A Day With Seahorses, Platypuses and Echidnas

I recently went out to a lovely spot called Beauty Point about 40 minutes drive from Launceston in Tasmania and visited Seahorse World and Platypus House.

Seahorse World was quite interesting and had plenty of seahorses to watch and discover.

There were a number of tanks full of baby seahorses. These were only a few centimetres big.

This is a White’s Seahorse, found in Sydney in Australia.

Here are two expectant fathers.

Here are some Pot Bellied Seahorses being fed brine shrimp.

This is the beautiful Weedy Sea Dragon.

Recently it was news headlines when Seahorse World announced a rare feat – a successful transfer of eggs from the female to the male. This has only been accomplished in captivity a handful of times.

Right next door to Seahorse World is Platypus House.

After a short video on platypuses and an introduction on the animal, we went into a room with a big tank where we got to watch Jupiter, the only male platypus there. He is 11 years old.Β  The guide fed him some food, including a yabby. Here is a video of Jupiter feeding and swimming around.

We were then ushered into another room where there were 3 tanks, each having a female platypus. The guide fed all three so we could watch the platypus feed and swim around. Here is a video of a female called Poppy.

I could watch her all day, it was so relaxing.

The last leg of the tour was a visit to the Echidna Garden, where three echidnas roamed the garden amongst our feet. What a treat!

Here is a video of an echidna eating. Check out their long pink tongue!

Here is a cute moment with the guide.

And here is a video of the echidnas wandering around among us.

This was a great day out and I recommend a visit to Seahorse World and Platypus House if you ever visit Tasmania. It gives you the opportunity to view some unique animals up close and learn about them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Day Low Tide At The Wetlands

On a bright sunny summer’s day recently, I decided to try my luck birdwatching at Tamar Island Wetlands. I wasn’t expecting to see too much in the way of wildlife as it was quite a warm day and early afternoon with a low tide. I thought the majority of the birds would be hiding away in some shade somewhere, but I was quite surprised by what I found.

Low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
Several great egrets and a cormorant hanging out together
Chestnut teal having a quiet midday snooze
Grey teals snoozing nearby
Another image of low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
A variety of birds in one spot – black swans, great egrets, chestnut teals, grey teals and a masked lapwing
A young Australasian swamphen, the parent was close by.
A pair of geese foraging.
Cracked dried mud
A muddy beaked masked lapwing (plover)
A lovely cool and shady spot next to the bird hide
A grey teal with something to say
One of the lovely views from the boardwalk.
White faced herons.
A pair of chestnut teals.
Mother swan with her growing babies
Another view of the wetlands

If you ever find yourself in the Launceston area, it’s worth a trip out to the Tamar Island Wetlands as you can see all kinds of birds anytime of the day and the views are beautiful.

 

 

Evening Colours at the Wetlands

I recently went for an evening walk at Tamar Island Wetlands. It was such beautiful weather and a hot day was cooling down as the sun set, and as I neared the end of my walk, I was treated to some lovely colours in the sky. No two sunsets are the same, so I thought I would share some photos from that evening.

I think you’ll agree it was a wonderful way to end the day. πŸ™‚

 

Aerial Views From Launceston To Brisbane

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2019! I hope you all had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year’s.

Having moved to Tasmania mid last year, I decided to travel back to Queensland’s Gold Coast to see family and friends over Christmas. As I was flying there and back during daylight hours, the views from up high were magnificent, so I thought I’d share some photos I took on the flight.

As always, you can visit my actual blog site for bigger and better photos. πŸ™‚

This first photo below was taken on my way to Brisbane. There was a lot of cloud that evening and this was taken around sunset. You can just see the moon. I love the changing depths of the blue sky. You can almost think you’re in space!

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The rest of the photos were taken on the flight from Brisbane to Launceston. It would have been nice if the pilot told us what areas we were flying over as apart from recognising the Gold Coast and Tasmania, I don’t know what the other photos are of.

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The Gold Coast

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Nothing but an empty sea and clouds over Bass Strait.
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Flying over Tasmania and you can see Flinders Island.

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Taken just a few minutes before landing at Launceston.

I hope you enjoyed this different perspective of Australia. πŸ™‚

Wildlife Spottings At The Wetlands

Now that daylight savings has started, I have decided to go for a walk almost everyday at the local wetlands. I find that walking helps to unwind from a day’s work and it feels good to get out in the fresh air. Also, it is good exercise and great for the mind and spirit, and it’s even nice to say hello to regular walkers and joggers or stop and have a chat with someone taking photos of the birds.

Here are some of the gems I have spotted on my walks at Tamar Island Wetlands.

Surprisingly, I have seen a small number ofΒ geese. These are likely domesticated escapees from people’s homes around the area. I have spotted 2 pairs but only one had these little golden cuties.

Sadly, none of the goslings have survived.

