Sunday, January 6, 2019

Brisbane, Australia

By Carolyn

Another blog entry...another country! We flew from Auckland to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland, Australia. It’s a much larger city than I realized and, at least the bit we explored, not nearly as crowded as Sydney. Later, we learned that all the tourists and summer-vacationing Australians were hanging out on the south side of the river and the beaches.
The view from our  hotel
And the other direction

Jack had us booked at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, conveniently located next to the Brisbane Botanical Garden and the boardwalk, with access to good restaurants and bars. Becky and I explored the garden in the afternoon, keeping to the shady parts. There weren’t loads of birds, but all the birds we saw were new to us. The coolest animals, though, were giant flying fox bats!
Right outside our hotel! Isn't Jack smart?!

Black flying fox bat
Eastern water dragon
The next two days were prearranged birding trips with Hugh Possingham, TNC’s lead scientist. Becky and I had an EARLY start Thursday and rain almost dampened the day at Oxley Creek Common, but when it cleared, the birds were more energetic than usual and Hugh’s list showed 77 species! Some we only heard, but most we got a very good look at. On Friday, the guys joined us and we drove an hour west to D’Aguilar National Park. The dense rainforest trees hid many of the loudest birds but we saw plenty of new birds and other things, including a pademelon and monitor lizard, plus we got a nice walk in the woods.
Bucket list for me: birding in Brisbane with Hugh Possingham

We've tucked our pants into our socks to avoid leeches.

Ready for the rainforest
Hiking/birding the rainforest in D'Aguilar National Park
red-legged pademelon
Lace monitor lizard
And, leeches for extra points!

Next stop, Uluru!

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