Friday Five great outdoor things to do this week! 30 Nov 2012

1. KOALA BREEDING SEASON!

In the gum-tree woodlands of south-eastern Australia, koalas are getting excited!  It’s breeding season!  Most of the activity occurs at night, so if you are camping, or lucky enough to live, near koalas you will hear the males’ distinctive singing – one male will start, to be answered by another, and so on…  You may even hear the females “yack, yack, yack” call.  It might sound like they are fighting, and it is rough, but hey… each to their own I say!  Check out our video of Smoky and Ngallo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLawsUNDXec&feature=share&list=PLD4AA667B59D66E83

lovers Karen and Merle sharing a tree

The great thing about breeding season is that koalas concentrate into one area, and become more active.  You are more likely to see them walking on the ground, chasing or even fighting each other, alert and awake.

Telltale signs of foreplay in koalas: 2 koalas in one tree!  Even if they appear to be showing no interest in each other, don’t be fooled.  Koalas are masters of playing it cool!

Great places to listen out for breeding koalas: You Yangs Regional Park, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Raymond Island, Tower Hill and Double Creek near Mallacoota.

2. COOLART HOMESTEAD & WETLANDS. Just an hour and a bit out of Melbourne, Coolart has a lovely old Homestead, but even lovelier wetlands!  Lately there have been some nice birds seen there, including a Freckled Duck. This Parks Victoria property is really worth a visit – open every day (except Christmas, Boxing Days and Good Friday) 9 to 5.  Entry is free.

Check out this wonderful site for a list of what birds you are likely to see and when:  http://www.eremaea.com/SiteSpeciesList.aspx?Site=537  and this site for official information about the property: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/coolart-h.a

3. BIRDS ARE GOING CRAZY IN EAST GIPPSLAND!  Lately there have been sightings of a Whimbrel, Little Terns, Eastern Reef Egrets, Scarlet Honeyeaters, Little Friarbird, Cicadabird, Ruddy Turnstone,  Common Koels, Topknot & White-headed Pigeons, a Brush Bronzewing, White-winged Triller, Spotted Quail-thrush and many other exciting birds in East Gippsland.  It is the southern-most portion of the ranges of many birds, and this year is looking like being a stunning year for rarities.  Get down there and help us!  We need more birdwatchers moving through that area to get a better idea of what is there!

Anything you see that you think might be unusual, snap a few pictures and send them to me at janine@echidnawalkabout.com.au.  I promise to get back to you, and credit you if your sighting is significant.

4. WATERWHEEL TAVERN, Lake Tyers Beach.  While you’re in East Gippsland don’t miss a meal at the Waterwheel.  This terrific pub has the most stunning views of the estuary and ocean beach – you can often see Little Terns from the carpark out the front!  The meals and service are great too, and reasonably priced.  Go to: http://www.waterwheelbeachtavern.com/ for more information.

 

photographing at Lake Tyers Beach

5.  WILDLIFE WALKABOUT 4 day tour. This, my most favourite of all our tours, travels to East Gippsland for 4 relaxing but full days – full of wildlife, scenery, walks and excellent country hospitality!  We see wild rocky waterfalls, gentle estuaries, untrodden ocean beaches, islands, mountains, rainforests, heathlands.  It is just choc-full of goodness!  Wildlife at this time of year is superb.  The goannas and reptiles are coming out for the sun, the migratory birds have arrived, the mammals are still active in the late afternoon and there are still some wildflowers!  Go to: http://www.echidnawalkabout.com.au/en/tours/wildlife-walkabout

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