Saturday, November 21, 2009

South-West of Western Australia - Day One

After our eventful day at Rottnest it was time to hit a very different habitat. We headed down to the big tree forests in the south-west end of WA. It is quite a bit of a drive south of Perth and luckily - despite the Magna being left in Sydney - we managed to team up with some decent wheels and some very knowledgeable locals that gracefully shared a steady stream of information about the areas we were driving through.

We were in for a treat - already the first day, the program was action packed and included quite a few events that were not in the usual Lonely Planet Guide. We started out by visiting a tree plantation full of Eucalyptus Regnans. Being a mono-culture we had not expected much excitement when it came to bird life and apart from a couple of cormorants and what I though was a Pied Currawong we mostly saw trees ... However, by coincidence I took a look in the book and realized the the Pied C. was indeed a Grey C. apparently the Grey version is nearly black in the south end of WA. I have seen the Grey C. in The Budawangs (where it is actually grey!), but little G. happily took another stab at my lead.

Next stop was a visit to an avocado plantation. Quite impressive! Having myself experimented with the possibility of growing a few avocado trees in every single apartment I have lived in here in Sydney it was an eye-opener to see the real deal ... guess I will have to aim for an entirely different size of apartment next time :-)

Approaching our destination for the night there was still time for a quick visit to the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, a so-called "climbing tree" which in the old days was used for spotting fires and giving firefighters early warnings about the development of bush fires in the region.

Dad used the opportunity to show off some climbing skills - he could have made it all the way! Nice to see an activity where it is pointed out that this can be dangerous and that you do it on your own risk, but otherwise you are left to take the decision yourself. No nanny state there :-)

After an eventful day we finally arrived at our destination. Light was dimming really fast, but during a quick little evening walk I managed to "catch" this colorful Splendid Fairy-wren.

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