Manly and North Head.

The first in a (hopefully regular) series, where we walk the epic 80 kilometre Bondi to Manly Walk – backwards.
(Manly to Bondi, that is… not physically walking backwards!).
We started on the last leg of the officially suggested 7-day itinerary: Manly Wharf, to Manly Beach via North Head.

The January 2020 fires burned large parts of North Head, and much of it remains closed, so we did not get to the point of Fairfax Lookout, nor down to Fairy Bower via the Bluefish Point track. Nevertheless, we walked 11.5 kilometres, even though the official length of this leg is 10 kilometres.

Being a bit of a Lighthouse nut, Brad was pleased to get a photo of Macquarie Lighthouse in the same shot as the Hornby Light:

Near Delwood Beach, an Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae) :

Naturally, many, many Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae):

The Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris):

And the Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius):

A nautical-looking Rock Dove (Columba livia):

These beautiful and sleepy Terns were a highlight. The closeups they posed for were a welcome change from the aerial pictures which are the only other photos we had to date (see Tern It Up on this blog for more). We’re still not very sure of ourselves when trying to identify the various Terns – so please leave us a comment to help us out if you can.

Starting on the climb up the headland from Collins Beach, we spotted a Kookaburra in deep shade in the gully. And as many joggers passed us on the steep road, this lone Sulphur-created Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) made more noise than any single Cockatoo we have ever heard:

Some of the Art Deco buildings in the Barracks Precinct:

We stopped by at the Information building near here, and had a wonderful talk with Judy, the volunteer on duty. She told us so many interesting things about Bandicoots, Powerful Owls, Tawny Frogmouths, Echidnas, Penguins… you name it. If it was on the headland, Judy knew about it and was keen to share all her info.

Sculptures of the Manly Sculpture school:

The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus):

North Head offers some unique views for the Pharophile (Lighthouse-lover). Grotto Point Lighthouse:

Macquarie Lighthouse:

Hornby Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters:

And Hornby, the Eastern Channel Light, and Shark Island Lighthouse all in one frame:

A New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae):

A Currawong:

A very friendly Brush Turkey (Alectura lathami) let me get in for a tight closeup. These guys are generally considered quite ugly, but we think they have a certain something…

This Kookaburra also seemed happy to pose for the cameras. He looks quite pretty in the fading afternoon light:

And the light did begin to fade….

We headed back to the car.

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