well as being coastal sits amidst some beautiful bushland, so we get some really nice birds and some are terrific singers. These are three of the best and its not unusual to have them all singing at once.

Grey Shrike Thrush

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Rufous Whistler

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Golden Whistler

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No singing from this one though, just speed and stealth, Collared Sparrowhawk

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The garden is also home to two types of Lizards

 

The Bobtail

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The Skink

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elefromoz

Lastly we spent a couple of nights on Rottnest Island, just a quick half hour across the ocean on the fast ferry. Pushbikes are the only means of getting around the Island, unless you take the hopon-hopoff bus which circuits the island every hour or so, allowing you to find your own little bay. Rottnest has some stunning beaches and bays, with the clearest blue water you can imagine.

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This guy was snorkeling along Parker Point, I could see, from the clifftop, a Stingray shadowing him. I think he got a bit of a startle when he turned and saw it right behind him.

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A couple of Pelicans kept me entertained, one being a bit of a bully and trying to bite its mate, missing luckily as its mate ducked away just in time.

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The warm Leewin current passes Rottnest Island and this allows Tropical fish and Coral to grow here and not on the mainland. Snorkelling is just off the beach, here in Salmon Bay.

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The Rainbow Bee-Eaters arrive from Asia in October

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elefromoz

The migratory Waders use the extensive Wetland systems of the islands interior

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I thought these little Red Necked Stints looked as though they were in the snow of their homeland, but just the foamy lakeshore

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Samphire on the lake shoreline, tough enough to survive in this salty brackish habitat

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Looking over the Lake system

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Banded Stilts in their thousands form huge “rafts”

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What happens when a family of four Osprey fly overhead

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The islands throughout the Lakes system are a breeding ground for the, Crested Terns.

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Little Tern chicks everywhere

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Heading out to the Westend, its wild. There is a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals

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All over the island you’ll see Quokkas, little gentle knee high wallaby like animals. There’s about 10,000 of them on the Island. They are in town, in the dunes, at the bus-stop in the cafes, at the bike repair shop…..yes, everywhere.

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And I couldn’t finish without mentioning Rottnests Ospreys, during Spring there are up to 20 on the Island and it has more than a dozen nests, considering the Island is only 12km in length, that’s impressive. I assume and hopefully a reflection of healthy fish stocks.

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And to finish this mini-trip report from home, our beautiful Australian Christmas Tree, flowering everywhere at the moment

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michael-ibk

Gorgeous places and photos, very nice to see a colourful summer while we have a brown snow-less winter here!

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Such diversity, practically on your doorstep !

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Beautiful location, loved the diversity; you are lucky to have it so close to home. Enjoy the warm weather, we are expecting snow today and tomorrow.

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Zubbie15

Thanks for sharing @@elefromoz, I enjoy your photos of this part of Australia especially as I almost moved to the Perth area when I was a young boy, and have always had an interest in the area since then.

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Treepol

@@elefromoz your TR really showcases the Australian summer and our diverse wildlife. Its good to hear that ospreys are doing well and I was interested to see the scenery and read about the wildlife of Rottnest Island.

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@@elefromoz

Thank you for brightening up our winter. Lovely photos of a beautiful place. Great to see the whales and dolphins - and your underwater photos are really good (I know how difficult that can be!).

I enjoyed the birds (of course), but the Quokkas are a real treat!

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Lovely location, and your ocean (and underwater) photos arrived just in time to set the mood for our next trip !

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elefromoz

Aah but @@michael-ibk, I do recall feeling a little jealous looking out at our winter gloom, whilst you were hiking up beautiful mountains in pursuit of Chamois etc.

 

@@Chakra and @@xyz99, I do need to remind myself how lucky I am to have such nice things so close to home. We're all a bit guilty of that I think.

 

@@Zubbie15, thanks, the way the AU$ is going, we will be a bargain destination any time soon.No better time to re-visit.

 

@@Treepol, thanks, only a hop away for you

 

@@TonyQ, my pleasure, glad you enjoyed our little Quokkas

 

@@xelas, I guess you're not going back to Kgalagadi or Namibia then!! A trip involving goggles and snorkels? New under-water camera?

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Indeed, @@elefromoz , Namibia only n Apr/May, and Kgalagadi probably not before 2019 ... If weather will be nice, we might get some snorkeling time, but after being to Great Barrier Reef in 2001, not other place came close to it underwater; so no new under-water camera. What we are looking forward is the stark contrast between white sand and turquoise ocean ... and maybe we will meet Capt. Jack Sparrow?!

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@@elefromoz, thanks for the report. I have Rottnest island on my list for a future Australia trip so it was great read and see what you saw. It looks like a must see especially because Quokkas are high on my Australian mammal list.

 

Alan

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elefromoz

@@Atdahl, good to hear, when the time comes, do stay at least one night on Rottnest, don't just do a day trip from Perth. You will be tripping over Quokkas.

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