One thing I have always wanted to do is go for a walk in a fog. Some people think I’m weird for wanting to do that, but I think fog is mysterious and very atmospheric. Fog even makes great moody photos.
Launceston can get pretty foggy during winter, but the best fogs are always on days I have to work. Finally I had the opportunity one Sunday morning last winter. I was up early and headed off down to the Tamar Island Wetlands despite it being only 3 degrees.
It didn’t turn out to be thick fog like I was hoping, but it was good enough to have an eerie experience. I only came across one other lone walker, and didn’t see many birds, but I reckon I managed to get some interesting photos.
Another cold and rainy day at Cradle Mountain, but when you’re on holidays, you still get out there among it and do the things you came to do.
On this day, I decided to do the track to Lake Lilla. My day’s walking involved a start from Ronny Creek to follow the track to Lake Lilla, about 3 km, and then I took the turn off to Wombat Pool, another 1 km, then walked on to Dove Lake, a further 2.7 km.
I started off from the boardwalk at Ronny Creek revisiting part of the same route I took yesterday, even spying a lone wombat close to the track.
I even saw some turbo chooks (native hens). They really do remind me of chickens!
Then I took the turn off to Lake Lilla.
I spotted this interesting bush along the way, but I don’t know what it is. If anyone knows, let me know.
As rain showers came and went, the scenery changed along the way. At first, there was lots of button grass along the boardwalk.
Button grass is endemic to south eastern Australia and grows in tussocks in peat, and Tasmania has the largest peatlands in the southern hemisphere (another thing I learnt while on holiday!).
Then suddenly, the boardwalk ended and a track appeared. It became quite narrow. Here it’s less than half a metre wide.
I spotted the occasional banksia tree. One tree had a pair of green rosellas but they took off just as I got my camera out.
This path was not only narrow it was unforgiving. With all the rain, the track was wet and sometimes slippery, and occasionally a tree branch had fallen across the track which required clambering over, very carefully. I was so thankful I had good waterproof walking boots! It was incredibly quiet, just the sound of the rain and the occasional bird call, and the gusts of wind blowing the tops of the trees.
There was plenty of this interesting coral lichen around.
Another type of lichen often seen on trees.
I was beginning to feel this track would never end!
While walking along this track, I was very conscious of the fact that I was out there by myself. There was no internet or mobile phone reception out here. And as I had been walking for ages and still had not come across another person, it could be a very long wait for help if needed. I went slower than usual so I didn’t slip and fall or twist an ankle – didn’t want to ruin my holiday! I’m glad I registered my walk in the log book at the bus stop. I can see why it’s important to do this, as you never know what can happen.
Finally, I made it to Lake Lilla. I couldn’t see the lake yet but I could hear people’s voices so I started to feel relieved I made it all that way in one piece.
I decided to push on to see Wombat Pool, even though I cringed when I saw this – stairs, and many of them, going up, up and up!
I don’t like stairs at the best of times, especially when there are no handrails, so it was a great effort on my part to continue on. The rain kept on coming in waves, and the further on I went, the colder and windier it became.
But I’m sure you’ll agree that view of Lake Lilla was worth the climb!
Made it to Wombat Pool! Now to get to Dove Lake and get the shuttle bus back to the cabin for a well earned rest.
I thought going down the stairs would be easy, but it wasn’t, especially with the rain coming down. I stopped to chat with an elderly English gentleman who had walked from Marion’s Lookout, and he had the right idea using walking poles. Note to self – get walking poles before my next trip to Cradle Mountain!
Last look at Lake Lilla just before getting to the Dove Lake car park for the shuttle bus.
Spotted some pinky-red berries along the way back to the bus. Not sure what they are exactly.
When I finally made it back to my holiday cabin, I was more than ready to put my feet up and have a rest, but then I heard some birds twittering right out of the front so of course I had to go and have a looksee. There were several tiny little birds flitting about under the bushes right outside the cabin. They moved so fast I couldn’t get any photos, so took some video.
The first one is, I think, a thornbill of some kind. If anyone can identify it for me, it would be appreciated.
And this one is of a different little bird, not sure what this one is, maybe a scrubtit? If you can identify this bird as well for me, that would be great.
Well, this was quite an adventurous day!
Keep an eye out for my next post for more Cradle Mountain adventures! 🙂
I recently purchased a new camera, a bridge camera, and I’m really happy with the results I’ve been getting so far, especially as it is more advanced than cameras I’ve used before. So here are some random shots I’ve taken.
Black swans are always beautiful to watch.
In a week’s time I am going away on holiday to Cradle Mountain and I’m hoping to get some great photos with my new camera of the wilderness and wildlife there. My work friends have guaranteed I will see plenty of pademelons and wombats! It might even snow!! 🙂
I’m excited to share a short video I took recently of the amazing flying patterns of starlings known as murmurations.
I only happened upon it by accident one evening as I was near the end of my walk at the Tamar Island Wetlands. It was totally unexpected, and since then, I have taken my camera with me and tried to get some video of the starlings incredible flying formation. However, it’s difficult because they don’t seem to fly like this all the time, and now as winter approaches, I can’t get there early enough.
Amazing isn’t it! I could watch this all day! 🙂
There has to be hundreds of starlings coming in to settle for the night at the Wetlands. It certainly sounded like it when I walked past them! I wonder what they were saying to each other?
The European starling (also known as the Common starling) is an introduced and invasive bird here in Australia, but even so, it is a very pretty bird when the sun shines on them exposing their metallic rainbow of colours, and they also have a beautiful song.
Have you ever seen a murmuration of starlings or any other bird?
Opposite the Riverside High School near Launceston is a small park and a lake. I couldn’t see any sign as to what it is called and maps don’t have a name for it either. I visited there one afternoon and found there are quite a number of birds there. It’s a lovely country setting, the lake surrounded by trees, now starting to change colour in late autumn, and farmhouses and green paddocks abound up to the Tamar River with mountains in the distance.
I was treated to a quick diving display from a Eurasian coot!
This park and lake are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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.
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.