This is the combined post for the last three days. Enjoy!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21
This day was the travel day from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island. Our family rode a bus to the Melbourne Telamarine Airport and then flew a pleasant flight on JetStar Airlines to Adelaide.
Then, we drove from Adelaide to Cape Jervis. The first excitement of the car ride was seeing a huge herd of EASTERN GREY KANGAROOS (Mainland Subspecies). We stopped and I managed to snap this photo:
They were the first kangaroos we saw in Australia!
Our next stop was at a playground for lunch, and I managed to fit in some birding while my sister frolicked about. I saw the following species there:
After a bit more driving, my family and I took the ferry from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island. While on board the ferry, I kept my eyes peeled for skuas, but it was to no avail.
When we arrived at our house on Kangaroo Island, I immediately found this cute Tammar Wallaby in our front yard:
More birding in the evening near our house yielded the following species:
Male SUPERB FAIRY-WREN:
I also saw four endangered GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOOS, but the light wasn't good so I didn't manage to capture any decent photos of them.
By the end of the day, I had seen thirty Eastern Grey Kangaroos as well as one Tammar Wallaby.
The bird-of-the-day award will be shared by the two black cockatoo species seen: Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo which is only a slightly uncommon species but I have never photographed it before, and Glossy Black-cockatoo, which is an endangered species but didn't allow for photographs.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Yesterday was our full day on Kangaroo Island.
The day started off by seeing more Tammar Wallabies in our yard:
Then we started our driving tour of the island. The overall description of the tour was extremely long and rather boring with a few moments of beauty and interest here and there.
The first birding stop was at a marsh along a dirt road on which we were driving. I saw many species, including the following:
GREY TEAL and AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK:
Juvenile BLACK-WINGED STILT:
Our next stop was at Hansen Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The first notable animal seen there was this CAPE BARREN GOOSE, an endangered species:
Then, we saw three Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Kangaroo Island Subspecies), including these two:
Also this gorgeous male SCARLET ROBIN:
The main gaol of visiting this preserve, however, was taking a small hike around the grounds to see the many Koalas that reside there. We saw a whopping seventeen of them in total, including this especially obliging one, which allowed us to admire it from a mere three feet away:
Then I saw this RAINBOW LORIKEET:
As well as this beautiful male CRIMSON ROSELLA:
And this RED WATTLEBIRD:
The next stop was at the magnificent Admirals Arch by the sea:
A colony of Australian Fur Seals and Australian Sea Lions resides there. I snapped a photo of this sea lion:
I also saw this ARCTIC SKUA (I'm not sure what an Arctic bird is doing in Australia, but, OK):
As well as this PACIFIC GULL:
The AUSTRALIAN RAVEN like the one pictured below was a common species throughout the day:
Next, we stopped at a place called Remarkable Rocks. They are indeed truly remarkable:
My sister and I enjoyed climbing on and around them.
On the way back, I photographed this magnificent male ROSE ROBIN:
Our last stop was at Cape Borda, where we were supposed to see whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, as well as sea eagles. Of course we saw none of those except for two far-off Australian Fur Seals. Here is the outstanding view from the cape:
I did, however, see this Echidna, which was the "find of the day" in my dad's words:
Did you know that during the breeding season, Echidnas form "Echidna Trains" where a female Echidna walks around and up to ten males follow her in a perfect single-file line?! Echidnas in Australia fill the niche that porcupines satisfy in North America. They look just like a porcupine, also!
By the end of the day, we had seen these classic Australian mammals:
35 Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Kangaroo Island Subspecies)
14 Tammar Wallabies
Bird-of-the-day to the obliging yet endangered Cape Barren Goose. Runner-up to the two beautiful robin species seen today: Scarlet Robin and Rose Robin, and also to the Yellow-billed Spoonbills; it was a very nice surprise to see them as well.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Today was our travel day from Kangaroo Island to Adelaide.
The first bird of the day was a complete surprise; it was a few endangered GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOOS which flew into the tree just next to our house right after breakfast!
Here is a picture of one:
After spending a refreshingly lazy morning in our house, we packed up and started our second and smaller driving tour of Kangaroo Island in the late morning.
Our first stop was in the village of American River to look for more Glossy Black-cockatoos. Sadly, we didn't find any, although there is always a nice consolation prize in birding if you don't find your target bird. In this case, our consolation prize where a few pretty GALAHS like the one pictured below:
The next stop was for lunch at a wetlands preserve called Duck Lagoon. I saw quite an assortment of waterbirds, including the following:
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK:
Male CHESTNUT TEAL:
AUSTRALIAN WHITE and STRAW-NECKED IBIS:
Male BLUE-BILLED DUCK:
BLACK SWAN and GREY TEAL:
AUSTRALASIAN GREBES, female BLUE-BILLED DUCK, and EURASIAN COOT:
I also saw a few passerines, including this BROWN SONGLARK:
After a nice ferry ride across to mainland Australia, my family and I drove back to Adelaide. We only had one stop along the way, and it was an unplanned one. At the SAME place we saw kangaroos on the drive to the Kangaroo Island Ferry a few days ago, we saw more there today! Here is a photo of one:
The remainder of the day was spent resting in the pleasant city of Adelaide.
Bird-of-the-day to the first bird seen today in early morning, the endangered GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOOS in the tree just beside our rental house!
Stay tuned, because tomorrow we travel to Cairns, a city on the eastern coast of Australia. Some highlights there will be snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef as well as birding in the Daintree Rainforest, where you can see rare birds-of-paradise!
World Life List: 586 Species (22 new life birds on Kangaroo Island)