Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Maria Island: The Wildlife of Darlington

The wombat stretched as much as a wombat can stretch and settled down for a nap. It had chosen a spot just above the jetty at Darlington. Had I not just arrived on Maria Island, I would have done the same. Facing the sea, of course, because I don't have an opportunity to look at it at my place.

Snoozy among the timbers

Maria Island National Park is home to a variety of mammal species, including Tasmanian devils. There was plenty of evidence of their presence. In some places, it was difficult to walk without stepping in poo: wombat cubes, macropod pellets, and fur- and feather-filled devil scat. But it was a hot day and most of the wildlife was lying deep in the shade. Only Snoozy here made an appearance.

Snoozy wakes

The birds were more obliging, although they weren't going to get too close.

Pied oystercatcher, silver gulls, chestnut teal and Pacific gull

There are plenty of Tasmanian native-hens, a large flightless rail known locally as 'turbo chooks' because of their supercharged dashes. They are also not keen on being photographed. So picture a turbo-chook here →🐔

The most obvious birds are Cape Barren geese. These handsome grey geese spend their time cropping grass, honking at cyclists, and avoiding Tasmanian devils. They are abundant at Darlington. And I really like taking photos of them, if only for their fluorescent yellow beaks and two-tone legs.

At Darlington

And a bit further away from Darlington

The beak is good, but look at the feet!

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