Posted in Animals and conservation, Travel

Koalas – Iconic and Adorable

Can’t help but fall in love

Koala Noosa National Park, Tea Tree Bay, Sunday 18th Jan 2015.
Koala Noosa National Park, Tea Tree Bay, Sunday 18th Jan 2015.

One of the first animals I fell in love with was the iconic Australian Koala. They are a vulnerable species so it’s always an awesome experience to come across one in the wild. We saw one such koala in Noosa National Park on the weekend. This adorable marsupial was lying in the crook of awesome tall gum tree on the curve of Tea Tree Bay. He had the cooling breeze and towering height and could reach out for eucalyptus leaves, so perhaps he was in his perfect place. He opened one eye to lazily observe us, observing him. He was unperturbed by all the attention as if he was used to it and he just did the usual Koala thing, slept.

I moved from Sydney’s west to coastal Port Macquarie. Port Macquarie happened to be the hub of Koala conservation and there were plenty of Koalas lolling in the gum trees in bushland in the middle of the suburban streets. The original Koala Hospital was founded in 1973 by Jean and Max Starr. I probably met both at some stage when my mum took me to the hospital to, perhaps, become one of the youngest members of the Koala Preservation Society. I didn’t contribute much then but when I returned to town in 1987 my flatmate Rob and I went back to volunteer. Knowing Rob he probably still volunteers till this day.

Where’s Barry?

I thought I’d see how the society is coming along and found they have a ‘Where’s Barry’ Challenge. My dad’s name ‘Barry’! That’s a sign to me I have to get involved again. So I urge you to check out this fun challenge ‘Where’s Barry?’ the naughty koala.

In the meanwhile enjoy my Koala encounter photos and don’t just admire the Koala, the trees around him were magnificent too. Actually the whole of the national park was so picturesque with the water aqua blue and the bush green and lush that I never wanted to leave.


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Posted in Animals and conservation, Family life

Our Cranky Bird – another family member?

Most weekends we do our leisurely paper read and then I’ll take Mahli for a run.If the weather is nice, try to get outside with a book for an hour or so. We also barbecue often, so our backyard is a special place. Suddenly, the serenity has disappeared.

The Noisy Miner Bird we've named Cranky because he makes angry noises when he swoops us, but never connects.
The Noisy Miner Bird we’ve named Cranky because he makes angry noises when he swoops us, but never connects.

Cranky Bird has taken up residence. Well not exactly. We don’t know where this cheeky Miner Bird actually nests but he visits our yard often. It might be a spring thing. It started with him making his weird noises on the tree near the clothes line and occasionally swooping Mahli. Mahli would look up bemused and then chase the bird to the fence or another tree but never go close to getting it.

The real name is Manorina melanocephala and it’s a honeyeater. It doesn’t seem really sweet, rather sour. This is a cheeky little bird that seems to watch us all the time. Saturday I watched it swoop Mahli before it went for my head, as I read a book on my sun lounge. Cranky doesn’t peck us he just swoops with a little clicking noise and a great speed. He misses by THAT much!

Maybe he’s just playing and I think he’s harmless but I am curious as to why he does it so regularly. Aparently these birds have a territory and maybe he thinks we invaded his instead of the other way around. We do have a beautiful tree a tibouchina, with pretty purple flowers and possibly a nice nectare for a honeyeater bird. Maybe this tree has been marked in his territory.

The Noisy Miner Bird is said to be aggressive and we’ve seen Cranky chase off poor little Lorrikeetes but I think he’s only warning us because he never connects. Maybe because we talk to him he finds it as somewhat a game. I just hope Cranky never gets too close to Mahli’s teeth, or that spunky little bird really will be cranky.

I decided to set up my camera to video Cranky’s behaviour. You’ll get a laugh out of his antics as he swoops, Mahli, then me and Blake.