A glimpse of Australia’s Fauna

bird cameraAfter the convention, Cecile and her husband Glen took me, Susan Brubaker Knapp and Susan’s Kiwi friend Allison Greene for a day out at the Healesville Animal Sanctuary , about an hours drive from Melbourne in the Yarra valley to see some of Australia’s native species.

The day started out quite chilly and drizzly, I was really wishing I had thought to bring some knitted hand warmers on the trip, next time! So we donned our rain gear and hit the trails of this lovely nature preserve with camera’s in hand.

 

This is how the koalas appeared when we first arrived, all tucked in from the elements and asleep.

Koalas
A few hours later, the rain had stopped and the handlers were coming out with tall branches of eucalyptus which certainly got their attention.SONY DSC
Nothing like a good meal to put one in a better mood.SONY DSC
I wish I had the opportunity to see kangaroos hopping around in the wild like rabbits in the states do, but for now I’ll have to be satisfied with a few hanging out in the sanctuary. This one had a little joey wiggling around in its pouch.IMG_4523
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This little guy was absolutely adorable.SONY DSC

This is one of those lizards that run on their hind legs with the frilled collar that flares out. So cool.SONY DSC

How cute are these guys all stacked up.SONY DSC

And of course the Tasmanian Devil. I have a special fondness for this little guy because I’ve had two Schipperke’s and that breed is knick named the tasmanian devil dog.SONY DSC

Australia is home to some of the most beautiful birds, I am amazed at how many are ones we often see in the pet shops.SONY DSC

I loved getting to feed the parrots in one of the aviaries  The birds would swoop down and land in your hand  to eat out of a small bowl of seeds or nectar.feeding parrots
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One day while I was walking in a park in Melbourne a whole flock of huge white cocakatoos flew over head and landed in a tree that had half a dozen more sitting in the branches. Unfortunately I didn’t have the right kind of camera with me to photograph them.

I saw several Ibises outside of the city, I never knew they were native to any area outside of Egypt.SONY DSC

I remember seeing these black and blue birds, the Pukeko, a lot when I was in New Zealand.SONY DSC

These little birds were so cute.SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSC

It was such a lovely day, beautiful animals, lots of laughs and a shared meal with good friends, such an adventure.

Allison, Susan, Me and Cecile

Allison, Susan, Me and Cecile after a lovely lunch by a toasty fire in the restaurant at the Healseville Hotel.

I’m going to end this post with one of the most exciting animal encounters of my trip, a visit to Yarra Bend Park in Melbourne to see fruitbats in their native habitat. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE fruitbats? I used to want to put a pair of wings on my Schipperke because her face looked so much like one. Ok I know I’m a little weird sometimes, but that’s why you like me right? LOLSONY DSC

Look at all of them! Thousands, as far as the eye can see. You should have heard the chattering.SONY DSC

Someday I would love to see them all fly off at dusk over the river. I used to like seeing the bats fly out from under the bridge in downtown Austin when I lived there, but this would be so much more spectacular. SONY DSC
So now it’s obvious, I must get back to a land down under!

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