Sunday, 4 February 2018

Mo' Mallacootie

One change we have noted is that speed limits throughout Mallacoota have dropped to 50kph.  Apparently the is an edict of VIC Roads.  In most places it is sensible but I'm sure it is dogma, not as a result of an increase in accidents.  On which subject, in 2016 a cyclist failed to take the bend at the bottom of  'our' road and went headfirst over a 2m high cliff.  Bad head injury and off in a helicopter.  No idea what happened to her.

On a more pleasant note I glanced at eBird to see what has been spotted locally since we last visited and find that for several hotspots in the Mallacoota area I am the top of the list for species seen.  Fame at last, although I am sure its simply a function of number of visits not skill at birding.

The surprise overnight (2-3 February) was a downpour (of unknown quantity of rain as I hadn't emptied the gauge) about 2am which caused the gutter above the bedrooms to overflow.  That has been nominated and dealt with.

There was a little light drizzle on our dog walk but nothing dramatic (although it amounted to 5.5mm when I checked the gauge again in the afternoon). Note the dimples in the water!
 Town with cloud!
 Inlet with fisherpersons and cloud.  They seemed to be having a lovely timeand not at all fussed by the rain.
These two Welcome Swallows perched on the line holding up the shade sail.  I thought they looked very chirpy.
Our second was was the loop along the Betka River.  Like everywhere else, flowers were pretty sparse but there was a very good collection of Jelly Fungus (Dacrymyces sp.)on this log.
The view to the East from a lookout on Point Disappointment
As I said very few flowers, so these Astroloma humifusum earnt a photograph.  As always with red flowers the camera seems to have difficulty getting a sharp image.
A shag on a rock isn't always lonely.  Sometimes it has another shag to keep it company!
This is getting close to the Betka Beach end of the track.  Frances commented that Citizen Science is now well recognised (IMHO due to scummy governments not funding science so the citizens have to pick up the slack) but this is an example of Citizen Land Art!
On my way up to deal with the blocked gutter I noticed two friendly Huntsman spiders on the wall.  They didn't seem to have moved much when I came down again so I suspect they are former arachnids.
The male kangaroo was on the lower lawn.  Fortunately it is a big male 'roo so its head at least is visible.
Afterwards.  I had the mower on its highest setting and might give it another go, on a lower setting on Tuesday since I don't know when it will next get the treatment.
In the late afternoon we went to Captain Stevenson's Point.  There were a few big flocks - I estimated 150 Little Black Cormorants  (and have counted 68 birds in this photo of about half the flock so my guess isn't too bad).  The best birds were a pair of White-fronted Chats in some Spartina in the middle of the Inlet and a single Hooded Plover (Bird of the Day).
Not a headless chook, but a Pelican getting some food.
Back at the house about 2000hrs the sky was interesting with a pink band above the silvery clouds.  The colours haven't come out too well but the shapes are interesting.
 At about 2045 it was getting quite dark, but I noticed the fruit-bats heading off to feed.  They move quite quickly so at the low light levels (much darker than this photo appears) they are just blurs.  I marked each bat in this image with a yellow dot to give an impression of the density of the flock.  They just go on and on, flying in both directions: very spectacular.
When I stirred in my sleep about 11:45 the room was very light as the moon was up.

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