Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rottnest Island - Miscellaneous

You cannot write about Rottnest Island without mentioning the little local macropod inhabiting the Island: The Quokka! Absolutely fantastic little cute animal that have had a hard time dealing with introduced predators on the mainland, but is doing very fine indeed on Rottnest, where there are no dogs, cats or foxes.

Another specialty of Rottnest Island is the King's Skink, which can quite easily be spotted around Cape Vlamingh - West End. The fellow in the picture about came out of its burrow as soon as we pulled out the lunch pack and did not leave till it was sure big Al had finished it all ;-)

Another feature of Rottnest is the presence of a number of rocky outcrops and reefs impossible to reach from land and therefore near perfect nesting spots for Osprey. A number of well established nests exist around the island and for every year they are utilized they slowly grow higher and more impressive. This year we were probably a little bit to early for the nesting season, but I have included a picture of an empty nest below. Using a long range zoom distort the feel of size in a photo - the nest is approximately 1.5 meters high!

It is always exciting biking around on Rottnest towards the end of the day. The heat of the tarmac attracts all kinds of exciting creatures! During my previous visits I have always seen snakes sunning themselves in the roadside. We had less luck with the snakes this year, but we were lucky to stumble upon the Bobtail or Shingleback below. In fact the little guy below is from a subspecies called Tiliqua rugosa konowi, which is endemic to Rottnest Island.

On the bikes it is a quite easy little island to get around on. During a full day you can easily manage to do a full loop and then still have time to return to a couple of favorite spots. Hills are easily negotiated, but one should be aware of the power of the wind! Even a pair of bike legs trained in the notoriously windy western Jutland will be challenged when mother nature lets the blowing begin around Rottnest - Those who think that I am exaggerating should take a close look at the photo of the "slightly" horizontal tree below :-)

Great guns! Enough for Rottnest this time and I will start trawling through the photos from our visit down in the big forests of south-west Western Australia. I can already promise that there was a bit of ticking-action going on and there were some seriously impressive BIG trees! :-)

1 comment:

Jarrod said...

Great critters, I'll definitely be visiting when i go to Perth.