Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In former blog I mentioned that we had not seen any of the well known Australian wildlife species, as there are crocodiles, kangaroos, wallabies, cassowary, big snakes and dito spiders.
This was true ntil we were sitting on the veranda of Jeff and Jane's house in Mission Beach. We were just discussing this subject and as his contribution Jeff said: “Well, if you just turn your head, you will see some 50 or so wallabies”. I looked behind me and indeed, the slope where there house is sitting on was full of them, and the number of 50 was not exaggerated. When I went up to the railing one or two of them would look up at me, but then all of them continued doing what they did: grazing and hopping around a bit. The house is on th edge of the sea and the jungle.
In the morning at breakfast something likewise happened: “Cassowary”, Jeff said, pointing to the edge of the forest. And indeed, there it was: a bird as tall as a man walking quietly and looking for fruit. Secretly they left remains of fruit near their yard, so the bird was a regular visitor. They also knew another one, a father who always was in the company of a young one. Cassowary females see their motherly tasks as very limited, she lays the egg and that's it. Fathers rear the offspring.
So in one place we spotted 2 important species. We also see very many different species of birds, which I will not try to describe, but there are really very many and most of them make a lot of noise. The last couple of days when we were attacked a dozen times by white and black birds the size of a magpie. They tend to keep on swooping over our heads and touching our bike helmets with their paws. Imagine Eveline totally scared, shouting my name (oh gallantry). It is annoying but also a bit funny; stupid birds.
Then we had three possums coming to visit us in the camp kitchen. Big eyed, cat sized furry animals. They were very much interested in the dustbin. I find them kind of cute. They looked clean and showed no fear of humans at all, even walked under our table between our legs. This is something that struck us before, wild animals seem to be not very shy.
I also mentioned the roadkills we see every day. Most of them are wallaby, and there really are dozens of them each day. Other species like possums or similar animals, but also a snake now and then, even a very long and thick (a man's arm) one. Sometimes a dead bird of prey, buzzard size. Often with beautifully coloured breast feathers. Most likely killed by a car when scavaging on dead prey on the road. A dog now and then (dingo?) and even a pig-like animal. All in all very many wildlife killed in the traffic, it's said to see. It also makes me understand why so many cars have this metal frame in front, some call it a bull bar. The chance to get involved in a animal-car accident is not only imaginary.

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