Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Year in Review: The Best Wildlife Encounters of 2017

A peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) flies over the rooftops on the Sunshine Coast.

2017 was a great year for adventures in the bush and encounters with incredible wildlife! Here’s some of the creatures, places and events that made an impact on me, and in some cases, the entire region:

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Bulimba's wildlife surviving in suburbia

Small-leaved lilly pilly, INSET: Australasian figbird (male), Bulimba.

A sunny afternoon spent in Bulimba last Thursday afternoon offered up some great encounters with a variety of reptiles, birds and insects.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Granite Belt brings winter charm

Jacky winter, Wallangarra.

A drive out to the Stanthorpe region with a friend on Wednesday provided me with my first ever sighting of an Australian bird icon, the jacky winter (Microeca fascinans).

Monday, 2 October 2017

Suburb Guide: Bilinga

Border patrol: rainbow bee-eaters use the Gold Coast Airport perimeter fence as a hunting perch.

Unless you are a southern Gold Coast local, you might barely know Bilinga. Driving along the Gold Coast Highway, it comes across as simply being a part of Tugun, and the beachfront is more widely known as North Kirra Beach. Even the Gold Coast Airport terminal, situated within Bilinga, is known by the alternate name of Coolangatta Airport! For those in the know, however, it is a small but quite beautiful part of the Gold Coast, with a gorgeous coastline in particular.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

A weekend in the Bunya Mountains

One of the many adorable locals on the Bunya Mountains.

It was my 34th birthday last month, and I celebrated it with a group of close friends out in the Bunya Mountains. I have only ever been to this place once before, as part of a weekend away with a birdwatching club when I was a teen. My memories of that experience are a little blurry with time, but I recall being enraptured by wallaby-packed hillsides, and an amazing sunrise.

The wallabies—red-necked wallabies, to be precise—made a big impression on me this time as well! They’re everywhere on the mountaintop, whether it be in the National Park, in public areas or on private lawns! They’re also common here on the outskirts of Brisbane and in the surrounding shires, but locally they tend to be shy animals that are usually seen alone or in small groups. I suspect that their abundance and approachability at the Bunyas is a result of many generations of wallabies living there peacefully, with little to no hunting pressure or harassment from humans and dogs, so that the only thing they have to fear are the occasional droughts that reduce their food supply.

We saw the wallabies as we drove into the mountain township on the Friday night, quietly feeding along the roadside verges. I was already in full ‘wildlife mode’ because further down the range, we had seen an echidna ambling out into the path of our vehicle. Luckily my friend Leah is an alert fauna-friendly driver who avoided a collision, and she then turned the car around and insisted I get out for a better look.