Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Wednesday 1st November Brisbane - Sydney
The river in the early morning, looking perfect for a platypus!
Up at the crack of dawn, and I got very wet walking through the long grass on the riverbank! There were various creatures moving around in the water - freshwater turtles, surface-feeding fish, and water dragons - and I was busy thinking dark thoughts about how many people had REALLY seen a platypus, when suddenly one surfaced near the bank in front of me. It was so close to the bank that its head was obscured, and as I moved very slowly and quietly to get a better view it sensed my presence and that was it - gone! Again, patient waiting proved fruitless, but now at least I had seen one, and I knew what to look for - just before it had surfaced, I had noticed many small bubbles coming to the surface - so that was now what I kept my eyes open for.
One of a flock of Silvereyes foraging in the early morning sun.
A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo flies past.
Having walked up to some of the remoter reaches of the river, I finally returned to the spot where the road crosses the river via a low bridge. Here I spotted a slight commotion in the water, and then the hoped-for bubbles. Keeping still, I trained the camera on the spot and waited. Seeing a movement through the lens I fired off a couple of shots and then it was gone. I didn't really even 'see' it. But it there it was on the screen - evidence of a real live wild platypus!
Not a great shot, but it was the only one I got! The highlight of my trip to Australia!
Later in the morning I brought my family to the same spot and I saw the platypus again, but the moment I tried to draw their attention to it it was gone, and we never saw it again. I still wonder how many people really see platypuses there - the adults at least seem EXTREMELY shy, but I was really glad we'd decided to stay the night anyway!
Later in the day we stopped at the Entrance, just north of Sydney to watch the pelicans being fed. I lost a whole cards-worth of pics here - deleting them after thinking I'd uploaded them onto my storage disk, only to discover too late that I hadn't! Nothing too drastic was lost though - just lots of rather nice pics of flying pelicans.
Pelican at 9 o'clock - incoming!
Me! Me! ME! Throw it to ME!