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Connie's Koala

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 30 December 2019 | Views [130]

Connie's Koala, Narangba

Connie's Koala, Narangba

LAKE SAMPSONVALE REMINDED US OF FLORIDA’S Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge yesterday morning but instead of crossing the Sanibel Island Bridge we had to walk through the Sampsonvale Cemetery.  No ghosts, though.  Silhouettes of stilts, coots, maned ducks, black swans and pelicans dotted the silvery water while the sounds of dawn, Australia-style, filled the air.  As sunrise progressed sharp=tailed sandpipers showed on the shoreline.  Friendly swallows swooped over a pair of willy wagtails flashing their tail feathers in the growing light.  As morning progressed we spied a mixed group of royal and yellow-billed spoonbills preening in the sunshine.  All told we saw 38 species.

      By Dawn's Early Light, Lake Sampsonvale 

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     Australian Pelican

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                                 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

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                                                               Maned Ducks

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             Yellow-billed and Royal Spoonbills,  Lake Sampsonvale

But we were here for quails, rails and snipe, new species for us that called Sampsonvale home.  For the uninitiated, quails, rails and snipe are shy guys who prefer thick cover to fields and open water.  More often than not they are heard but not seen.  Photos, at least mine, usually show only a blurry part of a bird.  We were semi-successful on this day.  We heard Lewin’s rail.  We glimpsed a king rail as it broke cover and shot away.  Thanks to a tip from some local birders, I actually photographed the endemic painted snipe — at least most of it.

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      Gotcha!  Painted Snipe, Sampsonvale Lake

On her constitutional this morning, our last at North Brisbane Winery B&B in Narangba, Connie saw our first koala!  Unlike monkeys and such who jump from tree to tree, koalas must descend from one eucalyptus and climb up another.  On the ground they are susceptible to dogs and cars.  Connie’s koala scurried off when a car sped by, searching for safety in a nearby gum.

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                             Get thee to a tree 

Now all we need is a platypus!

 

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