Sunday, April 10, 2016

Fauna of Australia

Susan and I spent March 2016 in Australia and New Zealand. We had never traveled south of the equator. It's about as far away from our home in Maryland as you can get. Given the distance and logistics, we opted for a tour with Overseas Adventure Travel and were very pleased with the tour, the tour leaders, and the wonderful group with which we traveled.

In spite of an ominous email from Nikon, I took my D750, Tamron 24-70mm, and Nikkor 70-200mm. I had a few glitches with the D750 but no show-stoppers. In fact I needed to buy more memory cards and came home with an absurd 3,400 images.

But I have no regrets. Both countries are fascinating, diverse, could I not shoot lavishly in such places? And though we'd love to return someday, one never knows. So I shot a helluva lot.

The downside, of course, is that it all must be reviewed and edited. I'm eager to see and share the shots I like but not that keen on spending hours in front of the desktop. I've decided to add images to this blog in topical groups, beginning with some of the animals we saw in Australia. That is a huge topic by itself. There are scads of iconic and unique animals, and the country is about the size of the lower 48 US states. In other words, this is but a tiny sample of what's there.

Koala are among the iconic Australian fauna. We were fortunate not only to see several, but also to witness a territorial dispute between two males. Our guide told us at the start of our walk that we'd probably see a koala, but we'd be lucky to see one, say, scratch its ear. They are normally quite lethargic and solitary. Viewing the dispute was therefore an extremely lucky occurrence...our guide was ecstatic.

Young male Koala

Young and older males disputing territory

Koala are normally solitary

In the same national park were Eastern Grey kangaroo. We stalked them quietly, our guide explaining that they become more relaxed after they have eyed us for a while. We were surprised at how large the males are: over six feet tall when standing and quite muscular in appearance. And we again were lucky that a mob of about 20 came into view.

Mob of 'roos

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

I'll post some bird photos in the the next installment. As always, your comments are most welcome.

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