Birds Reptiles Walk

Kindra Spirits.

Kindra Sate Forest, just outside of the small NSW town of Coolamon, is 52 hectares of remnant bushland set aside for leisurely walking and mountain biking trails. It is also home to many bird and other wildlife species. When Bramanda visited we had a close encounter with a handsome goanna.

A Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae):

An Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

A Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus):

Apostlebirds (Struthidea cinerea) roamed the trails:

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)

Also this guy, sunning on a sculpture:

Kindra is also home to a family of White-winged Choughs (Corcorax melanoramphos ).

White Plumed Honeyeaters (Ptilotula pencillata)

Many Grey-crowned Babblers (Pomatostomus temporalis) were also in evidence.

But on this day, the star of the show was a stunningly beautiful Goanna who nonchalantly crossed the trail in front of us:

Birds Flora Reptiles Walk

In Living Curra.

In Sydney’s Royal National Park, the Curra Moors Loop Walk is a 10km trek through heath and coastal sandstone cliffs. A rough and challenging walk normally, after the surreally heavy rains of Eastern Australia’s third consecutive La Nina, the muddiness made this walk quite a dance of fancy footwork! But we had heard that there would be a great display of wildflowers at this time. We were not disappointed.

Coral Heath (Epacris microphylla):

Drumsticks (Isopogon anethifolius):

A King Parrot and his mate posed obligingly for us:


Native Iris (Patersonia occidentalis):

Dotted Sun Orchids (Thelymitra ixioides):

There were many, many New Holland Honeyeaters around… and they seemed to like the Gymea Lilies (Doryanthes excelsa):

Plenty of lizards:

The Parrot Pea (Fabaceae):

A White-browed Scrub Wren put on a display of singing for us:

In the fading light of afternoon, a Brown Thornbill:

There really was a plethora of gorgeous flowers on display:

But of all the wonderful wildflowers, the Waratahs (Telopea
) were naturally the most spectacular:


Birds Mammals Reptiles

Sydney Zoo.

Sydney Zoo was opened in 2015 in western Sydney. Bramanda visited and spent far too much time watching the Otters. But here are some of the other wonderful animals we saw.

Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)

The beautiful African Painted Dog (Lycaon pictus):

Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)

Giraffes (Giraffo camelopardalis)

African Lion (Panthera leo)

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

The Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) were sadly very reclusive on our visit:

The Tufted Capuchins (Cebus apella)

The Sacred Baboons (Papio hamadryas)

A sleepy Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)…

…and other sleepy critters!

Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

The Kangaroo Island Kangaroo (Macropus Fulginosus fulginosus)

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

And for the bird-lovers, portraits of the Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

And finally, we compared the Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)


Here Be Dragons.

On a hot day at Lime Kiln Bay in Sydney’s south there was no shortage of Eastern Water Dragons (Intellagama lesueurii).

At nearby H.V.Evatt Park (Lugarno), a Water Dragon was harassed, and seen off, by some Sacred Ibises.


Hairy Lizard?

Lizards are not known for hairiness. But when the resident Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides) raided the catfood bowls, he got himself covered in cat-hair…

It did not put him off his lunch though, which he attacked with his distinctive blue tongue:

And all the while, Charlie the cat slept on the table above our Blue-tongue’s head…


Got Milk?

The Eastern Blue-tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides), that lives under the house decided the cat bowls made for a quick and convenient lunch. I wonder if these are the first ever photos of a Blue-tongue with a milk moustache?

The Blue-tongue is the largest of the Skink family, and can grow to 600mm in length (including the tail). It is a very common lizard in the whole of Eastern and Northern Australia, with isolated populations in the centre.

Our tenant emerged from his wood-pile and took a turn around the lawn:

While he was on the lawn, it started to rain lightly, leaving some cute splashes on his back:

Two cats have adopted us this year, and as one is quite timid, we used to leave food out on the back deck for her – she was too shy to eat indoors. Unfortunately, too much local wildlife took to using the cat food as an easy meal, so we have now got tough with Missy, and she eats inside these days.

I’d like to be clear that we do not condone or advise allowing wildlife to eat processed foods, or to drink pet milk. This Blue-tongue surprised me when he happened upon the cat bowls, but the resultant photos are interesting.

Blue-tongues are relatively slow and not very agile. They usually go for slow moving prey – garden snails in particular. The stationary cat food was slow enough for this guy! He first decided the pet milk was something he would like. Strange to see a reptile doing something so mammalian as drinking milk:

And here he is with a heart-breakingly cute milk moustache:

The reason they are called Blue-tongues is that – well – they have blue tongues:

After his milk, he wanted cookies! I was more concerned with him eating these, than him drinking the milk. They are rather dry but swell when they are wet. Thankfully he did not eat too many of them.

Having had all he could eat, our tenant moved off. And we resolved that the cat bowls should always be inside from now on.