29 December 2011

Bundaberg and Bargara

Monday, 26 December 2011
Boxing Bay

A quiet and relaxing Christmas was spent with the family in Burrum Heads. The Christmas ham eaten, all wrapping paper disposed of, condiments boxes packed again, the Toms family waved goodbye to the rellies and hit the road once again.

Our destination today was Bargara. We had booked a camp site for 3 nights at the local caravan park a few days earlier when Steve and I had travelled to Bundaberg for a look-see.
Our reconnaissance trip back then had revealed that “Turtle Sands”, a caravan park right next to the Mon Repos turtle rookery where Steve and Flip had spent a few nights on a previous trip no longer accommodates overnight campers.

Bargara Beach Caravan Park it was instead, a busy place this time of the year, packed with caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes. We checked in early enough to find a shady spot in the back of the unpowered camp site area, sandy ground, a bit of gras, dense bushland right behind the boundary fence. The first thing we noticed were the birds: Kookaburras (the laughing kind), Grey Butcherbirds, Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Magpies, Koels, Noisy Miners – hundreds of them, going off!

A family of Noisy Miners came into our camp a bit earlier for a quick bath in the dirt. After flapping their wings and making quite a racket for a while, all of a sudden they dropped flat on their bellies, wings spread wide and “played dead”. Motionless these birds were lying flat in the dirt, staring at me and my ham and cheese sandwich. I reckon these dirt baths followed by a good dose of sunlight might help them fend off blood sucking parasites – but I'll have to do some research to find out what this behaviour really is about.
Helpful comments on this would be much appreciated!

A strong wind warning had been out for the last few days, ex-tropical cyclone 'Fina' brought rain and big swells to most parts of the East Coast.
But when we walked down to the beach in the afternoon the conditions weren't too bad at all.
The crocodile-fearing members of this expedition felt surprisingly at ease as the water was shallow and the beach patrolled by at least half a dozen surf lifesavers. Flip had lots of fun with his boogie board once he'd worked out how to ride the waves all the way in.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Apart from a few mozzies after dark the night was very pleasant.
After the birds had been provoding plenty of day time drama, night time entertainment continued with XL-sized possums and lots of hissing and snarling from and unknown source somewhere in the bushes out the back.

The sun was fairly high up already when the members of the expedition decided to stir.
The billy was boilt and first cuppa was enjoyed at around 7:00AM while enjoying the pleasant morning, observing the hustle and bustle of the bush. Two Frilled-neck Lizzards were having a little tiff just a few metres away. After the bigger of the two had run off and up the next tree, the smaller one continued to squabble with a cheeky Butcherbird that picked a branch too close for comfort.

A bit later we drove into Bundaberg for some shopping. Here we walked straight into the street parade of the 66th Australian Jazz Convention. Sorry, neither the banjo-playing jazz enthusiasts nor the umbrella-twirling ladies following the musicians on their parade up and down Bourbong St were really our cup of tea.

Later we checked out the turtle rookery information centre at Mon Repos. No staff were present but we found out where to book for the ranger-guided turtle observation. As all tours were already fully booked until Friday we decided to extend our stay for another two days.

Can't come all this way and then miss out on the loggerheads! The rangers cannot give us a guarantee that any Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta, the species currently nesting) will actually make an appearance on the night – but I'm sure it will be an awesome experience anyway.

Boh boh!

No comments: