And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tasmania - Loongana and Richmond

It's been a busy two weeks in Perth, but I finally have found the time to post the last part of our Tasmanian birding holiday.

After Strahan, we journeyed to the famous Cradle Mountain area, one because we had never seen Cradle Mountain, secondly we still needed those Tasmanian endemic Scrubtits. We had been told that the camping area was the place to look. Near the camping area, this endemic Black Currawong gave us great views.

Fantastic! The camping area paid off, we now had Scrubtit on our bird list! Now we could enjoy some of the area's walking trails, such as the waterfall trail.

The great walkway to Dove Lake.

The morning had been cold and wet, but by lunch the clouds were clearing.

Some wonderful buttongrass areas and maybe Ground Parrots?

Time ran out and we had to head to our stop for the next two nights, Mountain Valley, a private nature reserve at Loongana. A shy Rufous-bellied Pademelon greets us at the gate.

Mountain Valley is a great place for Tasmanian wildlife. The endemic Tasmanian Native Hens were common on the property.

At night Tasmanian Devils come out to fight and feed on meaty titbits. We saw and heard a number of devils, but missed out on the Spot-tailed Quolls that I wanted to see. Oh well, maybe next time.

These guys are in big trouble in Tasmania, due to a facial cancer that is spread through contact, especially by bodily fluids such as saliva. For more information about this strange cancer see Devil facial tumour disease and Save the Tasmanian Devil.

A warm sunny morning greeted us for our walk towards Black Bluff.

The birding was quite good on the walk up, with our once elusive Scrubtits now appearing on a regular basis, often within a couple metres of us. Such is birding!

We ran out of time to reach the top of Black Bluff, but the views and birding had been wonderful.

Tired, we returned back down to the river near Mountain Valley.

It had been a long hot steep walk up and down, now time for some cold beers.

Next day, it was time to head towards Sorrell, via the lovely little town of Wilmot with the original home and store of G. J. Coles, the founder of the mega big Coles supermarket chain.

A visit to an unexpected good birding area at the strangely named town of Oatlands, provided us with extra birds for our holiday birdlist. The wetlands provided 3 species of cormorants, Great, Little Pied and Little Black.

A beautiful morning at the historic town of Richmond with the oldest bridge still in use in Australia.

The beautiful little church at Richmond.

And it's colourful graveyard.

Old gravestones.

A postcard shot of Richmond.

A beautiful English-looking town.

Ok, how old are we?

The lookout at Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park.

Besides the fantastic scenery, our mission was to try and see Spotted Quail-Thrush.

The scenery was great, but we dipped on the Quail-Thrush.

The steep walk down to Wineglass Bay beach and back was good exercise!

Our last little fauna surprise for the holiday, was this friendly White's Skink (Liopholis whitii) on the walk up from Wineglass Bay. A new reptile species for us.

So ended a wonderful birding holiday in Tasmania, which got us all 12 Tasmanian endemics and a total birdlist of 96 species.


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