Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beach Kangaroos, Manta Rays, and Seawater-Drinking Birds

So we went down to Batemans Bay and region, south of Sydney on the NSW coast, a few weeks ago, and saw beach kangaroos. The first one was in Pebbly Beach, just lounging on a sandy dune.

It's an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. They're not generally associated with beaches, but it appears that some have adapted. And we actually saw tracks on the beach that clearly showed that kangaroos had gone into the surf! I would have loved to see that.
A short video of the roo and the beach:

We saw several more in a much more lush area just off the beach in Murramurang National Park.

Yes, we did call this one "Ilene":

Christine narrates:

A small guy showing off his creamy winter coat:

Mama roo and joey:

We then drove up the coast just a little ways, to Bawley Point, where we were lucky enough to stop at a newsagents shop, where the proprietor was also the local tourist info guy. He told us about a few places, including one where you can "see the rays" from an old dock. "They're always there," he said. We were skeptical. We shouldn't have been.

Christine did a little research and was able to identify this long-red-billed bird as a Sooty Oyster Catcher:

The Sooty Oystercatcher feeds on molluscs, crabs and other crustaceans, marine worms, starfish and sea urchins, and small fish. It uses its long bill to stab at prey or to lever, prise or hammer open food items. It drinks seawater.

Drinks seawater. I don't think I've ever heard of that. But I've just did some googling, and found out that many sea birds drink seawater. Fascinating!

And this little fella is a Willy Wagtail:

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