Monday, January 18, 2010

Neil Sun 17 Jan 10

NEIL: The Dandenongs
It was a bit of a rush at this end of Neil's visit with us ... a case of too little time left and still so many things to do.

The Great Ocean Rd is always one of those places you want to take visitors. It's so impressive and we had great hopes of taking Neil there. But in the end we decided on the Dandenongs as the last place to visit: Neil had seen the ocean and bay a couple of times so we figured he got we lived by the water, but he hadn't seen any Australian animals during his 3 week visit.

That definitely clinched it ... we had to go to Healesville Sanctuary, and in getting there call into Grant's Picnic Ground to feed the birds.

Grant's Picnic Ground.
We were lucky to spot the picnic ground as we drove past ... I knew generally where it was and it was really fortunate we saw it in time to call in.

Neil with one of the birds ... he really seemed to enjoy this.

And the birds are so friendly they come to feed almost immediately you put your hand out.

The downside is the cockatoos ... they bite and bite Neil they did. This one bit Neil twice!

The birds also seemed to have this tag team system ... only one of them would feed at a time and one that wanted to feed would attack the one feeding. And it would all happen so fast you could barely see it happening.

Healesville Sanctuary.
We spent a few, slightly wet, hours wandering around the Sanctuary ... another place in Victoria I haven't been. You have to love overseas visitors for helping you to get to know your own home better. And the Sanctuary is absolutely the best place to see native animals.

The first thing we was was an Eagle presentation ... four eagles of differing sizes including one that was probably hand reared and very tame. This eagle was the most trained of all of them.

We also saw a presentation about didgeridoos and boomerang throwing from a local Aboriginal. Unfortunately this time, the boomerang didn't quite come back.

Horace and Neil walking along one of the trails.

The sanctuary had loads of these little information boards everywhere ... so good for understanding more about Aboriginal culture.

This male and female dingo were the stars of the Sanctuary ... it was as though they were posing for the camera.

This koala lived up to its name ... Prickles. There was no way she was going to show her face.

Kangaroos are the laziest animals ... we were lucky to see any with their eyes open let alone upright and looking at the camera like this one!

The Australian version of the ostrich ... the emu. These babies can be vicious, so I was glad it was behind a tall fence.

Looking through a gap in the rocks to see a huge goanna ... or lizard.

Kookaburras make the most amazing noise ... but unfortunately Neil didn't get to hear its call.

We call these guys flying foxes ... a type of bat.

And a sweet wombat before we left. These guys are huge ... but vegetarians and this one was eating his way through a huge pan of vegetables.

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