A plentiful bird at the wetlands is theΒ black swan.Β I have identified 5 different families so far, all with babies of varying ages. It’s been nice to watch the little balls of fluff growing up. Here is one family.

And look at this adorable scene!

If I go walking early in the morning or late in the evening, I am usually lucky enough to see one of these lovely creatures – a pademelon!

In a previous post, I shared a photo of a Native Hen (or turbo chook) with half a dozen chicks that I came across in the car park. Sadly, there is only one chick left. Look how its grown!

Lately I have seen several Great Egrets fishing in the river. This one was fascinating to watch as it went after some food.

There was even a snake having a snooze by the boardwalk. Funnily enough, it was conveniently sleeping only 2 metres away from the snake warning sign so I knew it was a copperhead!

I was even lucky enough to see two Australasian Swamphen chicks up close. Aren’t they cute!

And finally, this is a video I took one afternoon of the 360 degree view from the end of the boardwalk at the Tamar River. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a magnificent view and well worth the walk. πŸ™‚

What little gems of nature do you see on your daily walks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Babies at Tamar Island Wetlands

It was such a lovely sunny, spring afternoon today, I couldn’t resist a walk at the Tamar Island Wetlands. I’m glad I went because it was so worth it to see a number of spring babies!

Close to the boardwalk was a pair of black swans and their 2 cygnets. Aren’t they adorable!?

Further along, there was another pair of black swans who had four babies, but these were a bit older – still cute though!

On my way out near the entry to the wetlands, I spotted these tiny cuties – mallard ducklings.

And just as I was about to drive home, I spotted these baby turbo chooks (Tasmanian Native Hens) in the car park!

Hope you enjoyed my photos of these little balls of fluff! πŸ™‚

 

 

First Visit To Tamar Island Wetlands

Just 10 minutes drive out of Launceston in Tasmania is the Tamar Island Wetlands.Β  I was looking forward to a nice day out birdwatching, however, it turned out to be an extremely cold morning and with only a little sunshine that was very weak so I didn’t stay as long as I had planned.

Sign near the entrance to the wetlands
A great cormorant sunning itself with rather cold looking groups of various ducks
A section of the boardwalk
A black swan foraging
Looking back to the Information Centre
Australian Shelduck
A bird’s eye view for these Australasian swamphens
Australasian swamphen
Swamp paperbark trees along the path to the bird hide
Bird hide
My first sighting of a wild Tamar wallaby. We surprised each other as I came out of the bird hide!
This swamphen was showing me the way!
Morning low tide looking back to the suburb of Riverside
Masked lapwing (plover)
White faced heron
Grey teals trying to keep warm in the cold
Further along the path, looking across the Tamar River on the left and the suburb of Riverside on the right
Great egret and a swamphen
Chestnut teals and grey teals trying to warm up in the early morning sun
More birds trying to keep warm. Who can blame them when it was only 6 degrees!
Grey teal

 

Female superb fairy wren
At this point I turned back as it was too cold for me. But I’ll be better prepared on my next visit.

The Tamar Island Wetlands is a great place to visit, whether it just be for a nice scenic walk or to try your hand at birdwatching. Entry fee is a few dollars donation and is definitely worth the small admission cost. Don’t forget to drop into the Information Centre there and chat to the friendly and helpful volunteers.

I can’t wait to visit again and see what wildlife I find! πŸ™‚

Nature And Wildlife At Pacific Pines Central Park

Central Park at Pacific Pines, Gold Coast

It’s been about a year since I’ve been to Central Park on the Gold Coast and I thought I would go again and see if I find the same birds. However, the day I decided to go was really warm, 27 degrees, very unseasonal for a winter’s day, so I left it until around 4pm to arrive there. Although it was nice and mild and shady by that time, I forgot that it also meant the light was pretty poor for photography. Ah well.

Here are some shots of part of the pathway and the small lagoons as well as the main lake. I have to say that this park is very well maintained and looks clean and tidy.

 

A section of pathway past the lake
Cricket oval next to the lake with torresian crows and willie wagtails
A small lagoon
One end of the main lake
Some of the local residents of the park

It was a pleasant surprise to find some native blossoms throughout the park.

Pink blossoms on a gum tree – they remind me of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie!
More blossoms on a gum tree
A type of wattle flower
Another wattle tree

There was quite a good number of birds in the park, most swimming and diving in the main lake, the others sitting on the bank in the afternoon sun, or perched in the trees twittering away.

One lone Australasian grebe
A Pacific black duck catching the last rays of afternoon sun
A Peewee or Magpielark
Dusky moorhen
Australian wood ducks
Willie wagtail
Little corella
Eurasian coots
Common myna (or Indian myna) which is an invasive species
Australasian swamphen who walked right past me!
Darter – a surprise find at the park
Little egret

But the nicest find for the day was seeing the pair of black swans and their nest.

For more information about visiting Central Park on the Gold Coast click here.