Monday, January 3, 2011

Kur-ring-gai Chase

I spent several hours yesterday walking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park just north of Sydney. (The name is actually redundant: a chase is "a tract of unenclosed land used as a game preserve." The founders of the chase didn't want to call it a park, as that, in their 1890s view of things, suggested a fenced in area.)
It was hot, in the 90s, dry, I didn't have enough water, and my hip started hurting before I got out of bed. I went off-trail at one point in chase of a brown furry animal the size of a small dog, through thick bush in an area home to death adders and brown snakes, both of which can kill you quickly. It was all around glorious, and I found some spectacular spots in a park I will be walking regularly.

As soon as I got off the bus I saw a strange little bird, a youngun, intent on digging a little pit, and completely unafraid of me. I don't know what it is, perhaps a young bush turkey:

I saw a fat goanna, at least three feet long—look how long that tail is—which made the heat and the hurt totally worthwhile:

Here's a good head shot:

And one of my famously shaky videos, at the end of which you can see a bit of the goanna shuffle:

After stumbling down the hill to try and get a shot of the mysterious creature, a reddish, chocolate brown thing with thick fur, I came upon McCarrs Creek, where I caught a tiny crab:

Back on McCarrs Creek road I waited for a bus, and saw a dead animal. I think it was a swamp wallaby. You can see the long feet, and tail, and the little arms:

Poor critter. That's probably what I saw in the bush. Hopefully next time I'll have a good photo of a live one.


  1. Wow! Great shots Thom, even if you are out of your mind to leave the trail! Love the little digging bird and the monster lizard which looks to be in the monitor family. If you didn't know: you can tell how healthy a lizard is and how well it's been eating by looking at the base of the tail. It's where they store their fat. If the base of the tail is skinny and scrawny lookin', the lizard ain't doing too well. Loving the blog mate.

  2. Oh yeah, I just remembered I needed to take out insurance on you my dead peasant.
    You know who!

  3. Ha! I'm pretty sure that's my (former) boss...

    And thanks, Gene.