Sunday, November 25, 2012

Find a Koala Day -- Sun., Nov. 25

Today was hot, probably in the 90s. A trip to the coast to cool off was in order. At least that's what we thought.

Fast forward the 1-1/2 hours it took us to drive to Tanilba Bay. Upon leaving the air conditioning of the car, we quickly realized it was just as hot at the coast.

I chose Tanilba Bay and the Tilligerry Peninsula specifically because the area is best known for its large native koala population. Today I wanted to see a koala in the wild. Bob and I are both very good at spotting wildlife, so I had confidence we would have a sighting.

The Tilligerry Habitat Reserve was the first place we wanted to try. I checked in at the info centre and found out koalas sleep in the daytime. Our best bet to find one would be to look for the type of tree with leaves they eat and look for a sleeping, ball-shaped, furry, grey animal.

A guided tour was just returning to the info centre. The people coming back did see a koala. They pointed out the general location on the map for us to search. We headed out on our own through the reserve, map in hand.

Beautiful forest next to the bay.

Bob and I searched and searched for a koala. We searched where the people who had returned from the tour told us they saw a koala. The only thing I found in that area was a tawny frogmouth (bird).

Tawny frogmouth (bird).

Tanilba Bay--tide's out!
Then we met a couple walking on the trail in the opposite direction. We asked them if they saw a koala and they said yes, about half-way down the trail on the ocean side. They also said it was pretty obvious. So off we went and searched and searched. Then, there it was, perched up in the type of eucalypt tree we had been told to look in. Success!

We have no clue how this koala is staying in the tree.
On the rest of the trail, we kept looking for more, but this was the only one we could find.

Ant's nest in a tree.
Bob searching for koalas.
Tanilba Bay
Stilt bird of some kind.
We finished walking at the Tilligerry Habitat Reserve, then drove around Tanilba Bay a little more. There was a flock of about eight black swans hanging out in the bay.

Black swans
Since we were out on the peninsula, we drove out to the end of the road to Lemon Tree Passage (a town) which is home to a large waterfront koala population. We did not see any koalas in Lemon Tree passage, but we did find a good place for lunch at the marina. Bob had a BBQ chicken pizza and I had spaghetti bolognese. Good stuff and our table overlooked the marina and bay.

Lemon Tree Pizzaria--good eats for lunch.
A beautiful car.
After lunch we walked the mangrove boardwalk and stopped at the Koala Reserve.

Beach park by marina.
Lemon Tree Passage Koala Reserve--didn't see koalas here.
No koalas, but we did see white pelicans...lots of them. A man was cleaning fish and throwing fish bits to the pelicans. They were all over that!

White pelicans.

When we were through exploring the Tilligerry Peninsula, we drove to Nelson Bay (a town on the Tomaree Peninsula).

View from Anna Bay Picnic Area in Tomaree National Park.
Next stop Nelson Head
Nelson Head cottage now a museum and tea house.
View from Nelson Head to Tomaree Head.
From Nelson Bay we drove out to Soldiers Point, then headed back to our timeshare to cook dinner. Before we cooked, we took a walk around the resort. It was still hot out, close to 85 degrees F.

Pool and hot tub by our unit--not heating--will be fixed Tuesday.
Resort 'roos.
Kookaburra surveying for its dinner.
Don't know what kind of birds these are.
Our unit is the one on the lower level, the left and center windows..

After our walk, we made dinner, watched Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Goldeneye. Then Bob watched a Jason Bourne movie and I wrote my blog.

Good day today.

Travel Bug out.