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Native Wildlife of the Area


It’s another wet and windy day in paradise, so not much to do but sit it out. It also means I haven’t got a lot to type about (as opposed to write about, given I’m using the keyboard). So I’m going back a little and posting about some photos I’ve taken in recent months here. In fact, what I’m posting about today is one of the great things about living here in Tea Gardens, which differs a great deal from other places I have lived down Newcastle and Lake Macquarie way and that is the abundance of wildlife around here. Sadly we have managed to kill of most of the wildlife down around Newcastle, or at the very least drove it all away. Here it abounds and I love it being so.

Diamond PythonI’m not talking about just the smaller animal and bird species you might expect to find in a suburban area, but even the bigger examples of wildlife also. Kangaroos and Wallabies can be found all over the place in this area and it isn’t unusual to see them bounding down the main street in numbers. In fact, sadly, you often find them as road kill on the main road out to the highway. Where I work we have smaller wallabies and kangaroos actually living in and amongst the homes, with joeys in their pouches as well. The odd Dingo can also be seen from time to time. Koalas are known to live in healthy numbers around the area – not that I have spotted one here yet.

Reptiles abound here also, with large numbers of Red Belly Black Snakes, Diamond Pythons (pictured at above left) and Tree Snakes readily found in the warmer months, along with Blue-Tongued Lizards and Goannas. I have seen some Goannas that have been at least 1 metre long. Some of the Diamond Pythons have been closer to 2 metres in length.

It is the bird life that really thrives around here, especially the wetland varieties. The area is rich in bird life. At work you can see on a daily basis Wattle Birds, Blue Wrens, Finches, various Parrots and Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Galahs, Water Fowl, Wood Ducks, Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Herons, Black Swans and many, many more species of birds. There are the rarer sightings of birds also. A Tawny Frogmouth (pictured at below right) has made its home near where I live, trying its best to look like part of the tree in which it chooses to roost.Tawny Frogmouth

The area also abounds in sea life, of various types and sizes. It is not unusual to have Humpback Whales sighted of the coast here and Dolphins can be spotted almost every morning if you know where to look. The Sting Rays are also easy spot at the right time of the day.

You do get your not so welcome species of wildlife also, such as mosquitos and sand flies, but I guess these play their part in the general run of things, being food perhaps for the more welcome members of wildlife society.

One of the things I’m doing down here, tieing in my interest in web applications and social networks, is being involved with the Project Noah social network. This is a place to log wildlife spots with GPS markings using the iPhone application, along with the web application. I haven’t long been involved in it, but it is something I will be doing more and more. It will be good to build up a more complete picture of what species live in the area. Others can get involved in recording and mapping the wildlife of the area here by joining the ‘mission’ I have started at Project Noah.

The mission I have started for Tea Gardens can be found at:
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/12346009

Stroud Parade


View from Silo Hill

ABOVE: View from Silo Hill

 

Today was the first day of my annual leave allottment (technically it starts Monday) and so I decided to get out and do something. The Stroud International Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Competition seeemed to be the thing to do today. So I decided I would offer my mother and her husband a seat in the car and head off to Stroud. Turned out only my mother would be coming. Disappointingly the day was wet and miserable – a typical Australian winter’s day I guess. Still, we thought we would go and have a look anyway.

 

Stroud House

ABOVE: Stroud House

 

We arrived at Stroud just as the main street was being closed for the parade. So we got our park and headed into the centre of town to gain a reasonable vantage point, with the option of some shelter should the weather turn especially bad. We got our place easy enough. Stroud was fairly packed for the event, but not as much as I thought it may have been – the weather probably kept many away. Still, a pretty good turn out.

So off they went, a whole menagerie of marchers in the big parade. It was an odd bunch, some seemingly out of tune with the country in which they marched and the context of the town. Everyone was having a ball, particularly the kids who seemed to be the targets of the often thrown lollies and sweets that were being hurled from the floats and marching rag tag line of marchers. There were North American Indians, whip crackers, witches and wizards, some rather fat ballerina types (pictured) and many other odd characters. There were also the police (representing 150 years of police work), firemen, SES and other services – even church floats, a debutante ball float, school groups – as it went on and on for some time. There were musical groups, including a couple of groups of Scottish bands and a ukulele group.

 

Ballerinas

ABOVE: The Ballerinas BELOW: Marching Police

Police Marching

Debutantes

ABOVE: Debutante Float

 

Having attended the march we decided to not stay as the weather was rolling in again. We took a quick trip up to Silo Hill to enjoy the view and headed back to Gloucester.