Into the Wild: Part III

December 23: Since I was in Perth for just 3.5 weeks and spending much of each day in the lab and in Sydney for just a few days, I didn’t have a lot of time to travel around. I kept my eyes open for wildlife, though I didn’t see many kangaroos or their kin around (just a quick siting of three red ‘roos and a wallaby coming back from York the other night). Fortunately, I haven’t seen any snakes or spiders! You know they’re poisonous, right?  The deadliest.  One night as I was walking back from the lab, I walked into a wispy thread, which I presume came from some kind of web. I spent the next hour swatting imaginary spiders on my arms and neck until I convinced myself nothing was there.  Enjoy these photos Australia’s non-threatening animals!

How do you do, cockatoo? (Perth)

Standing watch (Long-billed corellas, Curtin Uni).

Mmmmmm, lunch! (Rainbow Lorikeet, Curtin Uni)

Got quokka? (Rottnest Island)

Naptime (Australia Mountain Duck, Rottnest Island)

Of course, a trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without seeing a koala or a kangaroo. I visited the Koala Park Sanctuary in New South Wales again and had a great time watching these animals. The wallabies were out and about and the little penguins were having a great time in and out of the water. My favorites, though, are the koalas!

Aussie wildlife at Koala Park (NSW): Little ("fairy") Penguins (top); Swamp Wallaby (bottom); Koala (right).

If they aren’t already, magpies should be Australia’s national bird.  They are everywhere, from Canberra to Perth, and while they’re not much to look at, they have an easily recognized song (and it’s not squawky like that of the better-looking rainbow loris).  What’s that about judging a book by its cover? I think the same goes for bird songs.  I saw these two magpies in Sydney – one’s a baby and the other is one of its parents. As large as it is, the baby was still learning how to find food on its own.

On the ground and in the trees, magpies are everywhere to see (Centennial Park, Woollhara, NSW)


Other links:
Into the Wild: Part I
Into the Wild: Part II