Bunyip State Part: Button-grass Nature Trail

After lunch we did another, slightly longer, hike: Button Grass Nature Trail (3k, easy). Although only a few kilometers away from the first hike, the landscape could not have been more different. This area looked, to my eye, like an African Savannah.

The grassy scrubland was absolutely beautiful and singing with birds.
I don't know if you can see.... but the trunks of many of the trees were still blackened from fires that had swept through the park a year ago. This area was really a birder's paradise. I caught glimpses of several beautiful birds including a Fantail but they all flit so quickly it is hard to get a fix on them so I am not sure if it was the Gray or the Rufous.

It was very hot and spirits were starting to flag when we looked down and noticed some odd footprints in the ground:

A closer look at the tracks revealed that they were VERY fresh -- the sand had barely started drying around the edges. We picked up the pace and moved quickly and quietly along the trail hoping to see the track's owner...
We followed the track to a pond where it had stopped for a drink...

But when the ground got harder as we got closer to the car we lost the trail... Whose track was it? A kangaroo... Ben had fun trying to see if he could hop from track to track (he couldn't even come close).

As we were driving back through verdant farmland I noticed a field with a horse and some ducks. One of the ducks flew up onto the fence and I made Ian pull over the car... the "ducks" pecking in the grass were Sulfur Crested Cockatoos!


Anonymous said...

Perfectly creepy coincidence, worthy of Halloween. I was just reading an article in the New Yorker (Oct. 26th issue) about Australian fires, put a magazine down and went to check the blogs and e-mail. And here you are in the area described in the article, as far as I can tell. Sniff out the air often!
The duck you spotted looks really nice. I still can not come to terms with the fact that you can see all those fancy birds just like that.

Katya said...

I can't either.

It is amazing to sit in an urban park and see birds that you associate with tropical wilderness or zoos or pet stores.

Anonymous said...

Pet stores come to my mind all the time

Katya said...

I knew all these birds lived here... but I imagined I would have to go way out into the wilderness and if I was lucky might get a tiny glimpse of one. I never imagined seeing them on highway overpasses and urban parks.