Tuesday, 6 December 2016

French Island

We spent a recent weekend on French Island in Westernport Bay (Google map link) with our daughter and partner at their bush retreat, dragging along Gouldiae to serve as "orchidmeister" (see his separate report).

It was very pleasant lying in bed watching New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae novaehollandiae) bathing just outside our window and listening to the "chling chling" of Grey Currawongs (Strepera versicolor versicolor) - not a man-made sound to be heard.
Walking along a track through the property's dense coastal bush, I nearly trod on a pair of mating Eastern Blue-tonged Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides). Writhing quickly in a tight circle as the male attempted to grab the female by the neck (and as she attempted to avoid this), my first impression was of a snake attempting to strangle prey. There were fairly engrossed in their battle so I was able to get close for some photos. After a few minutes, they broke off battle for a nil-all draw.
Exploring for orchids with Gouldiae one day, I spotted what I later tentatively identified as a Yellow Admiral butterfly (Vanessa itea) feasting on a Little Grasstree flower, followed soon after by a pair of Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) by a nearby dam.
A wonderful place that I'm sure we'll see more of when our grand-daughter arrives next year.