Time for another reprint of one of my recent articles for Australia and New Zealand magazine. With impeccable timing, given the cockroach and snake posts of last week, today I’m going to be talking about Australia’s ‘other’ wildlife; the nice stuff.
With articles like this, I have an advantage over the magazine, even if I do say so myself. There is only room for one picture on the page in the magazine, here I can include more.
And add videos.
And link to all the other relevant posts.
So that’s what I’ve done. Every link in this article goes to another blog post with more pictures and even more information about the wonderful wildlife that I see so often in and around Brisbane.
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get going! The magazine titled this one…..
Let’s face it; Australia’s wildlife gets a pretty bad press. All the talk is of spiders, snakes, sharks and crocs. But there’s far more to Australian wildlife than that!
When I lived in England, I didn’t really pay too much attention to the other animals who shared my space. To be fair, I didn’t really see too much of them, despite always opting to take the countryside route whenever travelling from one town to the next.
Now I live in Australia, just 20 odd kilometres from the city centre of Brisbane. So I’m not exactly living in the outback, although it is true to say that the Western Suburbs where I reside are very green indeed.
Maybe that is why I am regularly treated to close encounters with some of Brisbane’s finest wildlife.
I’ve driven past water dragons basking on the side of the road; seen a possum pop its head up and look through my front room window whilst I was watching late-night television; been enthralled as flying foxes take temporary residence in a tree in my back garden………………..
…and laughed like a drain along with the kookaburra’s who visit regularly….
It’s really hard not to be happy when those fellows are around.
Brisbane is a birdwatchers paradise with over 370 different species in the area. The kookaburra is my favourite, but close on his heels is the Rainbow Lorikeet, a species of Australian parrot…….
Locally, we also have deer, praying Mantis, green tree frogs, goannas and not yet spotted by me (but I’m still looking) platypus and echidna; you don’t get either of those two anywhere else. And when I went to the real outback, the centre of Australia, I saw dingoes and camels, wild camels……
But never mind all that, what about kangaroos? Yes, they are alive and well and still living in the wild, even in Brisbane suburbs. I’ve seen about half a dozen in people’s back gardens within a few kilometres of where I live.
And just the other day, one showed up on the field at my daughter’s school. The kids loved that! Nationally I imagine I’ve seen about 20 or 30. They like to skip, in case you didn’t know.
But for the very best local sightings of Brisbane’s natural wildlife, we like to take the short ferry trip to North Stradbroke Island. Straddie, as it is known, is like a trip back in a time machine.
It has no traffic lights and plenty of wildlife. Kangaroos can be spotted grazing at the side of the road. Whales, dolphins and giant turtles can be seen in the sea. But my favourite sighting from the island was a koala high up in the tree. He was dozing; it’s what they do best….
I wasn’t big on nature back in the UK and I didn’t expect to be after I made the move. But now I’ve lived here a few years, I can say that the native wildlife of Australia is one of the countries biggest attractions. I love it and I haven’t seen the half of it yet.