Monday, 25 February 2008

A Penguin in my esky

This is effectively the story of our visit to the South Coast of NSW in mid-February 2008. For a change I thought I'd get the explanation of the title out of the way early. The background is that our National Scientific research place likes to get dead birds to add to their collection of skins, skeletons etc. The protocol is that when you find a corpse you freeze it and wrap it and then deliver it to them . We found the pictured Penguin when we were a fair trek from the car but we did have an esky (aka ice-box) in it. However, we were about an hours drive from our accomodation and we suspected the bird would be fairly ripe when we got back. Also, although our host is a birder, we were not sure how she'd feel about waterfowl in the fridge!

One of the key elements to the trip was to visit the historic village of Tilba-tilba to check out the dining table situation in the woodworks there. They had a good sample made of red gum but it wasn't quite what we wanted so we asked for a quote on what we did want. There will be more to come on this tale.

The image is of the pub in the main (almost only) street.

On one of the earlier walks along the beach we found this juvenile Australasian Gannet sitting on the beach. We assumed it was just buggered - repeatedly plunging head-first into water from 10m up can do that - so left it to get on with its recovery.

This is a most obliging Striated Heron that crawled around in the she-oaks beside Congo Creek for a few minutes letting me try to get an image of it

Frances wanted to collect a few empty shells for her collection. This is why we chose a day with a very low tide in mid-afternoon to get down there. We used to have a weekender/cottage/bach at Congo and were thus pretty familiar with the area. It seemed to me that the biodiversity was lower than it used to be, but my impressions and $5 will get you you a crummy latte in Starbucks.

There were a few sea anemones around........

... and one stingray!

The sea was generally quite ripply. This photo gives a bit of an idea of the rocks ans waves of the South Coast. I will see if I have got a photo that shows the magnificent beaches: they are often more than 5km long, and most of the time are deserted. Paradise!

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